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Candidate experience: Why should I care and how to improve it?

Updated: Aug 30, 2022

Nearly 4 in 5 candidates say that the overall recruiting process they experienced is reflective of how a company values its employees. How confident are you that your candidates are happy with their interview process? If you pause, let’s talk.

Candidate experience is all about how job seekers feel and react to your company’s recruitment process - from your job ads, interview process, hiring, and down to onboarding. You might be thinking that a candidate’s experience does not really matter, and might not have a considerable impact on your business. But that is not the case - a candidate’s experience and review might influence your preferred candidate’s decision to join your team. Not to mention its influence on how the business is perceived.

Let’s see why candidate experience is important to your business.

As much as you are accessing each applicant, they are also doing their research to know more about you and your company. If your company has a bad reputation in recruitment (maybe the process is lengthy and redundant? Or there’s a lack of transparency on expectations/remuneration?), it would give your candidates a foundation to think twice about joining your team. Or they might not even apply for the job in the first place. And you might end up losing some good candidates without even realizing it.

Candidate experience also impacts your employer brand – how the public thinks about you as an employer. Before applying to a job, 95% of job seekers place great importance on a company’s reputation, and 70% of them would search for the basic information of you as an employer; things like employee benefits, and of course, employee reviews. So, poor recruitment processes and employer branding are most likely to lead preferred candidates to skip applying to your company altogether.

Now that we have talked a little about the importance of candidate experience, let’s find out how we can create a pleasant candidate experience.

1. Simplify application process

Let’s imagine that we are in the process of an interview right now, and the company wants to schedule interviews after interviews. Would your interest remain the same? Really? Well, 65% of candidates say that an unpleasant experience makes them lose interest in the job, and most likely will not reapply to the same company.

Keep your application process short and sweet! Google’s “Rule of Four” says that as few as four interviews are sufficient to measure a new employee’s skills and competencies. With “Rule of Four”, Google manages to reduce their average application process by about 2 weeks. Imagine hundreds or thousands of interview hours saved and shortened a stressful period of interviews for your candidates.

2. Consistent communication

Being left in the dark, feeling lost and abandoned is unpleasant and frustrating. Sadly, one of the common frustrations faced by candidates is the lack of follow-up from the recruiters. Prompt follow-ups would lead candidates to feel like they are being cared for, and the process is just simple. It could be setting up automated emails to confirm the submission of their application and to keep candidates updated on the hiring progress.

PS: Using ATS would really make your lives easy.

Having a go-to person could also be helpful too, especially when your candidates have questions or concerns regarding the job or their applications. Keeping candidates updated and engaged during the hiring process could minimize candidate ghosting too.

3. Provide feedback after the interview

Last but not least, providing feedback to candidates is also one way to improve candidate experience. A LinkedIn survey shows that 94% of candidates really appreciate feedback after an interview regardless of whether they made it to the next round. You probably have seen jaded and angry candidates as they are ghosted by recruiters.

Yes, we can’t control others’ opinions, but it’s still on us as recruiters to really connect with the candidates and ensure that the rejection does not seem rude/personal. Informing unsuccessful candidates and sharing constructive feedback is better than ghosting the candidates and leaving them in the dark about their application status. Whether it’s good or bad, an update is always better than silence.

In a nutshell, job seekers are likely to share their experiences and your company’s practices with other potential hires. Even if the candidate doesn’t get the job, the pleasant experience you have provided is a unique way to market your business and to attract top talents in joining your company. If you want to get the cream of the crop, invest in creating a positive experience for your applicants!

Keen to up your recruitment game? Book a chat with us!

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