How to improve the candidate experience

The candidate experience is affected throughout the whole recruitment process and can be the difference maker between having the perfect candidate join your business or having them join a competitor. Creating a positive candidate experience has been continually growing in importance, and involves making both subtle and instrumental changes throughout the whole hiring process.

So how do we define what is “the candidate experience”?

The candidate experience is how those applying for roles in your business experience your brand. This experience can take place at any stage in your recruitment process, from the initial marketing of your vacancy all the way to onboarding your new hire. It can also be greatly affected by the processes you put in place in each of these stages.

Protecting your brand is another reason why you should strive to improve your candidate experience. 72% of candidates who have a negative experience will tell others about it, so making sure you treat every candidate with respect will help protect your employer brand. A poor employer brand can deter talented candidates from applying for your future roles, which has the potential to damage your business long-term. 

This also extends to the retention of talented candidates, if you’re providing a very poor applicant experience that makes candidates feel undervalued, the chance of them dropping out of the process, or simply rejecting your offer is much higher. This can have a huge impact on the time and resources you spend recruiting, and the quality of the applicant you eventually hire.


How to improve the candidate experience

Because the candidate experience is something that is affected through the whole hiring process, there is no quick and easy fix, however there are a number of inexpensive processes you can put in place that will greatly enhance it.

1. Avoid a lengthy pre-screening process

Your initial screening process should be as quick and simple as possible – very few candidates want to spend too much time filling in forms and completing lengthy tasks. Automated CV parsing software can be invaluable for this. Many ATS systems provide AI, machine learning and predictive analytics tools to automatically screen applications for suitability. This can remove the need for pre-screening all together. Let the AI screening and ranking software help you pinpoint your most talented applicants quicker and avoid wasting precious time reviewing unsuitable CV’s.

- A lengthy pre-screening can turn a lot of talented candidates away

2. Communicate early

If you want to retain the interest of the best prospective applicants, you need to acknowledge their application and give them extra information to build their interest in your opportunity right from the get go. Otherwise you give your competitors the chance to swoop in and impress them instead. 

3. Communicate regularly

Touch base with your best candidates regularly, even if you have no updates, so they don’t feel forgotten or ignored. As a guide, candidates should receive communications every 3 days between stages of the recruitment cycle. There are now so many ways to do this efficiently with communication technology like email, SMS, phone calls and video calls at vital points in the process.

- Communicating early and often is key to retaining the interest of the best candidates.

4. The Interview

You should provide your candidates with a step-by-step breakdown of what to expect during the interview and replace any potential doubts with a positive and realistic overview of what will happen on the day.

This may include things like: the location and instruction of how to get there, how long the interview will take, who they will be meeting with, what they need to bring or prepare.

Informing your candidates that the interview is a two-way street, and that they are welcomed to share their feedback throughout, will assure them that you care about their experience.

- Creating a great interview experience can go a long way to impressing your candidates.

5. Measure your candidate experience

Once you’ve put these changes in place, measuring your candidate experience is important so you can pinpoint any poorly performing areas of your recruitment process and improve them.

You can create a candidate experience survey using an online survey tool for both successful and rejected candidates to fill in anonymously.

Looking at key metrics in your recruitment process is another good indicator of your current candidate experience. Some metrics you may want to consider are:

  • Drop off rate: Are most of your candidates dropping out during the recruitment process? 

  • Time to accept an offer: Do candidates often need time to review your offer? 

  • Conversion rate on job ads: Are you getting clicks on your job ads, but low conversions?


- By measuring your candidate experience, you are able to refine the process for future hires.

How can we help?

The Talent Hub's ATS platform transforms sourcing, recruitment, and hiring for companies of all sizes including NFP's and charitable organisations. Our system ensures your employer brand stands out in today's AI driven recruitment world and guarantees excellence with your candidates journey and experience.

Call us today on 0800 634 4477 or CLICK HERE to get in touch with one of our friendly and experienced team.

Are you looking for the latest news and key recruitment tips? Register for our newsletter to receive the latest updates straight to your inbox.


« All blogs
Date: 05/07/2021