Secrets of the Best Candidate Experience

Secrets of the Best Candidate Experience

By Ivanna Nösel
Published: 15/01/2021

In order to attract top talents, it is essential to provide a positive candidate experience to your applicants.

Lack of feedback, misleading job description, negative online experience, rude hiring manager many candidates are dissatisfied with the recruitment process.

But what exactly does a good candidate experience mean? Why is improving it so important? Let's have a look.

What is the Candidate Experience?


The candidate experience is defined as all perceptions and experiences that an applicant has with a company during the contact and application phases. This includes all touchpoints of the hiring process such as:

  • the job search process,
  • the application process,
  • the interview process,
  • the onboarding phase,
  • etc.

Why is Candidate Experience important?

As part of an employer branding strategy, ensuring a great candidate experience should be a top priority. In fact, the importance of the candidate experience has become much greater than it once was. While a negative candidate experience used to have little impact, the advent of social networking has made reputation paramount for businesses.

☝ A negative comment on career sites such as Glassdoor or Indeed can be very damaging!


How to improve the Candidate Experience

In the battle for the best employees on the recruiting market, the candidate experience is becoming increasingly important for companies.

Improve the Candidate Journey

A good candidate experience cannot be separated from a positive "candidate journey."

This journey begins much earlier than the actual application. Here are the main steps that go into defining the selection process.

The job search

The first interaction between the candidate and the organisation is through the job offer itself. To start off on the right foot, make sure your website has a clear and easy-to-find career page.

The application

In addition to making open positions easier to find, it is very important that the instructions for how to apply are simple and concise. The job description should be relevant to the tasks that will actually be performed. It is also important to make the application process mobile friendly.


One of the main frustrations experienced by candidates is the lack of post-application communication from the employer or HR department. Rejected candidates like to know the reasons behind the refusal.

The same applies to candidates selected for an initial interview, who expect to receive a timely message informing them of the next steps.

☝ Don't forget to provide the candidate with a contact number or email address.

The Interview

The interview is the best opportunity to really get to know the applicant and assess their skills. For the candidate, it is an opportunity to learn more about the company.

If the interview is conducted in several stages, it is important that there are no repetitive interview questions, which could make the process tedious. Efficiency is key, as job seekers expect quick responses!

👆 A predefined and well-structured interview helps to make the right decisions and avoid confusion.


Onboarding can be considered the last relevant touchpoint in the candidate experience. The first day on the job must immediately confirm all the promises made previously. A good integration to the team and clear instructions for getting started are essential.

Constructing a thought-out strategy can help you achieve success.

Coordinate different touchpoints

There are more ways than ever for companies and candidates to interact. In addition to the traditional touchpoints (word of mouth, job meetings, print, radio and TV advertising, etc.), there are now many online alternatives:

  • website,
  • social media,
  • blogs,
  • newsletters,
  • etc.

Try to convey a consistent and coherent image of the company along all the points identified.

Build a Candidate Persona

Inspired by marketing strategies used for customer segmentation, it may be interesting to build "personas." In this case, you need to describe in full the characteristics of the typical candidate.

Ask yourself what age range you are looking for, what academic background, work experience, soft skills, etc.

👆The search and selection process can only benefit from these steps!

Make the most of digital tools

To be effective, technology must be mastered first. To put it bluntly, you can't expect to replace human intelligence entirely with artificial intelligence.

LinkedIn, for example, offers a sophisticated applicant tracking system: companies can skim candidates automatically based on their skills. However, if your filters are set too strict, the risk is to overlook potential talents.

👆 To avoid this problem, you can allow applications from a wider audience.

Conduct constant quality analysis

To optimise your efforts and improve the candidate experience, constant monitoring is very important. Based on a thorough analysis, you can take action to improve the Candidate Journey.

Among the many HR and CRM software on the market, several come with noteworthy data analytics capabilities.

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