What is the candidate experience?

The candidate experience is a candidate’s overall perception of an organization’s recruiting and hiring process. Spanning any and all activities and interactions a candidate has with a company, the candidate experience reflects how a candidate is sourced and recruited, interviewed, hired and onboarded.

Why does the candidate experience matter?

Throughout the candidate experience, a candidate gains valuable insights into how your organization operates.

From the job application process to signing an offer, candidates begin to understand a company’s values, how employees are treated, the level of technological engagement and other determining factors that lead them to decide whether or not to continue pursuing an opportunity with an employer.

In fact, the 2018 Yello Recruiting Study points to evidence that the candidate experience directly impacts whether or not a candidate accepts a job. 70 percent of respondents indicated the recruiter affected their decision to take a new position, and 60 percent named the job application and interviewing experience as a deciding factor.

Want more insights into what today’s talent expects throughout the recruitment process?

Download the full 2018 Yello Recruiting Study

How do you create a positive candidate experience?

Offering a great candidate experience isn’t only about establishing a positive impression of the company — it’s also the right thing to do. Recruiting Daily notes that providing a positive candidate experience is like following the golden rule: treat job candidates as you’d like to be treated. Start by placing yourself in the candidate’s shoes: if you were applying for a job, how would you like the process to go?

Most likely, you’d prefer it be as painless as possible, offering clear communication, easy appointment scheduling and, above all, respect for your time. Every organization’s hiring methodology may be different, but here’s a basic look at what any organization can do to create a positive candidate experience:

Offer a mobile-friendly job application process.

Today’s candidates are digital natives, carrying out as many engagements as possible online. The job application should be no exception. One report from the Pew Research Center found that 43% of smartphone owners use their devices to find information about a job, with 18 percent ultimately submitting a job application through a mobile device. Considering it’s forecasted that there will be more than 2.7 billion smartphone users by 2019, those numbers present a significant opportunity to reach more candidates.

Creating easy-to-use mobile job applications enables candidates to quickly apply for open positions on the device of their choice no matter where they are. Redirecting candidates to apply for a job on a non-mobile device doesn’t just create a poor candidate experience—it also creates an opportunity for a candidate to walk away from the application process entirely. After all, research shows millennial candidates prefer pursuing companies that make use of modern technology

Offer transparent and respectful communication.

As pointed out by HR Bartender, empathy, professionalism and responsiveness are some of a candidate’s biggest desires when job hunting and significantly contribute to the overall candidate experience.

Consider some of the simple questions candidates want answers to:

  • Did you receive my job application?
  • Am I being considered for the position?
  • When and where is the interview scheduled for?
  • Is it possible to choose another time for the interview?
  • What are some of the benefits your company offers?
  • Did I get the job?

None of these questions should be difficult to answer, but the longer you keep candidates waiting on a response, the worse they may feel about the organization, affecting their overall candidate experience. Promptly letting candidates know where they stand throughout the hiring process shows respect for their time and talent.

Tools like recruitment CRM software help recruiters stay in touch with candidates as often as possible. Recruitment CRM creates a historical record of all candidate communications, helping recruiters stay on top of when to send messages, appointments, reminders and more. And to measure the quality of your company’s candidate experience, recruitment CRM software includes tools to collect candidate feedback and continue to advance towards an award-winning candidate experience.