Whether candidates become employees or not, their experience with your company – from discovery to hire – will have a direct impact on your overall brand. Everyone who touches your brand, from applicants, to candidates, to employees, has the potential to become your next brand ambassador – or biggest critic. Use this roadmap to ensure you provide the best candidate experience throughout every phase of the interview process in 2016.

Discovery phase

When candidates are searching for their next position, make insight into your company’s culture easy to find. Use your website’s career page to feature employee spotlights that link to their LinkedIn profiles, share photos that convey the culture and create employee testimonial videos to offer a more personal view into your brand.

Nurture future candidates

You may not have openings for every job seeker right at the moment that person is searching. Using a robust talent community provides a venue for future applicants to remain engaged with your organization until that position becomes available.  These talent communities should include company updates, newsletters and customized job alerts. Additionally, once you have filled a position, send an automated email to all the applicants who didn’t receive interviews, letting them know the hiring period has ended.


Fully brief candidates before they meet with the interview team. Provide candidates with the interview team’s LinkedIn bios, interviewers personalities and interview outfit advice to make them as comfortable as possible so their real personality shines through during the tough interviews.

Be a gracious host

Carry your holiday hosting manners over into the new year and treat candidates like they are a guest in your home. Have a designated person greet them, offer them a drink, give them a tour of the office and if it is a long day of interviewing, offer them a snack.

Over communicate

Throughout the interview process, make sure the candidate knows exactly where they stand during the process. Provide frequent updates even if you don’t have any news to report; a brief email letting them know the interview process is still ongoing goes a long way to calm eager candidates’ frayed nerves.

Deliver bad news over the phone

Call those candidates you aren’t advancing instead of emailing. Most candidates have to take a day off of work to interview, dry clean their interview outfit, print resumes and pay for transportation or parking. The courtesy of a phone call to let them know you are moving forward with other candidates demonstrates mutual respect. Additionally, halting all communication with the candidates who aren’t advancing in your interview process can lead to long-term consequences. These candidates could have an excellent referral network, or be a top future employee after they gain a few more years experience. Don’t short change the company’s hiring future because of a lack of professionalism.

Be a mentor

Take the extra step to provide final stage candidates who didn’t get the job feedback as to why they didn’t receive the offer. Providing them with several reasons will not only pay it forward, but you never know when you will cross paths with them in the future, or who or where they will discuss the experience they had with your hiring team and company.

Are you looking for more ways to achieve talent acquisition success in 2016? Download our white paper, 2016: The Year of Recruitment Transparency