SmartRecruiters Blog

9 Ways To Improve Your Candidate’s Apply Experience

This is a guest post from our Marketplace Partner LinkUp.

As the job market continues to favor the applicant with a low unemployment rate of 4.7%, employers need to be strategic in making a positive lasting impression. To attract top talent in a competitive talent economy, it’s more important than ever to offer a delightful candidate experience.

What companies are starting to realize is that a clunky application experience, confusing interview processes, lackluster communication, and no rejection communication creates a bad candidate experience. That means top candidates may never apply again! You can bet applicants will talk to their friends about the experience, which means even more top applicants will avoid applying.

So, resolve to make 2017 the year you breathe new life into your company’s candidate experience with these tips to attract top talent, and improve your reputation in your industry:

1. Experience it for yourself

Most companies are unaware of just how bad their candidate experience is. Start by putting yourself in the applicant’s shoes and go through the application process.

Yes, that means applying for your own jobs! Be prepared to have an eye-opening experience.

2. Simplify the application

If the application process is convoluted, consider a redesign. If the industry requires a detailed application due to regulatory reasons, consider adding a short video that clarifies application steps on your website.

3. Prioritize communication

Lack of communication is a top applicant complaint. It’s important to communicate with candidates throughout the entire process, not just if you want to move forward with an interview. Even a short email is helpful. You’re building a relationship over time, not in just one interaction.

4. Clarify the process

Every company has a different hiring process. Help candidates by clarifying the steps from start to finish so they know what to expect. That could include a flow chart on the website’s careers page, an email after an application is received, or a handout at the interview.

5. Support candidate preparation

Help ensure interviews are as productive as possible by sending out a standard communication package to candidates a few days prior to their interview. This could include company history, product profiles, hiring team bios, etc.

6. Convey the culture

Both you and the candidate want a good personality fit, so videos, images, and copy which conveys your company’s culture can help. Some examples include employee bios and experiences, company awards, special outings, and, of course, a company mission statement.

7. Facilitate the interview 

Streamline the interview process to leave candidates feeling elated. Have a specific person to greet and guide candidates to each meeting. For longer interviews, plan breaks that include water, coffee, and snacks. Always offer an office tour to help candidates better understand the job atmosphere.

8. Provide tactful rejections

While rejection sounds harsh, it provides much needed closure for candidates. You could even tell them how many people applied — it can be easier to deal with rejection when you know the competition was fierce. Then, add in appropriate next steps, such as asking rejected candidates to apply for future positions directly.

9. Get feedback

The candidate isn’t the only one who can benefit from feedback. You — the company — should want it, too. Solicit feedback on the candidate experience via phone, email, or do so in a survey sent to candidates post-interview. Use the results to analyze and improve your processes.

About LinkUp:

LinkUp offers performance-based (pay-per-click) recruitment advertising and candidate sourcing solutions that allow employers to better target and optimize spend, improve candidate quality, and reduce costs.


Molly Moseley

Molly is a founding member of LinkUp Job Search Engine and has more than 13 years of experience in recruiting and talent management. As SVP of Marketing and Client Success, she works closely with key members of enthusiast, consumer and business media, vendors, agencies, and direct clients. For the last two years, she was named by LinkedIn as one of its Top 10 Voices on Management and Corporate Culture. Outside of work, Molly enjoys any outdoor activity, is a wannabe chef, a chicken wing connoisseur, and partakes in weekly dance parties with her two small children.

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