Candidate Experience

Hiring Success Glossary

Table of Contents

What is candidate experience?

Candidate experience is the perception of a job seeker about a prospective employer. From the initial job search, through the application process, the interview, and the onboarding process, all of the interactions during the recruitment process impact the candidate experience. Get off to a bad start and your potential future employee’s opinion of your organization is clouded. Even if the rest of their experience is stellar, they always remember that bad beginning. Great candidate experience is the core of successful recruiting and hiring. The candidate experience starts with a job candidate’s very first exposure to a potential employer and initial employer branding, but it encompasses the entire hiring process from first touch to final point of rejection or job offer and hire.

How to improve candidate experience

Poorly developed recruiting strategies are the root cause of many problems with lackluster employee engagement and eventual turnover. For example, having the direct hiring manager involved in the process with the candidate is critical to building a relationship and trust with the company vs. the candidate only getting to interact with the recruiter and human resources ahead of their start date. And rejected candidates who had a poor experience are likely to tell others, reflecting negatively on your brand. By understanding the importance of the job seeker’s journey and designing the recruiting process so that they’re treated with the same respect as a customer, brands are finding great success. When working on improving candidate experience and enriching a candidate's job search process, consider the following areas:
  • Your corporate career site and job descriptions
  • Recruitment marketing and social media outreach
  • The online job application process
  • Any communication from your applicant tracking system
  • Any communication from a recruiter, recruiting coordinator, talent sourcer, interview team, or hiring manager.
  • The interview process
  • Follow-up communication once interviews are completed
  • Rejection or job offer
  • Offer negotiation and acceptance
  • New hire onboarding

Candidate experience best practices

The best practices to improve the candidate experience are summarized below:
  • Make a statement with your brand. It’s not enough to be as good as everyone else. Job seekers have options and in order to acquire the best talent your brand must stand out. With the help of SmartRecruiters, content-rich career sites allow you to attract both active and passive candidates. Branded templates, campaigns, and portals let you personalize your outreach, providing a memorable first impression. And configurable workflows let you manage your entire brand portfolio with ease.
  • Provide engaging career websites. Does your career page effectively represent your company? Is it reflective of your brand? The native career site tools from SmartRecruiters help you build dynamic and flexible career site pages with no need to bother IT. Configurable job widgets let you promote and display job opportunities will little effort. And by deploying mobile-ready sites candidates can apply from anywhere.
  • Increase candidate traffic. More applicants give you more flexibility in hiring. And as every applicant is a potential employee, future customer, or brand ambassador, having a larger pool is a win. The modern, mobile experience from SmartRecruiters lets you streamline the application process using integrated parsing technologies. A one-click mobile and social application process drive greater numbers of qualified candidates.
  • Stay connected. We’ve all felt the angst from being left in the dark and it doesn’t do anything to elevate the candidate experience. Rather than a brand ambassador, it gives you a tarnished brand. Keep candidates engaged — and informed — throughout the hiring journey. It allows you to provide automatic status updates to candidates and alerts job candidates of hiring events, career fairs, and future opportunities. And “live” profiles let you stay up-to-date on a candidate’s job search while also staying compliant.
  • Go the extra mile. Showcasing amazing video content that offers candidates an insider’s view into the company culture, values, mission, and overall work-life allows the candidate to get a true sense of what the future may hold for them with your company.

Candidate experience software

From the time a job candidate first hears of your organization, to when they’re going through the hiring process, and even long after they’ve been hired, they’re forming perceptions. Are they good perceptions, or bad? A great candidate experience software can make or break your business. Companies that provide prospective employees with a good experience are more likely to not only attract, but retain top talent. Those that are less attuned to a candidate’s needs are likely to garner a reputation — and not a good one. The next time they try to score that great hire, they may even strike out. SmartRecruiters offers talent acquisition teams the best candidate experience software. Our candidate experience solution utilizes "a modern and localized candidate experience to elevate your brand, foster deeper connections with job seekers through content-rich career websites and branded elements, and entice passive talent to easily connect easily from anywhere with just 1-click."
Hiring Success book

Read. Share. Hire. Sign up for weekly curated content from the Hiring Success Journal.

Watch Video (1:44)Learn More