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Last updated: 27th October 22

Applies to: Business Owners and Hiring Managers​

If you are about to start the hiring process in your business and haven’t thought about candidate experience, you might want to hit that pause button!


What is candidate experience?

In short, candidate experience is:

The experience candidates have with your company whilst working their way through the recruitment process.

The candidate experience involves everything from the application process all the way through to the job offer (should they get that far) and every interaction in between.

Nowadays, job seekers are more reluctant to apply for a job based on pay rates and are more interested in how they align with a company’s values and culture. Whilst this is great news for businesses once they have hired a new employee who is an excellent fit for the team, it does add even more importance to how a company portrays itself.


So why does Employer Branding matter to your business?

Whether you have thought about it before or not, when it comes to the hiring process, the candidate experience is hugely important. The candidate experience is all about what impression your company makes to candidates throughout the recruitment process and this could have a big impact on your company brand.

Here are some things to think about during your hiring process:

What can you do to make candidates have the best experience possible?

Too often, people looking for jobs’ number one complaint is they apply for a job and then never hear anything back.

It’s easy to make a candidate feel like they are not being taken seriously. This is especially true for those who have a tough time getting into the job market and have been rejected from countless positions.

You can avoid this very easily. Here are two easy things you can do to help make your applicants feel valued and therefore add to a good experience for them of your company:

  • Job advert: Make sure your job advert is accurate. You don’t want to give candidates false hope or raise their expectations if it’s not something that actually exists at your company.

Clear hiring process: Have an organised and clear process for candidates who apply. If someone applies for your position, respond in a timely manner and don’t leave them hanging without any feedback about their application or interview experience. This will only look bad for your business, making it seem that it was too much effort on your part to get in touch and show your appreciation for the application.

The candidate experience really matters to your business

Your employer branding helps to set you apart from the competition. Not only does it help you attract more qualified candidates, but it also gives you more referrals. When people work at places where they’re happy, they tell their friends about it.

When a candidate submits an application through your website or applies for a position online, they are going to have questions that need answering as soon as possible. If they don’t hear back within 24 hours (or at least within 48), they are going to wonder what’s going on and whether or not you care about them or their interests in working with your company—and if either of those things turns out not to be true, then the rest won’t matter anyway!


So, how do we nail our candidate experience?

  1. The first step to working on your candidate experience is to make sure that your website is mobile-friendly. How simple is that?! This simple touch means that candidates will have access to your responsive website, allowing users to apply to your job listing whilst on the go.
  2. The second thing you should do is edit your job descriptions and make sure they are clear and easy to understand. If someone can’t read something, they will not be interested in applying for it! And why you are at it, don’t be afraid to add some character to the job description. You want to stand out from other hiring companies!
  3. Finally, when posting jobs, make sure there is a clear process so that candidates know exactly what steps they need to take in order for their application to go through smoothly and be considered for the role. Long and over complicated applications could be just the thing to put a potential perfect employee off.

The candidate experience is a proxy for employee experience, customer experience, and brand experience. It’s also a proxy for the company’s reputation. What you do before a candidate becomes an employee will be reflected in how they behave as one.

It really is that important!

Ultimately, If candidates don’t have a good experience throughout the process, they are more likely to leave you and look elsewhere (elsewhere likely being one of your competitors). So, it’s worth spending some time making sure that everyone has a great experience with your company during their recruitment process, because that candidate who had the best impression of your company could turn out to be your next best employee.

If you’d like more help with creating a better candidate experience, start with your Employer Brand by using this workbook to work out what your brand is as an employer.

Check out our related reading:


Still need recruitment guidance?

If you would like more advice regarding the recruitment process, feel free to get in touch with the team at Your People Partners. We love to help!

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