The Candidate Experience as a Recruiting Strategy

Kristen McPherson
Written by Kristen McPherson

September 27, 2019

The candidate experience is the employee experience. Or that’s what the majority of candidates think, according to a study done by CareerBuilder. More than two thirds of individuals believe that the way they’re treated during the hiring process reflects how the company will treat them as an employee. What this means for your organization is that your first impression as a business counts, and that first impression is often your recruiting process.

Many organizations only think about their recruiting strategy from their own perspective and what they’re looking to get out of it – the steps they need to take to adequately vet a candidate and select the right person for the job. However, it’s to your strategic advantage to start thinking more about the candidate experience and how your recruiting processes affect this experience. A good candidate experience can be beneficial for more reasons than one.

First, in today’s tight labor market, organizations need every advantage they can get in attracting top talent to choose them over any other offers on the table. According to CareerBuilder, 68% of job seekers say the interview experience impacts their decision to join the company. Therefore, if you’ve taken the time to think out your recruiting strategy and make the process a positive experience for your candidate, the more likely they are to accept your offer.

Second, the candidates that you choose not to extend offers to are important to consider as well. Whether they didn’t make it past the first interview or were passed up at the very end of the process for another candidate, they likely have an opinion of their experience. And 78% of candidates will tell their family and friends about a bad interview experience, which affects your organization’s reputation and may influence a future candidate’s decision on whether to apply for a position there.

What can organizations like yours do to help improve the candidate experience? It’s time to start thinking about your recruiting strategy from the candidate’s perspective. More than 80% of job seekers say that the continuous communication of status updates would greatly improve their candidate experience. As a starting point, organizations may want to consider setting this expectation right in the job posting or in some of the initial conversations with the candidate. Additionally, a user-friendly career site can help introduce candidates to the organization, its mission and culture, as well as provide an easy way to submit their application. Organizations that are able to personalize the candidate experience, through more thoughtful touch points, may also leave a much better impression than other potential employers.

A great candidate experience can lead to many positive outcomes for your organization. In addition to attracting more individuals to apply for positions and increasing the likelihood of top talent accepting an offer, the candidate experience can also help to establish and improve your organization’s reputation and branding – a win-win for applicants and your organization as a whole.