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Candidate Experience: What is it and Why Does it Matter?

by | Apr 8, 2021 | Candidate Experience

When it comes to securing qualified talents, candidate experience and company branding go hand-in-hand. Every good candidate experience adds to a stronger brand reputation for recruiters. Applicants start to form opinions of your business right from the very first time they touch base.

To many, the degree of candidate satisfaction that you deliver can make or break a recruiter’s reputation. Because of this, recruitment teams have sought to improve their recruitment processes to deliver a better candidate experience.   

But what is candidate experience, and how does it impact your recruitment team’s brand reputation? 

What is Candidate Experience?

In a nutshell, candidate experience is essentially about what your applicant feels when going through your recruitment process. Does the interview exude an environment that makes them feel relaxed or stressed? Are they aware that you are mindful of them even during the waiting period? Do they feel like you care about them as you tell them the result of their application?.

All interactions starting from the time they submitted their application up to the day they find out the result all contribute to the overall feeling of their experience. These feelings influence how the applicants perceive your brand and subsequently boost or hurt your brand reputation as a recruiter, depending on what they have to say.   

Either way, your reputation is on the line, and your competitive advantage lies in making positive impressions with your candidates each time—whether they end up getting the job or not. 

Why Does Candidate Experience Matter?

Candidate experience—be it positive or not—will directly affect your candidate relationships and brand reputation because of the following:  

1. Candidate experience shapes your brand reputation.    

A recent survey shows that 69.4% of applicants are more likely to share their negative experiences on online review platforms and within their professional networks. Couple this with the fact that these days, all it takes is one Google search to gather information about a recruitment firm or a potential employer, and the candidate’s first impression of the company gets affected right after.

In fact, 75% of job applicants will research a company’s reputation first before deciding to apply for a job opening. And as we continue to rely on the internet for information, online review platforms has become a primary resource for candidates doing their research. This means that each time your candidate experience misses the mark, your brand reputation takes a hit. 

Taking control of your review base is one of the most helpful strategies to creating a positive candidate experience. Smart recruitment leaders know the importance of integrating feedback from candidates in refining their recruitment strategy. Candidate reviews are best analyzed alongside your hiring metrics to understand candidate experience better. They allow you to look at every stage of the hiring process, find areas where mistakes were made, and fine-tune your practices.  

2. Competition is fierce; candidates have an array of options now more than ever.  

Studies by the Bureau of Labor Statistics report that the quit rate among employees is increasing annually, indicating that candidates are actively pursuing better opportunities. The data also suggests that job openings are happening faster than candidates are applying, resulting in a surplus of open positions versus the available talent pool in the market. As a result, competition is tight, and candidates have more flexibility when it comes to job selection. 

This is where a strong candidate experience makes a difference. The key is an efficient recruitment process and a humanized recruiter brand. Every touchpoint with them should be taken advantage of to give a good impression. Ensure your application process isn’t unnecessarily long and tedious.  

Make your applicants feel good about having you as a bridge to their potential employer by showing them how you care about their welfare. Basic things like a simple email acknowledgment, a relaxed yet professional interview experience, or consistent and timely communication can make them feel valued and make you their recruiter of choice.

3. Candidate experience helps build talent pipelines. 

Some candidates are not suitable for a current job opening but may be a great hire for succeeding openings. These are the people that recruiters want to add to their talent pipelines and tap for future opportunities. Even if an applicant doesn’t land the position the first time around, a positive candidate experience can encourage them to try again next time. However, it’s important to keep in mind that this is highly reliant on the timeliness of your communication as a recruiter.  

More than half of candidates don’t receive any communication within two to three months after applying. This is potentially problematic for your talent pipelining because when candidates do not hear back from recruiters, they are less likely to reconsider dealing with your recruitment firm again.

Good communication precedes good candidate experience. Being intentional and consistent in updating candidates is the first step to increased candidate satisfaction. At the end of the day, candidate experience is about feelings, and personal human touches are what make a lasting impression. 

Make First-Class Candidate Experience a Priority.

Creating a positive candidate experience is more important in recruitment now than before, and recruitment leaders have resorted to online reputation management platforms to help bridge the gap between candidate expectations and recruitment execution.   

This is where reputation management platforms like Great Recruiters can make a difference. They help you identify key areas of improvement in your recruitment process through feedback analysis and protect your recruiter brand reputation through an integrated testimonial system that lets you highlight your winning qualities.  

Through Great Recruiters’ automated review system, you can easily capture your candidate’s feedback. Why wait for them to post anonymously online when you can get ahead of the game and take control of your review base? Best of all, the software consolidates all data into a report that provides your recruiters the insight they need to deliver an exceptional candidate experience each time. 

Give your recruiters the tools they need to identify obstacles and better set them up for recruitment success. Want to find out how Great Recruiters can help your team deliver a better candidate experience? Contact us to request a demo now

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