6 Steps to creating a candidate experience that trumps your competitors

For those in the world of recruitment and talent attraction, it can be all too easy to focus only on the talent that you successfully hire. While we hope you’ve made the successful applicants feel welcome and fulfilled within your organisation, how did you treat the unsuccessful ones?

Companies around the world are now beginning to realise the awesome power and at times awful consequences of the Candidate Experience.

Jan Tegze has actually created an equation to measure the potential cost to your business through poor candidate experiences, and while we won’t go into all the math-y details, suffice to say it’s A LOT!

Virgin Media UK estimated a potential £4.4 million (approx. $7.8M AUD) in lost business due to applicants severing their consumer relationships with Virgin Media and switching to their competitors. All due to negative candidate experiences. This figure doesn’t even take into account the 27% of candidates that research says will go on to “actively discourage others” from applying to the company – with figures like this, who needs Glassdoor to destroy your Employer Brand?

Can your organisation afford these kinds of costs?

Wouldn’t you rather be the company these people turn to for satisfying, fulfilling, dare we say, even enjoyable candidate experiences? Never fear! Here are six helpful strategies that can light the way to making your candidate experience the best in your industry.

But what is it?

First things first – what the hell is a candidate experience anyway? When does it start, when does it finish, who is involved, what makes it good or bad? Quite simply, the candidate experience is every interaction your desired talent has, not just with your HR department,

but with your whole business.



Calling it a ‘candidate’ experience is actually quite misleading, because it all starts before a person even knows they want to work for your company. ‘The Talent Experience’ might be a more apt description.

Your current employees are surely telling their friends and family what it’s like where they work. Are they sharing good things that make potential quality talent want to work for you too? Or are they griping about the lack of communication between the management tiers, or that there’s never any room in the staff fridge for their lunch? Step 1 to improve the talent experience is to work on the relationships you have with your current employees.



The next step is to make sure your online presence isn’t turning candidates away before you even receive a resume. Do you fall into the 60% of employers who do NOT monitor their presence or brand on social media?

While you’re at it, why not add us on Facebook?

Not only are recruiters using social media to screen applicants, but 67% of job seekers are also using social media to gain insights into company culture. Make sure your business is putting its best branded foot forward with its online presence. This is important not just for social media platforms, but with your company website as well…



Does your career section adequately describe your company and the positions you have available? Because 55% of candidates are saying company career sites don’t tell them enough about working for a company, and 36% say that job descriptions aren’t clear enough. If you want to get a step ahead of your competitors, make sure your career section is crystal clear and diamond sharp in its details.



Now you’ve successfully enticed a potential candidate to hit apply, the experience outcome now hangs on how cumbersome your application process is. Having a process that takes too long, or asks candidates to upload a resume, but then still asks them to manually fill out fields of basic questions is going to have negative effects on their experience. It may even deter them completely, as 60% of candidates will abandon applications that are too long or complex.



Once you have all of the applicant’s details, and the task of screening, assessing, interviewing and recommendation slowly narrows the candidate pool, don’t forget to spare a thought for those you have turned down along the way. No one enjoys being rejected, but the talent experience isn’t determined by the outcome of the application. Most often it is the level of feedback and communication that determines a positive or negative experience.

Are you letting people know what stage their application is currently at? Do they have an estimated timeline for when they can expect a result? Do they know why their application has been declined? Is there a resource you can direct them to help with future applications? These are all communications you can have with applicants throughout the process that will make them feel that you appreciate their desire to work for you and the time they’ve taken to apply.

81% of job seekers said continuous communication would greatly improve overall experience.



The final step to improving the talent experience your company offers, is to keep improving! Requesting feedback from both successful and unsuccessful candidates at all stages of the process is only going to help you understand where you can improve, and help your candidates feel their opinion is valued.


Need Help Implementing a New Candidate Experience Strategy?