• 5 min. read

Why and How to Create a Winning Candidate Experience

Providing a poor candidate experience costs a lot more these days than it did 10 or 15 years ago. Why? Mostly because social media and employer review sites

Written by Daniela Costa

Providing a poor candidate experience costs a lot more these days than it did 10 or 15 years ago. Why? Mostly because social media and employer review sites can easily amplify negative feedback, damaging your employer brand and putting your company on a less attractive position in the job market.

Moreover, candidates nowadays do their research before applying for a job in a company because they want to be sure it’s a good opportunity and they want to be prepared for the recruitment process.

For the past seven years Talent Board has done intensive research on candidate experience, providing companies with very useful insights regarding “candidate attitudes and subsequent behaviour (re-apply, refer others, champion the employers’ products, or not)”. The 2017 EMEA Talent Board benchmark research included 75 companies and 25,000 job seekers, 88 percent of which were rejected, hadn’t heard back on next steps, didn't know where they were in the recruiting process or did not know they had an offer at the time they completed the survey.

One of the most important conclusion of the research is that the companies that scored higher “have gone through a transformative shift to treat job candidates, both externally and internally, as the primary customers of talent acquisition. Not the hiring manager, executive manager or other recruiting peers and colleagues – the candidates”.

The report states that this increasing accountability for “how candidates are treated is paramount because candidates have a new power to leverage their ire or their praise for employers” and “are learning to exercise these newfound communication skills”. Therefore, “the cost to a company’s reputation, its applicant flow, referrals and even sales can now be calculated”.

However, this topic becomes even more challenging due to the high volume of applications that recruiters have to manage. According to the research, 12 to 32% of the companies got over 200 resumes per job posting (in different job categories) and a third stated that 50 to 75% of applicants are not qualified for the jobs they applied for.

Even though giving feedback to all candidates can be time-consuming, recruiters cannot afford to skip that task. They must set or deliver on expectations and respect all those interested in their company, which is another good reason why companies must put in place better application management and candidate engagement processes.

Here's why Candidate Experience matters, in numbers:

  • 20% of candidates research review sites like Glassdoor when they were seeking a job.
  • 80% of candidates are willing to share their positive experiences and around 60% will share their negative feedback.
  • 75% of candidates who have an overall 5-star experience are extremely likely to refer others versus only 6% of those who have an overall 1-star experience (37% are definitely not likely and 41% are unlikely to refer).
  • 38% of the candidates who have an overall 1-star experience withdraw themselves from the recruiting process because their time was disrespected during interviews and appointments and 24% because the recruiting process just took too long. Whereas only 3.5% of candidates who gave their experience a great 5-star rating left due to disrespect of time.
  • 43% of candidates who have had a “negative” overall 1-star candidate experience say they will “take their alliance, product purchases and relationship somewhere else”, which can translate to a “potential loss of revenue for consumer-based businesses, referral networks for all companies and whether or not future fit and silver medallist candidates apply again”. - - On the other hand, 63% of candidates say they’ll increase their employer relationships based on the very positive job seeker experiences they’ve had (they will apply again, refer others and make purchases when applicable). According to the report here’s a list of best practices (tools, technology and techniques) used by the top rating companies that can help you create an excellent candidate experience.

9 Ways to Improve Candidate Experience:

1. Take a Customer-Centric Approach

Make your recruitment team available to answer questions during live chats on career sites and social media. You can also implement chat-bots to answer general employment questions and keep your recruiters free to engage with potential candidates already in play.

2. Think and Act Like a Marketer

It’s very important to communicate and educate potential candidates and to nurture future fit candidates to stay competitive in today’s talent market. Therefore, use and invest in a candidate relationship management (CRM) system.

3. Deliver to Expectations

Help your candidates understanding their progress throughout the application process. Optimise your application form and include a progress indicator showing percentage completed and an option to save the application as draft and complete later.

4. Acknowledge Skills and Experience

The time for recruiting based on CV only has passed. Give candidates the opportunity to share their skills and experience over simply completing a basic form or general background screen.

5. Walk in the Candidate’s Shoes

Rethink your application process from the candidates’ perspective in order to meet their expectations and needs. The best way to do this is for your recruiting team to apply for your own jobs.

6. Prepare Your Candidates

Provide your candidates with information about who they will meet with and what they can expect from the interview is a way to help them be successful and adds the human touch to the whole experience.

7. Next steps and Follow-up

This is one of the more sensitive areas of the candidate experience. After the screening and/or interview, don’t fail on informing your candidates about next steps and follow up on their application when necessary. As the report demonstrates, “even a small percentage of going above and beyond can improve overall candidate sentiment and, ultimately, impact on the bottom line”.

8. Ask Relevant Questions

During the interview stage it’s imperative to pose relevant questions to the candidates related for the job to effectively determine their skills and abilities to perform the job they applied to, instead of focusing on things that have already been answered by their resumes or applications.

9. Differentiate your company

Communicate more with candidates from pre-application to on-boarding and give them feedback earlier in the recruiting process. This is not only a great way to differentiate your company from others, but it’s also an amazing opportunity to gather vital information to keep improving your employer brand.


Skeeled offers you the perfect opportunity to bring innovation and digitalisation to your hiring. Check our website or our LinkedIn and Facebook pages for further information.

Thanks for reading and see you next time!

Your team here at skeeled

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