What Is Candidate Experience? 6 Proven Ways to Improve It

Supriya Bajaj

Senior Writer

What Is Candidate Experience

During the ongoing talent war, ensuring a positive candidate experience can only help you fetch and retain top talent.

Looking for Recruiting Software? Check out SoftwareSuggest’s list of the best Recruiting Software solutions.

70% of candidates conduct their research about a company during their initial job search before applying. Discovering positive reviews from existing employees makes them interested in your company, attracting top talent. That’s another important reason for improving the candidate experience.

But how do we do that? Here is an actionable guide to candidate experience, including its importance and ways to improve. We have also covered how to measure candidate experience and the role of technology in improving the experience. Let’s get started!

What Is Candidate Experience?

Candidate experience in recruitment is how a current, past, or future potential candidate feels about your organization’s hiring process when they’re going through it. This hiring process includes their job search, job application, organization’s screening, interview, and onboarding process.

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Create an outstanding career site, including FAQs, relevant information about the job offer, and employee value proposition as candidates decide whether to apply after going through this page.

Candidate experience (in recruitment) is the sum of the feelings, attitudes, and behaviors they come across during recruitment. Perceptions about a company’s recruiting process greatly influence job seekers’ decision to accept your offer.

One of the best candidate experience examples is the Delloite survey from 3000 candidates regarding their career goals for their research to improve their career site.

Candidate Experience

What Is the Importance of Delivering a Positive Candidate Experience?

Positive candidate experience indirectly contributes to the company’s success. In fact, companies who are focused on ensuring a good hiring experience see a 70% improvement in the quality of hired talent.

Let’s understand some other points on why is candidate experience important (positive candidate experience) –

1. Accelerates Business Growth

Hiring skilled talent is extremely important for all kinds of businesses. But skilled talent knows their capabilities and seeks more than salary and a relevant job description. They prioritize growth, alignment of their values and company mission, and development opportunities. Now you can communicate this through your candidate experience.

2. Find Quality Candidates

Talented applicants have an easy and consistent flow of job offers; only a good candidate experience can help you attract and retain quality candidates in your company. Also, having the best talent is necessary to have that competitive edge. To get the best people, fine-tuning your candidate experience is the way to go.

3. Poor Candidate Experience Hampers Future Hiring

A candidate-centric recruitment process has taken a higher seat in today’s digital world. Why? Because today, almost all job seekers review their experiences with a company and rate employers on Glassdoor to inform future seekers’ decisions. 

So, for instance, a candidate has had a poor candidate experience with your company in the past. Now if a current seeker comes across this review, they may contemplate their decision to apply and even skip submitting their application. This will lead to a loss of a talented pool altogether.

4. Builds a Good Brand Value

Treating your candidates with respect and warmth builds a good employer image in their eyes and changes their perception of your brand. Also, you must understand that your applicants can be your potential customers.

So, if you lose a candidate to a bad experience, you’re also losing a customer. They might write negative reviews on social media, which can spoil your brand image and devalue your brand. Focusing on a good candidate experience can help you win positive reviews regardless of being selected or rejected.

5. Helps You Win More Referrals

The best outcome of delivering a good candidate experience is the referrals–more customers and quality leads. Happy candidates are likelier to recommend you as an employer to their friends and colleagues. On the other hand, with good experience, you’re on top of the candidate’s mind and a topic of discussion, increasing your brand engagement. 

6 Ways to Improve Candidate Experience

72% of dissatisfied candidates are likely to post their negative candidate experience online or share it with someone, spoiling your company’s reputation. As you cannot afford that, you must work toward creating a great candidate experience. Here are some ways or candidate experience best practices you must follow –

ways to improve candidate experience

1. Write Clear Job Descriptions

Well-written job descriptions are pivotal for attracting and hiring the best fit for the vacant position. Why? Because the job description is the first thing a candidate reads when scrolling through job openings.

To get them interested, in simple language, you must clearly state all the crucial points of the job opening–salary range, benefits, perks, company culture/values, and responsibilities. Remember to keep this description readable–bullet points, active verbs, and short sentences. 

2. Have a Transparent Recruitment Process

Letting your candidates know everything about your end-to-end recruitment process is a wise choice to avoid confusion and drop-offs later. Here are some elements that you need to communicate to your candidate for creating a positive candidate experience

  1. Stages of the process with the duration of each stage
  2. Point of contact
  3. Helpful resources for the prospective candidates
  4. Interview process mode and format—online or in-person interviews
  5. Interviewers involved
  6. In-person interview process: dress code, parking space, and way of entry

When candidates know what they’re signing up for, they are less likely to back out later as they feel more confident and valued by your company. This is what makes a great candidate experience

3. Ensure an Easy Application Process

Keeping the application process easy will attract more candidates, opening more avenues of choice. Here are some ways you can do that –

  • Check that your careers page is easily spottable on your company’s website
  • State the application instructions clearly, like documents to be kept handy
  • Avoid candidate log-in during the application
  • Consider LinkedIn as your job application mode 
  • Limit your application to a one-page format to avoid interruptions due to surprises 
  • Don’t forget to keep your application mobile-friendly
  • Enable free-response in your questions rather than restricting them to upload size limits
  • Avoid adding the salary history as a required field in the form
  • Use candidates’ names instead of reference numbers, as it makes candidates feel valued

And that’s your answer to how to improve candidate experience!

4. Adopt Technology in Hiring

Lengthy applications make 60% of job seekers quit amidst the application process. Why? Because everyone, including candidates, seeks convenience, especially when applying for a new job. You can make your application process convenient and candidate experience supreme with technology. 

Here are some ways you make your hiring process technologically advanced –

  1. Shifting to mobile technology–text messaging/chatbots to enable phone interview process scheduling and keeping candidates in the loop about the progress of their application can drastically improve their experience. 
  2. Get an overview of the candidate’s profile on the go with a mobile ATS.
  3. Add the candidate interview to your schedule with calendar integration.

5. Prioritize Communication

Communicating with the candidates about the further steps of the application process makes the candidates feel you respect their time and care for them. In fact, 81% of candidates believe continuous updates from employers’ end on the application can improve their experience. Enhance your communication with the following strategies –

  1. Give clear directions for assignments or tests with the timeline
  2. Thank candidates for investing time in your application to show you value their effort
  3. Create personalized email campaigns to keep the candidates engaged during the application process
  4. Inform the rejected candidates with feedback and best wishes to end things positively
  5. Acknowledge the candidate’s thank you notes after the interviews

6. Build Strong Relationships

The application process doesn’t end at the interviews; rather, it starts from them. Store the rejected candidate information to build a talent pool for future openings with a robust ATS to foster strong relationships. Ideally, it comes with a searchable bar, individual profiles linked with social media profiles, and past interactions so you can refer when needed. Doing so will reduce your hiring cycles.

How to Measure Candidate Experience?

Monitoring, analyzing, and measuring candidate experience can help you improve their experience while taking your recruiting process to the next level. But how do you measure your candidate experience? There are two ways to do that –

Measure Candidate Experience

1. Conduct Candidate Feedback Surveys

Measuring your candidate experience is possible by diving deep into the first-hand candidate experience you can gather via a candidate experience survey. These surveys allow you to identify the successful recruitment stages and work on the loopholes. 

You must send survey forms to all candidates–hired, opted out, and rejected. Remember to include all the questions that help you understand their experience, spot problems, and determine potential improvements for future candidates

Another way to gauge and deliver an exceptional candidate experience is by tracking all the parts of social media where your company is in the discussion. 

2. Monitor Key Performance Indicators (KPI)

You can gain an in-depth understanding of your candidate’s experience by monitoring the KPIs. It’ll help you quantify the effectiveness of your recruitment process and thus develop strategies to improve it. 

Keeping this data in mind, you can make informed decisions, optimally allocate your resources, and know the stages that need your attention. 

Here are some of the most important KPIs you must track –

  1. Time to hire measures the span between the candidate’s application submission and offer acceptance. 
  2. Interview to offer measures the time you take to send an offer after the interview completion. 
  3. Candidate drop-off shows why candidates abandon their applications.
  4. Offer to acceptance rate indicates the success of your candidate experience.
  5. Net Promoter Score shows how the candidates rate their interaction and experience with your company.

Want to measure KPIs and start analyzing candidate experience? Turn to recruiting software to create, run, export, and share in-depth reports, including the abovementioned significant KPIs.

What Role Does Technology Play in Improving the Candidate Experience?

Do you know that 60% of job seekers have hit poor candidate experiences, and 72% shared it online or with someone?  Yes! That means companies are generally unable to provide a decent experience to candidates. Now this boils down to two major reasons–disorganization or mismanagement and the absence of adequate systems to cater to high volumes of applications.

If you want to have control over your recruitment process and improve your candidate experience, consider adopting technology into your organization. Here are the two non-negotiable technologies that are transforming the candidate experience –

1. Enhances Efficiency With Applicant Tracking System (ATS)

An ATS is a powerful software that facilitates hiring process management by collecting and sorting incoming resumes. It allows you to digitally screen the candidates while tracking their progress, saving time and money.

Enhances Efficiency With Applicant Tracking System (ATS)

Applicant Tracking Systems start working when a job opening is fed into the system. It then uses the vacancy information to create an ideal candidate persona and compares the resumes of each job seeker with it. After it sorts and ranks the job applicants, your hiring manager can easily review them and forward the best-qualified candidates. 

Here are some benefits of using an ATS –

  1. Seamless communication between hiring managers
  2. Quick applicant screening process
  3. Operational tasks elimination
  4. Higher net hiring score
  5. Enhanced candidate engagement 
  6. Improved application overview for the hiring manager to make decisions
  7. Ease of job posting to make job search easier for candidates
  8. Enhanced cost per hire and quality per hire

From resume parsing and candidate sourcing to real-time collaboration and automation, an ATS can do it all efficiently. Interested in getting an ATS for your business? Explore the best applicant-tracking system and select the one that aligns with your business needs!

2. Improves Productivity With Recruiting Software

Recruiting software is a system that furnishes applicant and job information databases to help organizations seamlessly hire the best fit. With this system, you can collect applicant information and filter out the suitable ones by matching candidates’ skills with the job requirements.

Improves Productivity With Recruiting Software

Here are some other capabilities of recruiting software –

  • Operational task automation–interview scheduling and moving through the hiring process
  • Candidate evaluation–built-in interview questions, assessments, and one-way video interviews
  • Detailed reports on the efficacy of the organization’s hiring process  
  • Smooth communication and collaboration among stakeholders

Want to invest in robust recruiting software soon? Discover the best recruiting software for your business!

With ATS and recruiting software, all your applicant data is organized in one place, leaving no room for mismanagement and improving the candidate experience. You can easily cater to candidates individually and track their progress seamlessly. Also, with organized data, you’ll take less time to hire, greatly improving the candidate experience.

Wrapping Up

Ensuring an ideal candidate experience can help you attract top talent, maintain a pipeline of potential candidates, and build great brand value. Avail of these benefits by measuring your candidate experience with KPIs and feedback surveys and improving your candidate experience following the ways mentioned above.

Lastly, turn to the best recruiting and applicant-tracking software to take your candidate experience to the next level. During all of this, keep this guide handy to avoid confusion and seamlessly improve your candidate experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

ATS software automates some job-hunting processes–self-service scheduling of interviews, auto-fill online applications, and consistent communication with recruiting teams. All of this saves candidates’ time and effort, enhancing their experience.

The candidate experience manager is entrusted with ensuring a consistently positive experience for the candidates during the hiring process–from job posting to offer acceptance, and beyond that.

A positive candidate experience helps you build a favorable brand image, eventually improving the quality of your recruitment process and helping you easily attract and convert top talent.

Technology facilitates the organization and better management of applicant data helping you monitor and analyze the recruitment process. This data analysis can help you spot inefficiencies and improve them immediately, enhancing the candidate experience.

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