What is Candidate Experience? Definition and staging

Have you ever been in a situation where people talk about Candidate Experience and you are like “what?”. If you want to start diving into this concept and get an idea of how important it can be for your business, keep reading!

Candidate Experience is becoming a very trendy term to define the candidate’s perception about a company’s sourcing, recruiting, hiring, interviewing and onboarding processes. Simply put, candidate experience is how candidates feel about your company once they experience your hiring process.

Why is it important for the company?

In the 80s or even before, a poor candidate experience wouldn’t have had an enormous impact. The candidate would probably share their opinion with their social circle and never apply to  the same company again. 

Since the Internet arrived, it has provided us with a stronger voice and both the benefits and difficulties become more obvious when it comes to hiring. Nowadays, that same job seeker would probably share their experience on social media, job sites like Glassdoor, forums and even in private communities (like meetups) where an opinion can become more powerful. Can you imagine the power that a poor candidate experience holds? Let’s imagine a company hires 1.000 applicants per year. This means that  if 100 applicants apply for one position, there will be about 99.000 rejected applicants per year. Assuming that the rejected candidate shares their experience with at least one more person, the total rejected candidate audience doubles, so 198.000. This will really depend on each company’s product or service but let’s say that the average spent per consumer reaches the 100€ per year. The company that provides a poor candidate experience might lose 1.98 million euros annually.

On the contrary, a good candidate experience can lead to multiple benefits. A happy candidate will probably keep on buying the company’s product or service, will bring applicants that could lead to hires and more referrals. Consequently your employer brand improves so you can recruit  the best talents. As you can imagine at this point in the article, a good candidate experience not only maintains a stable revenue, but could also make it grow! 

As a recruiter you will need to provide a good candidate experience along the whole hiring process: from the pre-application and application stages, to the interview, hire and rejection processes. Every detail the candidate experiences along the journey counts. Therefore the recruiter should take this as an opportunity to make a good impression and stand out among the competition

Do you want to put this into practice? Here you will find some basic starting points to improve your Candidate Experience:

First impressions matter: 

The job description is the most important content piece that a job seeker looks for when researching a job. It will determine the candidate’s interest in applying. Some of the best practices are:

  • Set up an easy format to read
  • Add a clear description of the role and responsibilities
  • Include the salary range, perks and company values.

Don’t waste their time: 

Job seekers invest part of their time and energy throughout a hiring process. Be transparent about the role, responsibilities and the process. Don’t forget to follow-up quickly. Remember that a quick update will show professionalism and good communication. This will help to keep them engaged for future opportunities!

Maintain candidate relationship:

As a recruiter your talent pool is a very useful tool. It becomes quite practical to resort to those candidates you already liked instead of starting the pre-application and application processes from scratch. However, it often happens that the recruiter either doesn’t have a long list that is useful enough or doesn’t find the time to keep it updated. Circular, being an invite-only hiring platform, grows a collaborative talent pool every day for recruiters who are looking for top candidates in Product, Technology and Marketing. This way, recruiters can take advantage of a more efficient hiring process and also improve their candidate experience by inviting candidates to Circular’s private hiring network. You can learn more about Circular here.