What is Candidate Experience? Definition and staging

Have you ever been in a situation where people are talking about “candidate experience” and you find yourself a little lost? If you want to start diving into this concept and get an idea of how important it can be for your business, read on!

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

Why is it important for a company?

In the ‘80s and decades prior, 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 for a position at the same company again. 

Since the advent of the Internet, it has provided us with a stronger voice, and both the benefits and difficulties of this 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 that 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 other person, the total rejected candidate experience audience doubles to 198,000 people. This will really vary depending on each company’s product or service, but let’s say that the average amount each consumer spends with the company is 100€ per year. Thus, the company that provides a poor candidate experience could then potentially lose 1.98 million euros annually.

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

As a recruiter, you will need to provide a good candidate experience throughout the entire hiring process: from the pre-application and application stages, to the interviewing, hiring, and rejection procedures. Every detail the candidate experiences along the way 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? Below, you will find some basic starting points to improve your candidate experience:

Tips to improve candidate experience

First impressions matter: 

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

  • Make it in an easy-to-read format.
  • 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 in 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 keep them engaged for future opportunities!

Maintain good candidate relationships:

As a recruiter, your talent pool is a very useful tool. It becomes quite practical to contact candidates you already liked instead of starting the pre-application and application processes from scratch. However, often, the recruiter either doesn’t have a list that is long or useful enough, or can’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 improve their candidate experience by inviting candidates to Circular’s private hiring network. You can learn more about Circular here.