Candidate Experience: What you need to know

Understand how to create a successful candidate experience and why it’s important for your recruitment and hiring process!

Jaime Ramos
Updated on


Providing a positive candidate experience today is fundamental for a successful hiring process, regardless of company size, stage or industry.  In this article, we’ve put together everything you need to know on how to improve your candidate experience, plus unbeatable strategies for attracting the best candidates.

In this article you will see:

  • What is the candidate experience?
  • What is the importance of a candidate’s experience? 
  • 13 steps on how to improve your candidate’s experience 

Candidate Experience: Explained

Candidate Experience is defined as the experience applicants have throughout your selection process – from the moment they find your company online to the moment they’re either hired or disqualified.

The candidate experience you provide to applicants,  is just as important as the experience your business provides to their clients. Not only does it strengthen your employer brand, but also helps you attract more qualified candidates. We’ll learn more about this later in the blog.   

According to Exame magazine, around 70% of candidates consider the company’s brand and reputation as an important factor when applying to a position. In addition, 18% of candidates refuse an offer letter after having a bad experience during the recruitment process.

Candidate’s experience: Why it’s important 

If you believe that the candidate ‘s experience ends after your recruitment process, you’re mistaken! 

After a bad experience, applicants will not only talk about it with friends or on social networks, but will most likely never apply to your company again. The end results are pretty grim for your business: you potentially lose the chance to hire great talent and seriously damage your brand ‘s image at the same time. 

It’s also common practice for applicants to research a company or learn more about their recruitment process online and other social networks, before applying to a position.  In fact, research shows that around 76% of applicants do exactly that. So if your employer brand isn’t being promoted in a positive light online, this can seriously hurt your candidate attraction strategies. 

  If you want to find out what candidates are saying about your hiring process, search for your company’s hashtag on social media or find your company on Glassdoors. 

Here are some interestings stats on candidates: 

  • 87% of applicants have a preference for job descriptions that contain a lot of information about the position, its activities and the company in general.
  • 43% of candidates complain about the lack of feedback during the recruiting process.
  • 12% of candidates complain about lengthy online questions.
  • 35% of newly hired employees quit due to unaligned expectations about the job  

How to improve your candidate experience in 10 steps 

The candidate’s experience goes beyond the selection process – it defines the image that your company will have as well as the relationship with your external audience. It’s the first step to promote efficiency and good relationships with your employees in the future. 

Learn more on how to improve your candidate’s experience in these 10 steps: 

During the recruitment process:

The recruitment process is the first stage of your candidate’s experience. In this phase, the candidate will discover your company online, learn more about what your business does, and better understand the position’s activities and responsibilities. It’ll be the first interaction they have with your company!  

This is the moment to engage candidates and make them see your company as an attractive place to work! See our tips below to create a positive recruiting process experience: 

1.Invest in your careers page 

A careers page is the ultimate place to showcase your employer brand and will give your visitors the first impression on your company.  

A well designed careers page will often be responsible for inspiring applicants’ interest in applying to available jobs.  

Businesses  that invest in an attractive careers page have a 94% increase in their visitor to applicant conversion rate. 

Here are some careers page inspirations: 

Make sure to have in your careers page at least 4 important elements: 

  • Information on what your company does (but do not focus on this) 
  • Information about the workplace environment, teams, and overall company culture (add tremendous focus here!) 
  • All open jobs with a search bar preferably for positive user experience 
  • Benefits included and offered 

2.Optimize your job postings 

You won’t be remembered if you’re not seen! By partnering with your marketing team and allocating a marketing budget for your job positings, invest in advertising channels that drive your ad’s reach.

SEO strategies, sharing jobs on social media, ads on job portals and more. This will give you a broader audience reach and with ads, you can also focus on targeting specific candidate profiles. 

 Plooral has two Recruitment Marketing services – Job Ads Marketing (Paid Media, PPC) and Linkedin’s Premium Job Marketing. If you’re  interested, let us know! 

3.Job Description

 One of the main complaints candidates give today is the lack of clarity and consistency across job descriptions. Your job description should accurately reflect the position’s expected activities and responsibilities to paint a realistic picture to candidates.  

Add these essential elements to your job description: 

  • Small excerpt about the position 
  • Daily job activities 
  • Necessary candidate requirements and additional wants 
  • Benefits offered 
  • Additional information about the position such as salary, location etc. 
  • Why it’s great to work for your company 

During the selection process:

Your selection process must be strategic and carefully constructed so that you can provide the best experience for your candidates and internal team.

During the selection process it’s extremely important to invest in communication strategies with your applicants and to provide timely feedback.  

Here are some tips on how to optimize your selection process for better candidate experience: 

4.Invest in technology: 

Without the right tools your hiring process can take months to complete and can directly impact your selection strategies. Investing in an Applicant Tracking System for your recruitment processes, will not only make life your life easier but will most definitely  improve your candidate’s experience by making your hiring process more efficient and personalized. 

Plooral has an end to end applicant tracking platform that allows you to be more productive and your hiring process more humanized!  Our features allows businesses to completely customize their selection processes according to company needs and demands. 

5.Create a candidate profile 

Understanding what type of professional you need  is the first step in creating a positive candidate journey. Collaborate with hiring managers to design your candidate profile and focus on ways to explore these traits and requirements throughout your application process. The more assurance you can provide to candidates around what you’re looking for, the better for their experience. 

6.Offer a customized selection process

Develop a selection process that will reflect and help find the professional you want. Include personalized questions, assessment tests, and depending on the specific position you can even request pre-interview videos as a means to qualify your applicants. Most candidates enjoy providing extra information about themselecsand showcase their knowledge beyond the resume.   

7.Create a humanized communication strategy  

Maintaining clear and direct communication with applicants throughout your application process is the most important contributor for a positive candidate experience. If you can only choose one strategy to adopt out of all the ones presented in this blog, this would be the one to pick! 

 Preferably, invest in a tool that allows you to automate your communication strategy, giving you the opportunity to contact the candidate in every phase of your hiring process. 

8.Get your entire team involved

Involve hiring managers in your application process to meet candidates who are in the final stages. Invite them to participate in candidate interviews and ask them to give their feedback on applicants. This way, candidates can meet other teammembers and get a feel for who they might be working with. They may also feel more comfortable asking questions to potential co-workers that they might not have the courage to ask you. 

9.Invest in giving feedback

One of the biggest complaints that candidates have is the  lack of useful feedback they receive after an application process. Many companies fail to notify applicants that they’ve been disqualified or inform the reason behind their disqualification.

Applying for a job demands a good amount of time from candidates, recognizing this effort and giving participants constructive criticism will allow them to strengthen areas that need improvement and perhaps be more prepared for future opportunities.

10. Be open to receiving feedback

Encouraging new hires to give you feedback about your hiring process can help your company  develop a more positive experience for future candidates. Information you collect can help you understand what’s working well and what’s not, providing clear data for you to refine your strategies. 

Having one-on-one sessions and  using surveys during employee onboarding are some of the strategies that can benefit your organization.

Make the best out of your strategies! 

We hope these insights will help you create recruitment strategies that promote a better candidate experience for your applicants.   

Remember, you don’t have to implement everything at once! Positive change can start slowly. Embrace the strategies that make the most sense for your organization at the moment and start from there. 

Our team will be here to help you along the way! Join Plooral