Candidate Experience – Why It’s Important And 5 Ways You Can Improve It

By Mike Keating | Tech co-founder of

TLDR: Candidate success is extremely important because they are not only candidates but also potential customers.

You post a job ad selling your ‘amazing opportunity’. Get applications from over 100 people. Hire one. Say no to 99 (or worse, you don’t say anything and just ghost them…). The end result is one happy employee, and 99 jaded jobseekers running around the market sharing their poor experience. Not a good outcome for anyone.

The problem isn’t that clear cut either.

The ramifications of bad candidate experience (CX) can be devastating to a growing business.

In fact, last year Virgin Media realised their CX was so bad, that it was impacting their bottom line. They were losing out on $6 million in revenue from candidates that had suffered a poor CX and then boycotted the brand. Ouch!

Here are 5 things you can do to avoid a $6 million disaster:

1. Empathy.

Treat others the way you would like to be treated. This shouldn’t come as a huge revelation, yet it is often overlooked. Sh*t happens. Relationships breakdown. Cars breakdown. Kids breakdown. Interviews… breakdown. But that’s life.

Punishing people for things that are out of their control is a big no from us.

2. Communication.

Communication underpins everything. 120% of hiring processes fail because of a lack of communication. Look it up. Let candidates know how your process works and what they should expect. Tell them about your business and your mission. Communicate the job requirements clearly. Spend time answering questions. Provide detailed feedback in a timely manner. If there’s a holdup… let them know. Use your words people!

3. Authenticity.

AI, chatbots and all these other fancy HRTech products make it easy for us to forget that hiring is about humans. In some cases, you will spend more time with this person than your family and friends! As such, it is super important to be authentic.

You want to get to know the truest version of the candidate, so you need to present the truest version of yourself. As your mum always said to you, “just be yourself!” #ThanksMum.

4. Structure.

Ambiguity sucks. It’s important to define your processes otherwise you’ll waste your time + the candidates time… and let’s be honest, ain’t nobody got time for that! By running a structured process you can maintain momentum and charge towards the finish line. And be careful, if your process starts to meander you’ll lose traction or worse, the star candidate.

5. Have we mentioned communication?

We want to make sure this one sticks. Communication is the easiest way to drastically improve your CX. Nearly 65% of job seekers say they never or rarely receive notice of their application status. That is a big problem… and an even BIGGER opportunity. You can leap ahead of your competition by upping your communication. Good news, bad news, no news. Let them know what’s happening.

Get the leadership team together and agree to some service level agreements. Set quarterly checkups to ensure the processes that you have put in place are still working. Test and iterate.

Whatever you do, just remember, candidate experience isn’t something that you can just set and forget.

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