How Companies can Improve Candidate Experience

Improve candidate experience and attract top talent with our guide.

Safa Asad
Reviewed by:
Javeria Khan
March 14, 2024
0 min read time
Safa Asad

As the job market becomes increasingly competitive, providing a positive candidate experience has become more critical than ever. The candidate experience is the way a candidate feels about the company after interacting with the hiring process.

A positive candidate experience means the candidate appreciates how they were treated by the company and will even spread the word. A poor candidate experience, on the other hand, can result in negative reviews, and fewer candidate referrals, which negatively impacts the hiring process.

In this article, we will explore seven simple steps to improve the candidate experience from the application process, the interview and the follow-up.

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So let’s get started!

👤💜Understanding the Candidate Journey

The first step is to define the candidate's journey. The candidate journey is the sequence of interactions that a candidate has with an organization from the point of awareness to onboarding. It includes touch points such as job postings, application processes, interviews, and post-interview follow-up.

Identifying touchpoints in the candidate journey is critical to understanding the candidate experience. This includes comprehending the candidate's motives, aspirations, and expectations. Analyzing the candidate's experience entails assessing each touchpoint along the journey and identifying areas for improvement.

Did You Know? 

  • Airbnb is one company that does a fantastic job of defining the candidate journey. They have a rigorous hiring procedure in place, and candidates are kept informed at all stages.
  • HubSpot is a great example of a company that has identified the touchpoints in the candidate journey. They have created a comprehensive recruitment marketing strategy that includes social media, job postings, and employer branding.
  • Amazon is a great example of a corporation that analyzes candidate experience. They collect feedback from candidates after each interview and use that feedback to continuously enhance their hiring process.

Read more - Learn effective employee retention strategies!

🤝👥Creating a Candidate-Centric Hiring Process

Shifting from an employer-focused to a candidate-centric hiring process involves placing the candidate's demands at the center of the recruitment process. Making a good first impression has a big impact on the candidate experience. A clear and simple job posting that contains information about the company culture, job description, unique benefits, and incentives can further entice a potential candidate to apply.

Streamlining the application process by lowering the number of steps and eliminating unnecessary requirements can improve the candidate experience. Developing personalized connections with applicants by providing regular updates, being upfront about the process, and providing feedback to candidates can also have a major influence.

Did You Know?

  • Zappos is a great example of a company that has shifted its focus to the candidate. They offer candidates a unique and personalized hiring experience that includes a tour of the company's headquarters and a meet-and-greet with potential colleagues.
  •  LinkedIn is a great example of a corporation that makes a positive first impression. Their career site is visually beautiful, simple to use, and gives prospects a clear picture of the company's culture and principles.
  • Apple is a great example of a company that has streamlined its application process. They use a simple online application form that can be completed quickly and easily.
  • Google provides personalized communication to candidates. They send customized messages to candidates, including information about the interview process, and offer candidates the opportunity to speak with current employees.

Read more: Learn the best onboarding practices!

🙌🌞Communicating Effectively with Candidates

Regular updates during the recruitment process also improve the candidate experience. Transparency about the process, including time frame expectations and future steps, makes candidates feel more informed and at peace. Giving applicants feedback, whether favorable or negative, following interviews will help them realize what they did well and where they can improve.

Improving communication through technology can also improve the candidate experience. Tools such as chatbots and automated text messaging systems can help provide timely updates and reduce communication gaps. Ensuring that all communication is easily accessible and stored in a centralized location can help candidates feel organized and informed throughout the process.

Did You Know? 

  • Microsoft is an excellent example of a company that provides regular updates to candidates. They use an online portal where candidates can track the status of their application and receive automatic updates.
  • GE is transparent about their hiring process. They provide candidates with a clear timeline for the hiring process and offer frequent updates to keep candidates informed.
  •  Netflix provides feedback to candidates. They offer candidates feedback on their application and interview performance, which helps them to improve their skills and increase their chances of success in future interviews.
  • Unilever is a great example of a company that uses technology to improve communication with candidates. They use a chatbot to answer candidate questions and provide candidates with updates on the hiring process.

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✨💯Building a Positive Employer Brand

Defining an employer brand involves understanding the values, culture, and mission of the organization. Showcasing company culture through various mediums, such as social media, company blogs, and videos, helps candidates understand the organization's culture. Offering one-of-a-kind benefits and perks, such as flexible work hours, remote work alternatives, or comprehensive wellness programs, also give your company a competitive edge.

Encouraging employee advocacy by promoting a positive company culture can also impact the candidate experience. Employees who are happy and engaged in their roles are more likely to refer candidates who share their values and work ethic.

Did You Know?

  • Tesla is an excellent example of a company with a strong employer brand. They are known for their innovative culture and commitment to sustainability.
  • Patagonia is a great example of a company that showcases its culture. They use social media to highlight their commitment to sustainability and outdoor activities, which helps to attract candidates who share their values.
  • Airbnb offers unique benefits and perks. They offer employees a travel credit, which can be used to explore different parts of the world.
  • LinkedIn encourages employee advocacy. They offer employees the opportunity to participate in a "Brand Ambassador" program, which encourages them to share their experiences and promote the company's culture.

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📈📊Measuring Candidate Experience

Identifying metrics for measuring candidate experience helps organizations understand the effectiveness of their recruitment process. Metrics such as candidate satisfaction rates, time to hire, and offer acceptance rates help organizations evaluate the candidate experience.

Analyzing and evaluating data is crucial in making data-driven improvements. Tracking and evaluating feedback through surveys, interviews, and candidate experience data helps organizations identify areas for improvement and make informed decisions.

Did You Know?

  • Amazon is a great example of a company that measures candidate experience effectively. They use a Net Promoter Score (NPS) survey to gather feedback from candidates on their hiring process.
  • Google analyzes and evaluates data effectively. They use data analytics to evaluate their hiring process and identify areas where they can make improvements.
  • Hilton makes data-driven improvements. They implemented a chatbot to streamline the application process and provide candidates with a more personalized experience.

Suggested: Learn how to maintain employee engagement with remote teams!

🌈🌟Implementing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Ensuring diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) throughout the hiring process is essential in creating a positive candidate experience. Prioritizing inclusivity in the hiring process looks like removing bias from job advertisements and interview questions, assuring a diverse interview panel, and providing accommodations for disabled candidates.

Developing a diverse candidate pool can involve partnering with diverse organizations, attending job fairs that cater to underrepresented groups, and using targeted job postings to reach diverse audiences.

Implementing DEI practices can help organizations create a more inclusive and welcoming workplace for all employees, ultimately improving the candidate experience.

Also read: What is equity vs. equality?

Did You Know? 

  • Salesforce is a great example of a company that prioritizes DEI in candidate experience. They have a dedicated DEI team and have implemented numerous initiatives to improve diversity and inclusion in their hiring process.
  •  Target prioritizes developing a diverse candidate pool. They have partnered with organizations like the National Society of Black Engineers and the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities to attract diverse candidates.
  • Uber ensures inclusivity throughout the hiring process. They have developed a hiring process that is free from bias and have implemented training programs for hiring managers on unconscious bias.

Suggested: Learn how to screen a candidate!

📢Maintaining a Positive Candidate Experience

Maintaining a pleasant candidate experience requires keeping applicants engaged throughout the recruitment process. A smooth onboarding process may make new staff feel welcomed and valued. This includes things like employee handbooks, training programs, and mentoring opportunities.

Continuously refining the hiring process entails collecting input on a regular basis, finding areas for improvement, and implementing changes based on data-driven decisions. This entails remaining current on recruitment trends and best practices, as well as modifying the recruitment process accordingly.

Did You Know?

  • HubSpot is an excellent example of a company that keeps candidates engaged. They provide regular updates to candidates and involve them in the process by giving them the opportunity to speak with current employees.
  • Airbnb provides a seamless onboarding experience. They provide new hires with a personalized welcome kit, a mentorship program, and access to online training programs.
  • Zappos continuously improves their hiring process. They collect feedback from candidates and employees and use this feedback to make changes to their hiring process.

Suggested: Effectively learn how to master HR metrics!

In conclusion, creating a positive candidate experience is essential in attracting and retaining top talent. Understanding the candidate journey, creating a candidate-centric hiring process, communicating effectively with candidates, building a positive employer brand, measuring candidate experience, implementing DEI practices, and maintaining a positive candidate experience are all crucial steps in achieving this goal.

By prioritizing the candidate experience, organizations can attract a more diverse pool of talent, improve employer brand reputation, and ultimately make better hires. It is essential to continuously evaluate and improve the recruitment process to ensure that it remains effective and meets the needs of both candidates and organizations.


Q: What is candidate experience?

A: Candidate experience is the sum total of all interactions and touchpoints that a job seeker has with an organization during the recruitment process.

Q: Why is candidate experience important?

A: A positive candidate experience can lead to a stronger talent pool, increased employer brand reputation, and ultimately, better hires. Conversely, a poor candidate experience can lead to negative reviews, decreased candidate referrals, and ultimately, loss of business.

Q: How can companies measure candidate experience?

A: Metrics such as candidate satisfaction rates, time to hire, and offer acceptance rates can help organizations evaluate the candidate experience.

Q: What are the benefits of a positive candidate experience?

A: A positive candidate experience can lead to a stronger talent pool, increased employer brand reputation, and ultimately, better hires.

Q: How can companies improve communication with candidates?

A: Providing regular updates, being transparent about the process, providing feedback to candidates, and improving communication through technology are all ways that companies can improve communication with candidates.

Q: How can companies ensure inclusivity throughout the hiring process?

A: This can include removing bias from job postings and interview questions, ensuring a diverse interview panel, and offering accommodations for candidates with disabilities.

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