The Power of a Positive Candidate Experience

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Before the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, we were beginning to see a paradigm shift in the recruitment process. Unemployment was at an all-time low and we were seeing a candidate-driven market. 

This caused employers to more closely look at the candidate experience. According to HR Technologist, the candidate experience can be defined as “the perception of a job seeker about an employer, based on the interaction during the complete recruitment process. This includes all points of contact during recruitment – job search, the application process, interview process, and onboarding.” 

As the world collectively deals with this health crisis, a continued focus on the candidate is crucial.

Why it’s important: 

  1. Securing top talent 

In a survey conducted by talent board, when looking into the business impact of candidate experience, 77% agreed that they would share a positive experience with their inner circle, and 61% agreed that they would share a negative experience with their inner circle. 

This rate has continued to increase year over year, with over 80% of candidates reporting they would share their interviewing experience, regardless of it being positive or negative. As word of mouth spreads for your company, having a poor candidate experience will limit your candidate pool and have significant consequences for your business. 

  1. Employer branding 

The willingness of candidates to share their experiences directly affects your companies’ brand. According to an IBM survey, about half of candidates (48%) had some relationship or interaction with the companies brand before applying. 

While most companies would likely have a smaller interaction percentage, it shows how far-reaching a companies’ brand impact can be, especially as they are scaling. A positive experience prior to the application was also tied to advocacy, job offer acceptance, and potential sales. 

Key measurements: 

  1. Applicant drop off 

There can be a variety of reasons a candidate exits the interview process before completion. They could have been farther along with another company, already accepted an offer, etc. If you are continuously having candidates leave in early stages, it can be an indicator that there are flaws in your hiring process. 

  1. Offer acceptance rate 

How many candidates accept offers from your company can tell you a lot about their experience. When on the search, candidates are looking for opportunities that thoroughly fill their needs, whether it’s compensation, work-life balance, leadership, etc. 

A high acceptance rate shows that you are acknowledging their needs, and giving a positive impression to most of your candidates throughout the different stages. 

  1. Candidate satisfaction 

One of the easiest ways to gauge experience is to just ask! It can be as simple as a follow-up survey asking them to rate their experience and ask why they did or did not continue through the interview process. 

This follow-up with applicants helps to understand why they’re leaving early, so you can make adjustments where needed. It also shows you value their insight, and can turn a negative, or just okay, experience into a positive one.


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