How bad candidate experiences cost candidates (and how to fix it!)

CORMAC RIDDELL • 16 May 2022

1 - High drop-off of candidates during the application process
2 - Not selling yourself to the candidate during the interview
3 - You're too slow in telling a candidate if they were successful

Getting the candidate experience correct is a key part in building a positive brand reputation and ensures you are hiring candidates who want to work with you from the moment they read the job advert.

What is a candidate experience?

"Candidate experience" is the term used to describe what a candidate goes through when they apply for a job with you. It may also be referred to as the candidate journey. This covers the job advert, working through the job application, interviewing for the role, being offered the role, and onboarding to your company.

If this term is new to you - we've got a simple guide to recruitment here!

Are you losing candidates during the application process?

The application process and advert should not just be seen as a hiring exercise. This is a chance to show potential candidates the values of your company and this begins at the very start with the job advert. Don’t just list a long set of requirements and wanted skills, include the values your company stands for and the benefits of working with your team.  

This helps give candidates a feeling of what working here could be like and will motivate them to apply or find out more about your organisation. 

When it comes to the application process itself, the best thing to do is put yourself into the candidate’s shoes. How long does it take to complete the application? If it’s too long, then you may have a high percentage of candidates drop off and not complete the application.

Potential ways to cut down an application process is to make sure you’re not asking for the same information twice anywhere or implement two stages to the application. This won’t only make life easier for the candidate, it will make it easier for your hiring managers to screen applicants and find the suitable candidate in a timely fashion.

You're not selling yourself during the interview

It's not just candidates who have to impress during the interview. For those stars that really shine, they'll likely have other interviews waiting in the wings! It's a candidate-driven market now, so you've got to sell yourself and your company too.

The interview process is the first chance candidates get to speak with their potential manager and see what the company is like behind the scenes. This means it’s crucial that you as an employer get this part right and leave a lasting impression on potential candidates.

A good interview process is one that has been structured well and avoids candidates having to repeat themselves. It is also important that you take care reading candidate applications or CVs beforehand and take an interest in a part that jumps out to you. This all helps to leave a good impression on candidates that they are being valued and not seen as another number in the hiring process. 

In 2015, LinkedIn released an Annual Trends Report and found the following: 

  • 83% of candidates said a negative interview experience can change their mind about a role or company they liked 
  • 87% of candidates say a positive interview experience can change their mind about a role or company they once doubted
  • 53% of candidates say the most important interview is with their prospective manager 
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Your communication is too slow

Communication is always important when it comes to a candidate’s experience of applying for a role. This can be as simple as an acknowledgement email after the application is submitted, it all goes a long way in leaving a good impression.  

Candidates want to be informed as quickly as possible when it comes to the progress of their application. This means that even providing a quick update will be beneficial for them. It’s important to be prompt when it comes to communication after an interview especially, if you know a candidate is not suitable for the role, contact them sooner rather than later.

It’s not pleasant for a candidate to go a long time with no contact and then just receive a rejection email. It could leave you with a bad reputation and this is important if any future roles are advertised not just for that candidate, but for anyone they may have shared their experience with.

Automate your candidate communication here

41% of applicants who have a negative experience will take their brand loyalty elsewhere and avoid buying that specific company’s products. Also, 34% of applicants would share their negative experience on social media. No one wants to go viral for the wrong reasons!

These three key aspects all need to be considered when you think about your company from the candidate perspective. Everyone is a winner if a good candidate experience is achieved. The candidates will be happy and want to work for your company, the hiring managers will be more engaged with the process as a whole and your company will ultimately save time and money. Two of the most important metrics when it comes to the hiring process. 

We all know how important good customer support is, the same must be said for the candidate’s experience when it comes to applying!

In summary

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