How to create an exceptional candidate experience?

With many companies struggling to attract the right talent, the candidate experience has been highlighted as a key differentiator. It is now more important than ever for a company to make a good impression on the candidate as it is for a candidate to impress the business.

With candidates using flourishing online communities and emerging models that encourage us to share our views on products and services, sharing recruitment experiences with a company on many outlets including Glassdoor, LinkedIn and other social media platforms are becoming a common occurrence. The majority of job seekers will research a company before applying for a position, a bad review from a previously disgruntled candidate will negatively affect the attraction rate in future job opportunities.


In the current job market there is an evident talent shortage and with 75% of the global workforce being passive candidates, according to a survey by LinkedIn, it is vital for businesses to think smart and entice professionals to complete an application.

One of the biggest factors reported to create a negative candidate experience at the attraction stage is a lengthy application process. This may even prevent a candidate from applying at all! Whilst well written assessments, from a business perspective, help to narrow down the applicants in quick and cost effective way, professionals particularly passive candidates will not fill out an overly-long application form or do an assessment to the best of their ability and the results may not reflect the candidates true potential or compatibility to the role.

Creating a good balance between useful questions that help to narrow the selection, and a short process that will really will provide a real insight to the person’s capabilities will create the optimum conditions for a good candidate experience. Don’t be afraid to ask candidates for feedback on their experience at this stage and regularly test how effective and up-to date the process is.


Communication is a key element to creating a positive candidate experience. If a constant line of communication is not managed between the candidate and company, it is easy for a candidate to feel demotivated or lose interest in the role. In a recent study by LinkedIn, 94% of professionals wanted to receive feedback from interviews, whether they were successful or not, however only 41% of professionals actually received feedback.

It is important to remember that even if a candidate is not successful for the role at this time, they could be ideal for another position down the line and a candidate is more likely to reapply to a company they have had a good experience with or even recommend a company to a friend that could potentially be a better fit.


Whilst it’s important to provide a positive outlook for the role, it can be just as important to highlight the negatives points as well. Being honest and concise can help a candidate to gain a good insight into the roles expectations and challenges and let them know what they are getting into.  Whilst this approach may frighten away some professionals, it will also highlight those motivated to take on the challenges of the position and make for a stronger hire.

Not providing a clear indication of the reality of the company’s culture and values, may lead to the candidate being disappointed with the reality of the role and lead to a high turnover.

If you are looking to hire, focusing on creating a good candidate experience could really boost the calibre of applicants. Using good attraction techniques, constant communication and providing a transparent service, ultimately the candidate experience could be likened to a customer experience. Sell the role to a candidate like you would sell a product to a customer and you will have talent in your pipeline in no time.

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