The Candidate Experience in 2018 – What’s Changing?

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The changing candidate experience

Candidate experience shares a room with employer branding. We like to refer to this as the BBQ talk…. How would someone who’s applied to work at your company, talk about this experience to others at a BBQ.

Understanding how your organisation is viewed both by clients and potential employees, and attempting to improve that image, is all part of employer branding.

Candidate experience is a part of this. Ensuring that your organisation cares for its applicants and employees, from the very start of their interaction with the business, is all a part of ensuring a high quality experience that will be spoken about highly whilst the snags are cooking.

A great employer brand depends on a strong candidate experience. When your candidates are having a bad time, they’ll share that with others. If you’re chasing top quality talent that has a voice among their peers, the last thing you need is them trashing your organisation’s reputation to others.


Five things that make for a BAD candidate experience.

Recent research has unveiled those factors that job seekers hate the most about poor candidate experiences. They are:

  1. No communication when the role has been filled.
    This is especially egregious when job ads continue to run even though the role is no longer available.
  2. No confirmation of application.
    All it takes is an email, even an automatically generated one, to let candidates know that their application has been received and is undergoing review.
  3. Poorly written job description.
    There’s nothing worse for a candidate then trying to customise a resume and write a cover letter based on minimal information. This issue is compounded when candidates get through to the interview stage and discover that the role is significantly different to the job description.
  4. A long application process.
    If you currently require your candidates to upload a resume, and then fill out pages of online forms with all of the information that is normally contained in a resume (such as work history), stop.
  5. Unclear instructions.
    Whether these relate to interviewing procedures or the application itself, it sets a bad tone when candidates need to struggle through poorly written instructions to even be considered for a role.


Five things that make for a GREAT candidate experience.

  1. Awesome communication.
    Let candidates know what’s going on at each stage of the hiring process.
  2. The human touch. Candidates, especially quality ones, appreciate human contact.
    If you value those candidates on your shortlist, reach out and let them know that you’ve received their application.
  3. Timelines.
    When candidates are engaged in a busy job search, it can absolutely be in your favour to let them know quickly whether they’re being considered for a role.
  4. Information about the hiring process.
    Let them know how long the role will be open for applications, when you’ll shortlist, and when they’ll interview. Giving candidates some expectations about the timeline of the hiring process can help alleviate a lot of concerns.
  5. Tell them if they’re unsuccessful.
    If you’ve shortlisted a number of candidates, definitely let them know if you’ve decided to go with someone else for the role.


Effective communication to the right candidates can greatly improve your organisation’s hiring processes and the experience that candidates receive. Want to work with the best recruiters in the business? Try TalentVine – we make outsourced hiring simple.

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