Recruitment Tips:  How To Ensure a Positive Candidate Experience

During an in-house training sesh the team brainstormed some ideas around how to best give the candidates we represent a positive recruitment experience. While we don’t claim to be perfect but we hope to at least get 10% better in our service delivery.


Here’s some of the information we researched and brainstormed…

A survey revealed that 41% of candidates who’ve had a negative experience when applying for a job choose to not have a continued relationship with their recruiter.

Lets look at what a negative candidate experience is:

The negative emotion stems from how the candidate is rejected and how we, as Consultants, choose to handle the process…

The following may contribute to a negative candidate experience:

  • Unclear and undefined position.After having read through the ad and been to an interview it’s still not clear exactly what the job entails.
  • No, or slow, feedback on the application. The candidate will be unsure if the application was even received!
  • A lack of a designated contact person.The applicant calls to hear if their application was registered, but there is no one in charge of the project to give any straight answers.
  • No feedback after the interview.To go through to the interview stage signals to a candidate that they are in the running for the position. It can be disheartening to if there is no feedback or contact at all before the ultimate rejection. An email or a phone call with a simple thank you, but you’re not the one we’re looking for is just common curtesy and doesn’t take many minutes.

Now, let’s consider a positive candidate experience:

In order to create a positive candidate experience, start with yourself.

How would you feel in a situation where you don’t know if your application has been received?

Plug these holes by thinking through the underlying processes of recruitment, ensure confirmation of received application, and create the right expectations with the candidate.

Try applying for a position at your own company: what works, and what could become at least 10% better?

Candidate expectations

  • Consider the ad! What does the job title, company description and explanation of job assignments convey?
  • Create the right expectations early on in the process to minimize the risk of having candidates perceiving recruitment as confusing, being poorly managed or having been provided with the wrong information
  • Also, keep in mind that expectations about the role, requirements and also the potential workplace is created as soon as the candidate engages with you
  • Offer clarity and explain to candidates what they can expect from you
  • Give a peek into the company culture so candidates know what it’s like working for your client.

Well thought through processes.

  • A candidate’s experience has a lot to do with the structure of the recruitment process. If, for example, the internal communication isn’t working as it should, it will be noticeable. There is a high chance of ill-informed candidates disengaging when recruiters aren’t entirely sure about the recruitment, selection and interview process.

In order to ensure proper underlying processes.

  • Decide on the structure of your recruitment process before receiving applications:
    • What important deadlines are there?
    • What steps should there be in the recruitment process?
    • Which order should they be?
    • How many interviews will they go for?
    • Will it be 1-1 or a panel?
    • Does the role require passing a skills assessment?

Feedback and contact

  • Give feedback early and often! Let the candidate know if they haven’t made it through to the next round.
  • Most applicants would prefer a NO rather than hear nothing at all
  • Feedback and confirmation also entails how and when candidates are declined – the longer the wait the more negative the impact

We’re all learning… however let’s aim for excellence in our efforts as Recruiters!