Candidate Experience: 6 Things Candidates Expect from Employers


Nearly 4 in 5 candidates (78%) say the overall candidate experience they receive is an indicator of how a company values its people. What does your candidate experience say about you?

The experience a candidate has throughout your recruitment process has a big impact on their opinion of your business, their decision on your job offer and their performance within the role if they join you.

Delivering a poor candidate experience can result in:

  • High-calibre candidates turning down your job offers
  • Poor reviews online. 72% of candidates who have had a poor candidate experience have shared their negative experience online or with someone directly.
  • Damage to your business reputation via word of mouth
  • Increased difficulty in finding future candidates

So what do candidates expect from your recruitment process?

1. Speed

In most instances, when looking for new roles candidates are keen to get the ball rolling, move through the recruitment process and secure a job offer in a relatively short period of time (2 weeks is ideal).

While different recruitment processes vary in length, the main thing is to avoid unnecessary delays. Booking an interview for 3 weeks’ time or taking a week to decide whether to make a job offer could be costly. This is because delays can damage a candidate’s opinion of you, make them lose interest, or they could receive another offer in the meantime that leads them to withdrawing.

Setting your candidates’ expectations about timescales early will also help you to keep them on board. KPMG do an excellent job of this on their application process page. They clearly state how long each step of their process takes and reassure candidates that if they are successful at the final stage they will receive a job offer within two working days.

The quicker your recruitment process, the more likely you are to win the best candidates!

2. Regular updates

If your recruitment process is taking longer than you like, you should ensure that candidates are provided with regular updates. By managing your candidates’ expectations and giving them clear timescales about when you will be in touch, you will keep them interested and make them feel valued.

In a 2017 CareerBuilder survey, 81% of job seekers say employers continuously communicating status updates to them would greatly improve the overall experience. However, only 47% of candidates said employers do a good job of setting expectations in terms of communication at the beginning of a potential hiring interaction.

3. An informative career site

In order to get a clear picture of what it’s like to work for your company, curious candidates want to see an informative career site/page which includes information about your culture, opportunities for progression, your company values etc. 89% of candidates believe that an employer’s career site is important for getting key information. Many become frustrated if the employer career site is poor.

4. To be sold the opportunity

While in an interview situation the power seems to firmly lie with the employer, in today’s job market candidates have more power than you may think.

With low unemployment rates, skills shortages and plenty of job opportunities out there, candidates currently have plenty of choice when it comes to securing a new job. As a result, employers should bear in mind that they need to really sell their company and opportunity during interviews. You don’t want to find your perfect candidates, only for them to choose another company over yours.

5. Constructive feedback

When a candidate is unsuccessful in their application they want to know why. While you may not be able to reply to every single applicant with a reason, if any candidates do request feedback you should always try to give them something constructive.

If you don’t provide constructive feedback a candidate may be left feeling annoyed and frustrated. You won’t want them to head out and bad-mouth your company.

6. Respect

86% of job seekers believe employers should treat candidates with the same respect as current employees and who can blame them? Soon they may be an employee!

By following the previous five tips, you should demonstrate your respect for candidates and leave them with a positive impression of your company regardless of whether they got the job or not.


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