Good candidate experience is the secret to a happy hire

Pamela Weaver
Pamela Weaver

It takes a lot of skill and experience to hire the best candidates for your company. However, many recruiters and HR managers don’t provide a good candidate experience, which causes candidates to walk away. 

Here are some tips for providing a good candidate experience and making the hiring process a rewarding experience for everyone:

Be human

Technology has worked wonders for streamlining and sourcing candidates, if you’re a recruiter. Ask candidates and you’re likely to hear tales of robotic, transactional experiences, with little emotion or human connection. Automated ‘Do not reply’ acknowledgement mails are better than nothing, but as you move from first contact through the pipeline, personalise the experience for candidates. If you can’t demonstrate that you value them now, why should they move jobs to come and work for you?

Block the ‘Black Hole’

We’ve all experienced sending off CVs for roles we’re qualified for, only to hear nothing back. Worse still, you’ve asked a candidate to dedicate a few hours of their time to filling in your lengthy, customised application form. The least you can do is acknowledge receipt. If you don’t want to deter candidates from applying for more suitable, future roles or get a reputation for wasting people’s time, acknowledge applications and always follow up with unsuccessful candidates. Never forget that candidates talk about their experiences, just like customers do.

Create a timeline and stick to it

Move too fast and you could hire the wrong candidate; too slowly and you could lose a good one. Reviewing applications, interviewing and checking references is a time consuming process, so set yourself a timetable for every stage, including follow ups with candidates. This will help you to become more consistent in your processes and make better hires.


Multiple surveys have shown that while the interview process is getting longer, most employers don’t communicate with candidates about how long the process will take. By giving candidates a clear indication of timelines and what to expect, at the beginning of the process, you can manage expectations more effectively and provide a good candidate experience.

Don’t make people wait

The hiring process is an emotional, often stressful one for candidates. Making people wait for days or even weeks after the interview to extend an offer or rejection reflects badly on your company. Candidates are often interviewing with multiple companies, so dragging your feet can mean missing out on a good fit. And never string candidates along while you wait for your first choice to make a decision on your offer. Be honest or risk getting a reputation for time wasting.

Sometimes, it really is the little things that make a difference; whether that’s a follow up phone call or a personalised response to an application. Employers that understand how candidate experience can affect the company brand are more likely to attract the talent they want.

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