How to create an excellent candidate experience culture

Why is a culture of excellent candidate experience important? This article explores how to adapt and build a culture that promotes this 21st Century necessity.

Candidate Experience
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13
 Min read
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August 26, 2021

Competition drives action. For businesses constantly locked in a battle for revenue, customer awareness and interest, the need to stand out from the crowd are their primary goal. The desire to be number one also extends to how businesses' recruit. And with increased competition for the brightest and best talent, the need to embrace methods that can ensure candidates wish to join your organization is of the utmost importance. 🥇

Therefore, there has been a shift in thinking towards creating a culture for businesses, emphasizing the need for excellent candidate experience. 🧠

So, this article will look at how your business can be the number one organization for providing a fantastic candidate experience, supported by a working culture that champions its importance. And help you become, in the eyes of excellent candidates, the only choice for them when it comes to searching for a new workplace.  😎

We will explore:

  • How the education of your teams and workforce on the importance of representing your organization and brand via excellent candidate communication can help enforce the culture you are setting out to build.
  • How analyzing your current recruitment process can help to identify areas where you can improve candidate interaction. And consequently your candidate's experience.
  • A specific, tailored recruitment tool can utilize technology to support your desire for an excellent candidate experience. Guiding you through the recruitment process and using the data to improve processes and see where your business can acquire marginal gains. In data, we trust!
  • Finally, the provision of feedback from candidates can also improve your candidate's experience and provide you with new tips to improve its culture.

First, however, why is candidate experience necessary for businesses? 🤔

And how can positive candidate experience impact a candidate's decision making?

Candidates are 38% more likely to accept a job offer if they found the candidate experience positive. 😮

Candidate experience is an effective way of attracting and retaining candidate interest who can bring value to a business. 

It can also:

  • Excellent candidate experience can help lift a businesses' reputation and employer branding.
  • Candidates can see and hear about how great your company treats their candidates. Thus, helping the recruitment pipeline continue to be stocked healthily with excellent candidates whenever you post about a job opening. 👩‍💼
  • Today, it is essential to customers what type of reputation a business has. Great examples of candidate experience can build and retain customer support. 
  • It can also remind your current workforce about how great your business is. Excellent candidate experience can improve engagement and retention among staff, meaning they are less likely to be looking elsewhere for new opportunities.

Your teams- the critical components in your new culture

Like any new approach, you need buy-in and willing actors who believe in what you are doing and its reasoning.

In the case of integrating a culture that promotes and delivers excellent candidate experience, you need your workforce, from C-Suite to your recruitment and HR departments, all singing from the same hymn sheet. 🎼

What can these individuals bring to a culture of excellent candidate experience?

These individuals are the ones responsible for your company's recruitment daily. They set the tone, engage with candidates and ultimately, are your representatives in the same way as your products and advertising. 

All aspects of a business can shape perception. For example, poor reviews of a company's product can dramatically affect the ability to sell domestically or internationally.

In our highly connected world, perception and opinion are easily transmittable and are viewable across the globe. 🗣

How can a candidate's opinions impact a company?

Therefore, just like your products, news of a candidate's poor treatment during the recruitment process can also jump around. Company review sites like Glassdoor or social media are sanctuaries for people's thoughts and delivering them to willing audiences. Unfortunately, negative reviews affect others' thought processes when they see a new job opportunity at a company, resulting in 60% of job seekers no longer being willing to buy certain companies' products because of poor candidate experience. 🙅

So, your teams need to know how to provide excellent candidate experience and why they are crucial in making this a reality. The overarching significance is not just for their daily working life but also the company's reputation and ability to grow. This awareness can boost the belief among employees of how they can contribute to improvements within the company that their work is appreciated and valued. And how they can help build a culture of openness and support that attracts candidates rather than scares them away. 🙃

What to do to get your workforce onboard

You can help your teams become aware of the importance of candidate experience and the creation of a culture that cherishes it through:

  • Specialist Training. Taking the time to teach your teams the right and wrong way of interacting with candidates. Knowing and understanding how they should interact with candidates helps teams perform their jobs at a higher standard. 
  • Providing your teams with the right tools to engage, communicate and make the candidates feel special and desired.
  • Emphasize the importance of good communication. Rome was not built in a day. Your teams will have questions regarding this new approach. Discuss them, answer any concerns. Your teams may have ideas themselves on how to improve your company's candidate experience and the recruitment process, so it is better suited for providing an excellent service. 

'Under the car bonnet', your recruitment process analyzed. 🚘

Alongside working with your employees, it can also help understand if the stages of your recruitment process align with your desire to improve the experience of candidates. 

It would help if you considered where you can engage or when are the right moments to interact with candidates. 


Communication is vital during the recruitment process. With 52% of candidates stating that they didn't receive any communication after applying for a role, a lack of attention can have negative consequences, especially on how your candidate perceives your company and whether they wish to work for a company that treats them. 

Disconnected, disinterested, hardly the culture and attitudes you want to be showcasing to prospective candidates. ⛔

How you could improve your recruitment process to enhance your candidate experience might include:

Before applications are sent

In that grey zone, candidates consider their options and weigh up the pros and cons of different jobs and companies. Then, offer them the means to discuss the role with a relevant employee. They can answer a candidate's questions on the role, their suitability, or any job specification details. 📝

This approach shows the candidates you are supportive and willing to help them in their decision making. In addition, 30% of candidates rank responsiveness as most important when it comes to candidate experience, giving them the answers they need!

In addition, it can help sell the company and role and bring to your attention the candidates who might have the right skills and temperament.

A guide to how everything will work 

When candidates have applied, provide them with a guide on the expected time frame of the recruitment process and the different stages they will face. Thus, preparing expectations from the outset and giving candidates a clear indication of what the process entails. And let the candidates know that you respect their time and patience.

Touchpoints!

"Hey, how are you? You are still in our minds…." ✍️

You are busy analyzing the CVs and applications, and the candidates are busy worrying that their application has fallen down the back of the desk or lost in the deep, dark web. Pacify candidates with quick reminders that the process is still ongoing; they are still under consideration and can expect news soon.

Furthermore, you can use these moments to engage candidates with further news and information on the company. Increase the candidate's knowledge of what you do and increase interest, emphasize why this is the workplace for them. 🤗

The end of the recruitment journey 🌇

The dust settled. The chosen candidate is being embedded into their team and getting to grips with their new job. Offer candidates a forum to chat about their recruitment experience. 

  • Was it conducted well? 
  • Did they feel appreciated, wanted, welcomed? 
  • What do they think needs to be improved?

Increased engagement and interaction can convince candidates to accept your job offers—communication and the desire to be connected break down the usual division between candidate and company. You welcome candidates, expose them to your workplace and methods, and highlight the great things they could be a part of.

It showcases to candidates the type of culture you want to be renowned for. Therefore, analyzing your recruitment process to find more ways to create a superior candidate experience is a good move for your business and the culture you wish to make.

The right tools for the job 🧰

Without the right tools at hand, it can be challenging to implement a new way of working and culture, especially when it comes to recruitment and candidate experience. With the growing importance of data and analytics to facilitate business processes and ensure higher rates of insight and improvement, you require something that can learn your recruitment process, chart your candidate's journey and take care of several recruiting tasks.

Sounds easy, right?

Therefore, the possession of a tailored recruitment management system can help to serve your recruitment process better and enable a positive candidate experience. For example, these tools could help in:

Automating the process 

This increases its speed, with less reliance on manual application processes. The candidate's information is easily formatted and presented to you. You can share information far quicker. A faster recruitment process can be advantageous for both you and candidates who do not have to wait long for news. 🎿

Building relationships with candidates

The use of a tool allows the recruiter or team to focus on the human elements of recruitment, such as building a good relationship with candidates and selecting the right person for the role.

When to engage with candidates

They are informing you when you need to engage with candidates. How to satisfy their expectations and where they want to receive their communication. 50% of job seekers declined an offer due to poor recruitment experience. If candidates receive consistent contact, they remain engaged. A tool can help to manage your correspondence best and ensure your response is prompt.

A data-driven approach

It can utilize data to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the process. The creation of surveys and use of Net Promoter Score (NPS) to judge your company's performance. This can help you to learn better how to cater to a candidate's needs. If the process works, or can stages be removed. 📈

The use of technology will benefit your teams. It will speed up the recruitment process and focus on creating better experiences for your candidates. It can bring synergy to your operation, everything under one roof, and plays a massive role in building a culture of excellent candidate experience.

Ask, absorb, action: Feedback is critical.

As a business, knowledge and insight help you to see the bigger picture. It shows you the reality of your world, how things work, why others do not. And in regards to your recruitment process, how candidates found their experience. 

The value of communication with candidates

A candidate's natural and unfiltered opinion of your recruitment process is the critical voice you can listen to regarding your recruitment process. This is because they experience the hiring process first hand, and they know what makes a great candidate experience. 👂

Therefore, opening yourself up more to listen to what candidates have to say can improve your candidate's experience and add to the culture you seek to build. Candidates want to know their voice is appreciated, and you can maximize their experience to understand better how you can bring about improvement. 🙋‍♀️

An increased volume of feedback provides the candidate's ideas and recommendations which you can take action on. You can learn better what it is candidates are looking for, the interaction they seek. Their experience gives real-life examples of issues and successes. You know exactly what works and what does not. 

This invaluable data is gold dust! 

It can help improve your culture of excellent candidate experience continually, so it is never just sitting still but constantly evolving to cater to the needs of changing demographics of candidates. Thus, creating a modern recruitment process continuously growing with the times, easily adapted and fluid.

Opening your ears to the candidate’s experience

Furthermore, the act of listening is an underrated part of ensuring an excellent candidate experience. And safeguarding your brand's reputation. In providing candidate's with a safe space to communicate their feelings to you, the advantages of such a move are: 

  1. It gives you insight into the process to take action and lead to improvements to your recruitment process.
  2. You are in control of the interaction, away from the fire and fury that sometimes negative experiences can generate in a public sphere, like social media. Thus, protecting your brand's reputation and supporting a candidate's desire to voice their opinion.

Creating a further stage in your recruitment process, a post-process debrief, increases your involvement with candidates. It shows your candidates, successful or not, are essential to you, that they have not been forgotten about because you now have what you need, and their experience matters. 

Their feedback can be pivotal in shaping your recruitment process. You can absorb their experiences, see what could work within your recruitment process and implement positive change to provide an experience that better suits the candidates. 😊

How to create a candidate experience culture at your business?

Excellent candidate experience is vital today for an organization's reputation, future and ability to access the right talent who can add value to your company. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance that companies need to provide candidates with an excellent experience seriously. They can do this by:

  • Education of teams on the importance and how to provide excellent candidate experience
  • Understanding how the recruitment process can be better suited to support candidates
  • The use of recruitment tools to adapt your recruitment process to the 21st century and support your desire for excellent candidate experience
  • Engaging with candidates post-process. It can help ensure good feelings towards your business and provide you with the insight to improve the culture around recruitment for the benefit of candidates.

Ultimately, it is good to remember that whatever the outcome, all candidates are important and their experiences. Ensuring candidates receive respect and warmth in their interactions with you will go a long way in creating a stellar candidate experience culture for your business.

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