Candidate Experience

How to use candidate feedback to improve your candidate experience

For all businesses, big or small, the quest to improve is significant. 

How can a company bring about positive change to uplift their culture and working practices? 🤔

If they can do this correctly, it could propel them ahead of their competitors and broaden their potential customer base. 📈

This pursuit of improvement and development also extends to a company's candidate experience. 

Candidate experience is how individuals find the hiring process they undertook when applying for a new job. Whether they were successful in getting a new role or, unfortunately, were not.

By utilizing a candidate's feedback, a company can drastically improve its candidate experience. 😺

In this article, we explore how this is a fact. We will discuss:

  • Why candidate feedback is essential for your company.
  • What benefits can be gained by listening and acting on candidate feedback for your company and how it can benefit your:
    - Recruitment Process
    - Your employees
    - Your companies brand and reputation
  • How you can create an environment where candidate feedback is easy to acquire.
    - The changes you can make to your recruitment process.
    - How you can better engage with candidates.
    - And how vital your recruitment team is in channeling your candidate feedback to improve candidate experience.

The importance of candidate feedback

Information is everything. Especially if you are a business, knowledge helps us see the bigger picture; we can see why certain things work, why certain aspects do not. 

What is the reasoning behind why a company sells more of a product in certain regions than others? Or what do candidates think about the recruitment process?

This last one is key.

The candidate's opinion of the hiring process is the most critical voice you can listen to regarding the recruitment process. 🎤

🙋 Why? 

For a company hungry to improve and enhance their candidate's experience, a candidate's natural and unfiltered insight into your recruitment process provides the eyes into how it all works and what is excellent and needs to improve. 👍

Amongst HR staff worldwide, 83% of those asked believe that employee experience is either essential or critical to their organization's success. (Source)

🙋Okay, how?

The story of the hiring process

Picture this. 🖼️

You have a process that can, in some cases, take months to complete.

A recent Randstad study surveyed that a successful job hunt can last up to five months. (Source)

The hiring process starts with a post online or an advertisement on a careers page and finishes with a chosen candidate beginning to work at your company. In that time, the recruitment process encompasses an application, preliminary tasks, interviews, and a lot of waiting. ⌛

When you actively seek ways to improve the hiring process, fine-tune, streamline, and make it more personal and human, it makes sense to talk it over with the individuals living through the process.

Why is candidate feedback important to improve candidate experience?

Inside Information!

Candidates can show companies what works and what doesn't about their recruitment process. 💡

Candidates have experienced all the highs and lows that a successful or unsuccessful application can bring. Candidates have the inside track on the reality of your company's recruitment process.

So, seeking opinions and communicating with these candidates can highlight things that may be overlooked or work well in the hiring process. An increased volume of specific feedback provides actionable recommendations to improve your strategy continually. 🧐

Especially those who unfortunately got passed over for the role. Who tend to be more open and willing to express their views on the recruitment process.

Which will ultimately help improve your candidate experience.

Problem solved

What are the broader implications for a company that candidate feedback can provide?

It will improve the recruitment process.

The information acquired through the candidate's feedback is not just there to look pretty. 🗄️

The lessons learned, the candidate's input, and the data are vital to driving improvement across the recruitment process.

In learning what works and what doesn't, companies can bring about positive change and improve processes and tools that may have become outdated. 👴👵

I mean, there is nothing wrong with the old-school way of thinking and approach to business or recruitment. 

But in a globalized world where technological and cultural ideas are vastly different from ten or fifteen years ago, sometimes the embrace of the new can provide the cutting edge. 📡


So, actioning suggestions from the candidates' feedback can educate, inform and initiate positive change to the recruitment process and improve the candidate's experience.

🙋What about the employees responsible for the recruitment process every day? What can they get out of candidate feedback?

And at a personal level, candidate feedback can do wonders for the teams responsible for the hiring process. 

These individuals can better understand the candidates who they are dealing with regularly. They can:

  • Better understand the candidates. What they like and dislike.
  • Detect growing recruitment trends locally or globally and tailor the hiring process in line with this. 
  • Help those who get the job with onboarding and assimilating into the culture of the company. The feedback and interaction they have with the candidate can explain the personality and needs of the individual. Thus making the candidate's integration into their new working environment as seamless as possible.😇
  • Develop processes in which to communicate better with those who did not get the job. They can understand how to best interact with these individuals and what level or type of support they require. 
  • In doing so, your business is respectful of those who have spent time and effort applying for a role. Which showcases the personal and human nature of the company and safeguarding its reputation.

Through the awarding of time and opportunity for candidate feedback, this vital information can be acquired. And will ensure your business makes the correct decisions to improve the candidate's experience.

Always looking for ways to improve. 📈

Furthermore, candidate feedback can also improve your employee's performance.

Positive or negative feedback can be a massive source of motivation. Knowing you are on the right track in working with candidates or identifying how you can improve is excellent. And will help to contribute to the improvement of the candidate's experience in your businesses' recruitment process.

A world-class reputation built on excellent candidate experience 💪

Every interaction you have during your working hours and at the weekends in some cases is a valuable opportunity to show people what kind of a company you are. 🗣

So, how you treat candidates, listening to their opinions or suggestions, matters to your brand and recognition. 

Acting on the candidate's input and providing an open space for them to talk with you can improve your candidate's experience.

Which can often mean that even if a candidate were unsuccessful in their application, they might leave the recruitment process with a powerful impression of you as a company. 🤩

Paying attention to candidate feedback and its impact on the candidate's experience is crucial to businesses having the edge over their competitors. 

60% of candidates have had poor candidate experience, and 72% share their poor experience with friends and family. (Source)

This hammers home the point why candidate experience is so important.

Candidates talk, and this can influence future decisions about applying for positions at your company. You are losing potential talent to your competitors—awful news.

But what's worse? A negative experience would make 60% of candidates less likely to purchase that company's product or service in some instances.

60%! hitting you in your revenue streams. This negative impact needs to be corrected! (Source)

Be on the right side of the reputation game. 

There is no successful business around that does not value or treat the people they interact with, with respect. 👊

Over 70% of companies fail to provide a platform for candidates to give feedback. That's a big old space! (Source)

Listening, learning, and acting on candidate feedback will improve the candidate's experience and bring you great renown as a company. A positive reputation as a company and employer is a powerful tool for attracting the best talent worldwide.

Sounds pretty great, right? 🤩

How do I create an environment where candidate feedback is easy to acquire?🤔

An excellent question.

Analyze your recruitment process, know it inside out and back to front. Understand the journey candidates undertake, the different stages they pass through from beginning to end.

I bet you will begin to see opportunities where communication between yourselves and the candidate can occur and would fit perfectly. 💡

These moments might have been overlooked previously before candidate experience was so in vogue amongst businesses. But it is great to see companies now value the importance of the candidate's voice and the feedback they can provide.

Remember, you are in control of your hiring process.

That's the best part. No rules or laws are dictating to you when and where you should connect with candidates. 

So think about these points when seeking to create moments to acquire candidate feedback:

  • Look at your recruitment process infrastructure. How is it structured, how does it work?
  • Identify the crucial moments within your candidate's journey. When is it appropriate to engage with your candidates? 
  • Prepare questions, discussion points. Whatever you think is necessary to get the feedback you deem essential. 
  • Now it is time to integrate these touchpoints into the candidate's recruitment journey. During and after the hiring process is complete.

🙋What do I say, though? I've never met the candidates in person?

I know it can be not easy, especially when all the information you have on a candidate is their application in your emails. It's hardly the most personal of relationships.

But now is the time to make it personal. And by seeking and receiving candidate feedback will allow the hiring process to become more intimate and human. 

So, top tip time:

  • Please keep it simple. A friendly hello, personal touches.
  • Provide some information regarding the progress of the recruitment process, how it is going or if it is finished. Congratulations or commiserations dependent.
  • Ask questions to the candidate. How have they found the process, good or bad, what have they liked, or what changes would they make? Select the questions that will provide the best possible feedback.

This friendly tone lets you know you are interested in the well-being of the candidates and what they have to say.

Candidates want and deserve the personal touch. And feel connected with those around them. 👐

These companies will benefit from this reputation and will be rewarded with data and feedback to improve their candidate experience.

We are all part of one team

Ultimately, the success of using candidate feedback and improving the candidate's experience lies on your hiring team's shoulders. They will be in charge of acquiring, understanding, and implementing the suggestions and data received.

So, they need to be fully aware of the importance of candidate feedback. It can improve the recruitment process and is now part of the broader strategy of the business to enhance competitiveness and be the best company you can be.

Okay, I'm changing my whole recruitment process because of the candidate's needs; why again?🙋

A very fair question. Changing how you hire requires substantial effort. The work required is significant to adapt your recruitment process to engage and receive more data and feedback from the candidates.

In some instances, you will not receive the feedback you perhaps wanted to hear. Or candidates will ignore your attempts to engage with them.

That can be frustrating, especially considering the effort you have shown to improve their candidate experience.

But, in making these changes, integrating new attitudes towards the recruitment process, showing you value their input and ideas, you are treating the candidates with respect.

Candidates work hard to apply and spend hours, days, and even weeks trying to impress on you why they are the perfect candidate for the position and your company.😓

Candidates respond to emails swiftly, respect the deadlines given to them and even wear smart shoes to the interviews. 

With that in mind, open and friendly communication between you, the company, and the candidates is vital to building a positive relationship.

By asking for and using candidate feedback, it shows a company respects the candidates whether they are successful or not. It shows that you appreciate the candidate's time and effort and offer a caring attitude to candidates who are indeed real people and not just numbers and sentences on the screen.

By bearing these ideas in mind, alongside the benefits your business receives from increased candidate feedback, you can drastically improve your candidate's experience.

Respect the feedback ✅


Candidate feedback is vital to the improvement of candidate experience.

It can show candidates that their voice is appreciated and respected and offer them why they wanted to work for this company in the first place.

For businesses, it can also provide:

  • Data and feedback that provide ideas companies can improve in.
  • Help revolutionize the recruitment process, make it friendlier and more personal, and enhance the teams' performance responsible for recruitment.
  • And candidate feedback is inextricably linked to a business's reputation and appearance to the broader world, for good and for bad.

How you treat candidates, the acceptance and desire for feedback can improve the candidate's experience. 

To get started with the acquisition of candidate feedback and bringing considerable benefits to your business, you should:

  • Analyze your recruitment process. Think about the critical moments in the journey and where there is potential for engagement with the candidates. 
  • Highlight these moments within your hiring process, devise your strategy, questions, ways to compel your candidates to maximize interaction, and, therefore, delivering feedback from your candidates straight to your door. Execute your strategy and watch that lovely feedback pile up. 
  • Educate your hiring teams. It is crucial, your employees understand the importance of feedback, not just for their jobs but also for the reputation and gain of the business. Responsibility drives ownership which in turn compels better performance amongst employees.

By harnessing the power of candidate feedback, listening, and asking questions of those, you can improve a business holistically and create a stellar reputation amongst competitors and candidates alike.

Furthermore, suppose this has sparked an interest and a want to level up your hiring process. In that case, if you want to learn how to get the most out of your hiring process, there is no pressure, and you are more than welcome to contact us, and we can try and guide you towards a 21st Century Recruitment Process.

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