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Creating a Positive Candidate Experience

During this time of economic uncertainty, the employment market is competitive and challenging in many industries resulting in layoffs and fewer job opportunities. Despite current conditions, 78 percent of workers feel confident they could find other roles to apply for if they quit their current job.

In 2023, 88 percent of employees ages 18-24 plan to change jobs, while 64 percent of workers ages 45-54 want to make a switch. Why? 35 percent of workers are influenced by the rising cost of living and the need for financial security, and 33 percent seek better work-life balance.

What is candidate experience?

A critical component of the recruitment process, candidate experience refers to a job candidate’s interactions and perceptions of a company. It includes a candidate’s touchpoints with an organization, such as job postings, application processes, interviews, and communication with recruiters and hiring managers.

What is the cost of a negative experience?

A negative candidate experience can have high costs for a company, including:

  • Candidates not accepting a job offer increases the time and money spent recruiting new candidates.
  • Damage to the company’s employer brand, making it more challenging to attract top talent in the future. Related: What is Your Hiring Reputation?
  • Candidates sharing their negative experiences with friends and family (41 percent) and on social media (31 percent), potentially further damaging the company’s reputation. Negative online reviews discourage potential candidates from applying for positions with the company, and 7 percent of job candidates with a very poor experience will never interact with the employer again.

Talent Board created a Candidate Experience Resentment Calculator that your organization can use to determine your potential lost revenue.

How can an organization provide a positive experience?

The 2022 Talent Board Business Impact of Candidate Experience Report states that candidates withdrew from the recruiting process due to the following reasons:

  • It was taking too long
  • Their time was being disrespected
  • The posted job description differed from how it was presented during the interview

A positive candidate experience can lead to higher levels of engagement, more job applications, and a better chance of securing top talent. In fact, 80 percent of candidates share positive experiences with their significant others, close friends, colleagues, and peers, and 71 percent share them publicly online in social media posts and Glassdoor and Indeed reviews.

Here are areas to focus on to ensure you are providing a positive candidate experience.

  • Write effective job postings: A job posting is meant to sell a potential job applicant on your organization and all the benefits that make it a great place to work. When crafting a job posting for a specific role, the job description should be used as a point of reference but shouldn’t be included verbatim. Writing a great job posting involves turning a formal job description into a marketing tool that attracts the attention of qualified candidates. Related: How to Attract the Attention of Qualified Candidates-Job Posting Guide
  • Provide a simple and convenient application process: A lengthy or overly complex application process causes 60 percent of candidates to quit in the middle of applying for a job online. Remove unnecessary or repetitive steps from the process, and don’t make job applicants reenter their employment history after uploading their resume. Ensure your application process is mobile-friendly because 67 percent of job applications are completed on a mobile device.
  • Foster a responsive and professional hiring team: 58 percent of job seekers expect to hear back from companies about their initial application in one week or less. A lack of responsiveness or updates can lead to confusion and resentment. In fact, 52 percent of job seekers say that a lack of a response from employers is their biggest frustration. The use of technology, such as chatbots or other virtual assistants, can be an effective way to provide candidates with a more responsive and engaging experience. However, ensuring that the messaging conveyed through the technology platform is friendly, human, and personalized is essential. Related: Making Human Touch Part of the Candidate Experience in a High-Tech World

A positive candidate experience can set a company apart from its competitors and help attract and retain top talent. Candidates with a positive experience during recruitment are more likely to be excited about joining your company. They will also be more engaged in their work once they start. And 81 percent are likely to refer others to a company based on their experience.

This blog was written by Acara India’s Director and Country Manager Navin Gautham.