Expert Panel

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How Candidate Experience Can Attract Top Talent


It is getting harder to attract top talent. In fact, job placement company Manpower Group reports that 7 in 10 companies reported talent shortages in 2019, due to a high demand of skills, but not enough skilled workers. Naturally, competition for qualified candidates has become fierce, with recruiters now implementing multi-solution approaches to win over a dwindling few. Even that, however, doesn’t guarantee hiring success. All these make the candidate experience a big differentiator —one that will increase your chances of finding the kind of talent you are looking for.

What is Candidate Experience?

Job seekers today are more discerning. They want to be in a reputable company whose values are aligned with theirs, and with a company that has a reputation as a great employer. Consequently, candidates spend significant time researching extensively about the companies they can potentially join.

This is the reason the candidate experience is crucial, as it offers potential hires a first impression of your company’s culture and values. Candidate experience, as Comeet explains, concerns the way in which job seekers perceive their interactions with your company during the entire hiring process. That process begins from the first time they become aware of your organization to the actual application process (including the tests and interviews) and all the way to the onboarding of the hired employee.

Why Candidate Experience Matters

During the hiring process, applicants will be forming perceptions about your company. It is a perception they are likely to share amongst their peers, whether through word of mouth, on social media, or via platforms like Glassdoor. That perception — akin to a first impression — is powerful, as it can enhance your company’s reputation or sully it. It can also mean the difference between attracting qualified candidates, or getting shunned by them. That’s because top talent will gravitate more towards companies with positive candidate experiences.

Just as important, those with a positive candidate experience are likely to share a positive sentiment about your company in general, even if they don't end up working with you. In some cases, they will even recommend you to their peers and other professionals. This effectively makes them your ambassadors, albeit indirectly. The more this positive sentiment grows, the better your company’s reputation will be. As a result, your organization will be more enticing to top talent, who will, in turn, be more inclined to apply to be part of your company.

How to Improve Candidate Experience

To improve the candidate experience, Business 2 Community suggests treating applicants as customers. That means streamlining the process as best you can. Make it fast and straightforward, but also accommodating.

This can include shortening the application form, responding promptly to inquiries, and asking for the candidates' availability then scheduling interviews based on their response. Elicit their feedback, too. Then, make the hiring decision, and inform the candidate right away.

Lastly, as discussed in the ManagingAmericans article Invitation or Acquisition?, you might want to reframe the hiring process as an invitation to join your company rather than just a transaction to acquire talent. This paradigm will allow you to better appreciate the importance of human capital, and it will also encourage you to make the hiring process as inviting as possible.


When recruiting, how well does your company attract high quality candidates?