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Candidate experience: what, why, how?

Caro Am
3 min readOct 25, 2020

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Candidate experience is one of the hot topics nowadays and if we are building a recruitment process for actual people with a diversity and inclusion mindset this is a must-do.

Why should we do it? Because we are getting more and more Data-driven as we spoke the last time. In this case, we have to know what our candidates are experimenting and saying about your company during and after a recruitment process, therefore you can improve and attract even more candidates in the present and future.

How we do it? From a company point of view, you can implement different packages surveys that are already available in the market, where you have everything ready for this specific task (questions, data gathering, analysis, and insights) or you can create your own with google forms, or even use your ATS if they provide this function.

Either way, you have to think about what you want to ask (or what the recruitment team would like to know) but it has to be short but concise and with actionable information that you can quickly use later to reflect and activate change. Some topics you can cover:

  • Opinion about the application process
  • Process length
  • Validity and Feedback of each step
  • Opinions about Interviewers
  • Communication and Feedback management in general
  • General personal feeling during the process: respect/transparency/fairness

Another way, or one you can use together with active feedback, is to check channels where candidates are already going to leave feedback like Glassdoor / Reedit / Xing / Linkedin / Indeed. It’s very important that you read and process that feedback, if you can “own” the company profile of those sites would be very good to also engage with the people. You can even start to work with the reputation you have to improve it.

Once you have gathered all the data actively and passively, you have to go through it and implement actionable plans to improve within those points that a majority is saying they should like things differently. It’s not about blaming one person or a recruitment part, nor taking one feedback and building everything around that. You have to look for general tendencies, what are those comments that everyone recurrently are pointing out, and with that build a holistic plan to tackle it. Every step has an impact on the other so if you start to change something everything will change at the end.

In these social media days, it’s very important to be engaged and try to improve your process because happy candidates are not just the one you hired. Those rejected can have a good experience and still recommend your company or apply again in the future.

There are not infinite candidates out there, so we have to nurture everyone and treat them with respect for the time they have invested and given them the best experience they can have as job applicants or even sourced candidates. There are a lot of tools that we can use to help us automate and do our busy life easy to not be an excuse for not doing it.

Sadly I see all the time that sometimes a failure in hiring happens come from not listening to our candidates and not improving our processes.

If candidates have a bad experience with a company, they will probably not speak so well of that company (even they will go and do it publicly) and in tech where we know, those candidates are not so many, so its very important to leave our doors opens to increase those future recommendations and future applications.

What do you think about the candidate experience?

Are you doing it in your recruitment process?

If you are a candidate what is the most important thing you value when you are being interviewed?

Lets chat!

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Caro Am

I’m a data + people nerd. Studied Sociology and did a bunch of research. Im a Talent Connector, a Candidate Experience Advocate and a Data Driven TechRecruiter