candidate experience

The candidate experience is the experience that a candidate gains during an application process. This begins with the job search and continues through the application process to the interviews and the onboarding phase. The term is derived from customer experience, which deals with customer satisfaction and retention. This way of thinking is applied to candidates in order to create a positive corporate image not only for customers but also for candidates.

What is the benefit of Candidate Experience Management?

The job market is changing, and companies often have to scramble to find applicants, especially for positions that are less in demand. Candidates have higher expectations of an employer and how the employer treats them. Candidate experience measures thus serve to positively influence applicants and build a relationship with them. From the very beginning, it is important to be memorable to applicants and leave them with a positive feeling. Negative experiences spread quickly through social media and can reflect poorly on your company as an employer. Plus, candidates take the experience with them into their new job with you.

How can Candidate Experience be measured?

Measuring candidate experience can be difficult. On the one hand, you can use the career site to measure how well it is visited, how long candidates spend on it on average, and where you lose the attention or interest of potential candidates. The best way to measure candidate experience, however, is to gather candidate feedback. This tells you how applicant-friendly your process is and which potential weaknesses you should still work on.

Tips for improving the candidate experience

These tips can help you optimize your candidate experience management. This way, you will leave a positive and lasting impression on your applicants.

Tip #1: Increase online presence

Gathering candidate experience doesn't start with the application process, it starts with how your company is perceived. Applicants put a lot of time and effort into their job search and research online in advance. In most cases, the first port of call is Google and social media or job platforms. You should therefore strengthen your online presence to make your company palatable to candidates. Always keep in mind which target group you reach with which channel. Make sure you offer clear and compelling content and enable potential applicants to contact your company.

Tip #2: Optimize career page

A very important touchpoint is your career page. This should be user-friendly, clear and easy to use in any case. Through pictures and testimonials, you leave a personal impression. In addition, the page should definitely be optimized for mobile devices, as more and more people are applying "on the go". The naming of contact persons makes it clear to applicants that they can contact you at any time if they have any queries.

Tip #3 Make job ads appealing

An exciting and stimulating job advertisement arouses a positive feeling in the candidate. The text should be of an appropriate length, include bullet points and describe the most important facts about your company. Mention the benefits of being hired at your company and include an authentic photo. You will get another plus point if you briefly explain the application process and each section. This way, the candidate knows what to expect.

Tip #4: User-friendly application process

Use a simple and straightforward process. Once you've established this, you should test it and have an outside person review it. Ideally, the candidate should always know what step they are in and when they can expect to hear from you. It's also essential that the application process itself automatically adapts to mobile devices.

Tip #5: Optimized communication channels

Communication plays a central role in a positive candidate experience. That's why you should always put yourself in the applicant's shoes. You can make a positive impression with a simple confirmation of receipt. This lets the candidate know that you have received his or her application. Notifications and information about the process and further steps are also positive. If candidates are given the opportunity to provide feedback on your application process, they can help shape it individually. As a company, the feedback received gives you the opportunity to optimize your application process. The rejection e-mail is an increasingly important message. Candidates expect to be informed about less pleasant news as well. However, you can even add something positive to this message by inviting candidates to become part of your talent pool. In this way, you do not rule out collaboration at a later date.

Tip #6: Evaluation of the application process

Use the analysis tools of job boards or networks on which you place ads. Data such as the bounce or exit rate will show you where you are losing your potential candidates, so you can actively work to improve the candidate experience at this point. In addition, as already mentioned, feedback from candidates can be a great help to you.

Example of the optimal candidate experience

Anna is not challenged enough in her current job and therefore wants to look for new opportunities. During her research, she comes across your company and wants to learn more about you. Anna wants to know what it's like to work for you and what other candidates and employees say about you as an employer. After your online presence has convinced her and she has learned important information about your website, she looks at the vacancies on your career page. Thanks to the clear layout and user-friendliness, she quickly finds an interesting position that also reveals information about the job and contact person and the application process. Since Anna is convinced of the benefits, she decides to apply.

She is surprised that the application process is also simple and structured on mobile. After Anna has sent the application, she receives an e-mail after a few minutes confirming that her documents have been received. The email also states that she will receive more detailed information about the process within the next week and who she can contact if anything is unclear. A few days later, Anna receives another e-mail. Her application was convincing and you would like to meet her. After an interview, it turns out that Anna unfortunately does not have the necessary qualifications you are looking for in this position. Therefore, you write her an e-mail a little later. You thank her for her time and explain why she is not suitable for this position. However, since you can imagine working with Anna in the future, you inform her that you would like to include her in your talent pool.

In the next step, ask Anna to tell you how she felt about the application process and whether she has any constructive criticism. This way you can identify possible weak points and Anna realizes that her opinion is important to you.


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