How to Improve Candidate Experience

Knowing how to improve candidate experience can prevent negative reviews, like the one this woman might leave as a result of being made to wait too long for her interview.

Posted on

February 22, 2023


The interactions companies have with applicants can significantly impact the way job seekers view them as potential employers. As well as affecting a candidate’s personal impression of a business, this can have a wider impact on an employer’s reputation. It is increasingly common for candidates to rate their experiences of a company during the application and interview process on sites such as Glassdoor—and these reviews can affect an employer’s brand. In turn, this can have consequences when it comes to the talent they can attract. Highlighting this point, research has found that 91% of job seekers visit at least one online or offline resource looking for information on an employer’s brand and reputation.

It’s therefore essential for any business to establish itself as a reputable place to work, whether this is in a competitive job market where professionals are faced with multiple job opportunities or when economic conditions are less favorable and there are fewer job roles available. You can simultaneously create bonds with applicants and stand out from other organizations by improving your candidate experience.

What Is Candidate Experience?

Candidate experience describes what it’s like to apply for a role in a particular company, from the initial application right through to either being declined or hired—and beyond. Every aspect of an applicant’s journey through your organization’s recruitment procedures is included in the experience, such as the job application process, interview, and communication with HR. Those who have positive candidate experiences are more likely to accept your job offers and recommend and support your brand whether or not you hire them.

How to Improve Candidate Experience in Recruitment

Communicate frequently with candidates

One source of frustration professionals may have during their job search is a lack of clear communication with you as the employer. Failing to follow up with a job seeker after any point in the recruitment process will lower a candidate’s engagement with your brand, which can cause them to lose interest in the position and see your organization in a negative light. Make sure to promptly reach out to applicants after major milestones in the hiring process, such as calling candidates after an interview to let them know what they need to do next or emailing them to let them know that the hiring team is still working on making a decision.

A blonde, female hiring manager wearing glasses speaks on the phone with a job candidate while taking notes.Be transparent with your processes

Not providing information to applicants will make it difficult for them to trust your organization. In contrast, being open about your processes can prevent misunderstandings and help job seekers feel more confident about the position they’re pursuing. This means sharing information such as who is involved with hiring decisions, when these decisions will be made, whether any further interviews will take place (and if so, how many), and when and how your company will follow up with applicants. You can also let people know if their interviews or other assessments will be done virtually or in person and list any health screenings or background checks that may be necessary as part of the hiring process.

Make job descriptions specific and concise

A confusing or inaccurate job description will negatively impact an applicant’s candidate experience and may attract the wrong job seekers to your company. The content of the description should include an accurate overview of the position’s duties to ensure candidates know exactly what they’re applying for. The physical requirements for a job, if any, can also be described to applicants in the job description, such as if the position requires heavy lifting or standing for long periods. You could mention employee benefits, including opportunities for career development too so that candidates have a clear idea of how they may be able to advance in the role. 

A blonde woman faces her monitor, which displays an online job application formMake the application process simple

An application that is difficult and frustrating to complete will dissuade candidates from seeking to work for your organization. Several factors can make a form unnecessarily complex, such as its length and lack of mobile accessibility. Avoid placing irrelevant questions on your forms to prevent job seekers from feeling as though their time is being wasted. It may help to walk through your application before opening it to external professionals to see how long it takes to complete. The easier your application is to finish, the better a job seeker’s candidate experience will be.

Keep declined candidates informed and engaged

It’s beneficial for employers to stay in touch with candidates who were not selected for a position. Unsuccessful job seekers should still be informed of the result rather than leaving them to wonder when they’ll hear back from your business. Offering declined applicants constructive feedback they can use for their future applications will elevate their candidate experience and show them your company cares about their success. As part of this, it can be useful to provide unsuccessful candidates with support to improve their chances of finding work, for example by offering guidance on applications and resumes. 

Remember that job seekers who missed out this time may be suitable for positions within your organization in the future, so it’s better to avoid burning bridges in favor of maintaining connections with professionals.


Businesses that provide positive candidate experiences for their applicants often stand out among other companies. Establishing a good reputation as an employer will help your company to attract the best talent.INTOO helps employers of all sizes with cost-effective solutions for every stage of the employee lifecycle, including candidate experience, career development, and outplacement services. Contact us to learn how we can make a difference for you and your employees.

INTOO Staff Writer

INTOO staff writers come from diverse backgrounds and have extensive experience writing about topics that matter to the HR and business communities, including outplacement, layoffs, career development, internal mobility, candidate experience, succession planning, talent acquisition, and more.

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