9 Tips for improving your candidate experience

21st February 2017 by microdec

It’s a candidate-driven market, so to be successful, you need to provide service that really differentiates you from the competition.

Understand their expectations

Be clear about your candidate’s experience, ambitions, salary expectations, the locations they will travel to and what level they are looking to work at. Being too far adrift on any of these points makes it feel like they aren’t valued and are being traded like a commodity.

Be relevant

Roles are becoming more specialist, so send your candidates only the most relevant opportunities and avoid spamming them with unsuitable roles or unrealistic locations. Use your recruitment software’s ‘skills coding’ functionality to enable powerful search criteria and refine your talent pool.

Be clear and informative

Provide a clear job description and share job-related content with the candidate.

Inform about the process

Try to provide the candidate with an understanding of the recruitment process. How many interviews do you expect them to attend? Is a presentation required? What kind of timescales is the employer working to?

Make application easy

Don’t make your candidates jump through hoops unnecessarily. A difficult application process is likely to put off as many good candidates as bad ones.

Invest in a website that’s optimised for mobile use to make it easy for busy candidates to review and apply while they’re browsing or on-the-go.

Share the culture

Cultural fit now plays a bigger part than ever, for both employers and candidates. Sharing the employers’ culture (perhaps even using their existing employees for this) will uncover the best fitting candidates and help seal the relationship between employer and candidate.

Stay in touch

Remain in contact throughout the process. It’s frustrating when you don’t know how you performed at interview or what’s happening with a role. Almost a quarter of candidates complain that they don’t get enough feedback; so this is an easy way to stand out from your competitors.

Keep it moving

The time between interview and decision is still perceived to be too long for many candidates. In 2016, the Recruitment & Employment Confederation’s ‘The Candidate Strikes Back’ research uncovered that 20% of people that withdrew from a recruitment process did so because it took so long.

Now, often this issue lays with the employer; and according to research by TotalJobs, 46% of employers said they’ve reduced the length of time it takes to recruit - but more can be done. It’s your job as the recruiter to point this out to your client and inform them that slow pace is potentially damaging their brand and their ability to recruit the best candidates in future.

Provide feedback

Be open with candidates about their ability. As an experienced recruiter, your candidates are looking for you for advice, career guidance and personal feedback. Providing even the smallest feedback to an unsuccessful candidate could help them adapt and go on to be successful in the next role you put them forward for.


At a basic level, candidates want to be made aware of relevant roles and kept informed throughout the process. If you’re not doing this, your competitors probably will be. Take a look at your processes – or better still, ask a candidate for feedback. Getting it right will increase your talent pool and improve your chances of success.

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