Top tips from experts to improve Candidate Experience

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Providing better Candidate Experience is more of a practice rather than a strategy. Because it involves actions from your end to make your candidates feel that they are treated well. And it is the sum of perceptions that the candidates develop through various interactions with you and with your brand that makes them feel mattered. Be it receiving a call/email/automated message or face to face interaction. Would like to know the good practices on improving candidate experience?

Here are 5 Talent Acquisition/Recruiting experts sharing their top tips and tricks on improving Candidate Experience. Read on!

Stacy Donovan Zapar
Stacy Donovan Zapar– Most Connected Woman on LinkedIn
CEO & Founder, Tenfold Social Training

 I love to eliminate the Recruiting Black Hole by personally signing off all “non-interview” applicants before closing a filled req in our ATS. I send a bulk message through the ATS (being sure to populate their name into the message) thanking them for applying, letting them know that the position has been filled (through internal promotion, employee referral, etc.) but that I’d love to stay in touch down the road.

I include a link to my LinkedIn connection page and welcome them to reach out if they see any other positions of interest. I also offer to help them network with recruiters at other companies to help them find employment. I sign it with my real name and contact info. Candidates are so happy to hear something (anything!) back. It improves candidate experience, boosts my personal / employer brands and also allows me to really grow my network in that particular skillset and location for future reqs!

Lars SchmidtLars Schmidt

 Candidate Experience is really a difference maker (good or bad) for organizations. It’s important to set expectations and be as open and honest about your process as possible. When you add transparency to your process candidates will know what to expect, and it helps alleviate some of the usual anxiousness that comes with applying for jobs. An example of this would be the NPR Applicant Experience Pledge. This was developed to break down each step of the interview process, timeline, etc. so applicants knew what to expect. It also provided an opportunity to insert personality so it reinforced broader employer branding themes.


Shannon Smedstad
HR Social Media & Employment Brand Leader, GEICO

It’s my hope that recruiters don’t underestimate the importance of their role in ensuring a positive candidate experience.

As recruiting professionals, we know that things happen that are outside of our control: vacations, holidays, polar vortexes. These events can cause serious delays in the hiring process. Don’t make your candidates assume that “no news is good news.” Stay in touch and keep them apprised of the honest-to-goodness situation. A call at the beginning of the week and an email at the end, can be the difference between keeping your candidates engaged or losing them.

paulPaul DeBettignies
Principal, Minnesota Headhunter, LLC

I make sure on the initial call candidates know what the interview process is going to be from how many interviews, with who and for how long, if there is a code test (in person or take home) to how an offer extension will go if there is one.

Prior to each interview I give a small bio of each person they are going to speak with.
I.T. pros can be an awkward bunch and I have learned over my 15 years of recruiting that giving them a road map (interview process) and what the mile markers are (who they meet with) removes a lot of unknowns and allows for a mostly smooth trip.


NickyNicky Gibson
Talent Transformation, Process Re-engineering, Recruiting Excellence Leader
Yum! Brands (Pizza Hut, USA)

The candidate experience is the most important part of the recruiting process. It’s a recruiter’s way to be a culture champion and brand advocate. The sum of all a candidates experiences with any company is the company’s brand! Below are my top three tips for “nailing” the candidate experience.

Know your company culture – COLD – eat breath and sleep the culture. The candidate should hear it in your voice. Do not be a culture “chump”!

Know your candidate – develop a relationship with the candidate. Know what they are most interested in as they consider a new career, and tailor all your interactions around that one key item.

Roll out the red carpet – do not go for broke, but make sure that all your communications are impeccable, they are greeted at the entrance of your building and have a dedicated escort.

These may seem to be very elementary – but as a recruiter if you do this consistently every time – you win brand advocates that lead to referrals, reducing your time to fill and improving the quality of your hires.

 What are your tips to improve candidate experience? What do you think recruiters should do to provide better candidate experience? Share your comments!

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