Recruiting, Talent

Improving Your Candidate Experience Should Be Top of Mind for All Recruiters

At the 2018 RecruitCon conference in Nashville, this past May, one of the most common themes that was presented was improving the candidate experience. New data, released by recruiting solutions provider Montage, show that this trend is currently top of mind for all recruiters and hiring managers.


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The survey findings have been outlined in the new report, Your 2018 Talent Acquisition Priorities: How Do You Benchmark Against Talent Acquisition Peers?, which found that candidate experience is the top priority for talent acquisition (TA) leaders. According to the report, TA leaders are also concerned with personalizing candidate interactions and handling larger candidate pools more effectively. However, strategic leaders are also moving forward with technologies to improve onboarding, fit assessment, and job performance prediction.
“The data from our survey affirmed what we’ve been hearing from our clients; improving the candidate experience, accelerating the hiring process and the data to make smarter hiring decisions are critical to success,” said Kurt Heikkinen, President and CEO of Montage.

Improving the Hiring Process

One way to improve the candidate experience is to improve the hiring process overall, and according to the report, TA leaders are considering improving every stage of the hiring process in the hopes that it will improve the candidate experience. However, when asked what they would change, the answers indicated that change wasn’t exactly what they were pushing for.
For example, when it comes to the job offer, TA leaders indicated that they had no plans to change this area and didn’t have any future plans to change this area. In fact, of all the areas respondents were asked about (e.g., sourcing, screening, scheduling, interviewing, candidate selection, offer, and onboarding), not a single one was on TA leaders’ lists to change in the future.
According to the report, these findings reveal that large-enterprise employers are taking an incremental approach to implementing technology in the recruiting and hiring processes, perhaps due to worries about too much disruption or indecision on where to focus improvement efforts for maximum value.

Defining a Good Experience

The report also uncovered what TA leaders think make for a good experience. Respondents provided the following insights:

  • Offering a positive first impression leads to a positive experience. Respondents say that when a candidate walks away from an interview wanting to work for your company, you’ve made a good impression on them.
  • Clear defining of the role and what it’s like to work for the company helps a candidate understand what he or she is getting into. When a candidate fully understands what the role entails, or has a clear picture of what it’s like to work for your company, you’ve made a good impression.
  • You should be building continuous engagement through seamless communication from the minute a candidate first hears from you to the minute an offer (or decline) is extended.

When candidates are met with a good experience, they feel:

  • Respected throughout the process
  • Given a real and fair chance to be hired
  • Welcomed
  • Confident their employer has their best interests at heart
  • Listened to

Barriers to a Positive Experience

If you’re wondering how to make your candidate experience top-notch, you must learn to overcome the following barriers. These barriers, cited by TA leaders, include a lack of financial resources, lack of staff, and lack of qualified/experienced staff. Other barriers include:

  • Workload/competing priorities
  • Lack of candidates/lack of skilled candidates
  • Ignoring candidates who are not top candidates when the process is delayed
  • Too many steps/managers, too many hands in the pot
  • Lack of automation
  • Lack of technology
  • Too much volume
  • Slow hiring process
  • Lack of communication
  • Politics/culture/lack of support within our organization

Overcoming these common barriers not only improves your candidate experience but also helps improve your bottom line. When candidates have a good experience with your company, they’re more inclined to tell their family and friends to do business with your company.
To learn more, or to view the full report, click here.