Keys to the Candidate Experience

Candidates are the heart of any recruiters business. They are essential in everything that gets done in a placement process. However, many can end up in the hands of different recruiters if you are not careful!

The key here is something called: The Candidate Experience.

The Candidate Experience is critical to the success of recruiting, and if overlooked - it can turn off candidates from any opportunities you may have for them. In this digital world that has been created around us, there is little excuse to not do your part in keeping the candidate experience a great one for job seekers.

By keeping on top of your candidate process, along with landing these candidates in the first place - you can set them up for success - as well as yourself. Here are some ways to improve your Candidate Experience overall:


This is key in every aspect of recruitment. However, it becomes more personal when you are talking about somebody's likelihood of being hired for a new position. Think about it for a second: this job is going to change this person’s life, how they make their income, how they grow as a person, how they help your company, etc. So doing the bare minimum and keeping up communication with them throughout the hiring process should be considered a bare essential.

Some ways to go beyond this are with updates and feedback if there are stages that they are going through. These provide the candidate with some takeaways from their performance, as well as from the company or hiring manager. Just outlining these in an email can help tremendously reduce the anxieties around a candidate’s interview stages.

Whether or not you proceed with a candidate shouldn’t determine whether they get a reply. Each and every applicant should get some sort of closure and clarification on their hiring, thus making it a more satisfying experience regardless of what happens.

Some ways an ATS might be able to help you with this could be:

  • SMS messaging: Text messages have an open rate of nearly 100 percent, which is impressive considering that email only has an open rate of 20 percent, according to SMS marketing firm Txtsignal. For that reason, communicating important information with candidates—such as interview details and updates—through texts can not only keep candidates informed but help facilitate communication. In addition, candidates in general prefer to communicate through texting rather than email.
  • Personalize and automate emails: Making sure that candidates stay informed throughout the recruiting process is essential to a positive candidate experience. An easy way to achieve this is by scheduling automated, personalized emails to be sent out at predetermined intervals.
  • Calendar sync and meeting scheduler: Candidates often have busy schedules, so offering them a simple, hassle-free way to set up a meeting or interview can help eliminate all the back-and-forth often associated with scheduling.
  • Resume parsing: Completing a job application shouldn’t be a cumbersome and time-consuming process for a candidate. That is why, your ATS should be able to quickly parse a candidate’s resume to help expedite the process.

Provide Valuable Insights

As much as the interview is getting to know the applicant and their qualifications, it is important for them to know that they will enjoy their time working as well. Even if most jobs are virtual right now, there is still the possibility of meetings, standups, virtual hang-outs, etc.

Whether it's a testimonial, video or some other form, giving applicants that inside scoop on what your company is like is essential to demonstrating your company’s values and culture.

Be Fair

This sort of sounds elementary, but sometimes these basic principles are good to refresh. It starts oftentimes with the candidate’s experience and qualifications seeing if they are a good fit for the company's needs.

Especially when it comes to Diversity, Equity and inclusion - there are ways to reduce bias in a candidate experience right off the bat so there aren't any issues. Using an ATS or recruiting software can oftentimes help so you can solely see a candidate’s qualifications and nothing more.


A lot of companies have started to give applicants or candidates a taste of what their future job might be with assessments. These act as a preview for both them and their hiring manager. Giving a candidate a chance to demonstrate their knowledge and experience is a great way to let them lead the way and for you to give them feedback whenever possible.

With this can come the personalized feedback that is great to have on hand, no matter the hiring decision.


This goes deeper than simple communication. This is you getting to know the candidate, and treating them as if they were already a current employee. Being engaging and really understanding what makes the candidate tick, what their other interests might be, etc. allow you to not just engage as a hiring manager or recruiter -- but as a potential connection and friendly face.

Looking at this only from a recruiting perspective can limit the opportunities you may have in the future. There are lives that are impacted by placements and new positions, so taking the time to provide some quality conversation can be super impactful over the course of a candidate’s experience.