Improving your candidates’ application experience… What’s in it for you?

 In Recruitment

When recruiting for any role, it can be easy to assume that all candidates need you and your job. While that is partly true, you also need the best candidates out there to want your job. A simple tip for capturing and engaging the best talent out there is by providing a consistently excellent candidate experience.

Improving your candidate experience: What’s in it for the recruiter?

Put simply, your reputation is on the line. If a candidate has a terrible experience, they might avoid you next time a role is advertised. You could lose out on the best candidate because they got frustrated with a less than professional process.

Word of mouth can be both an incredibly valuable and a damaging thing, so make sure to use it to your best advantage. Candidates have options, so ensure you feature at the top of their list by making a strong first impression.

Reputation aside, improving your recruitment process has the potential to save you a significant amount of time – especially if you use an automated recruitment pipeline for screening and responding.

And even better, your candidate experience is probably easier than you think to improve.

Here are some quick tips for improving your candidate experience:

Stop wasting time

When setting up the application process for each job, you can save yourself and your candidates a significant amount of time by performing a detailed screening at the start of the process. Don’t wait for the face-to-face interviews to learn their answers on your deal-breakers.

We’re not meaning you should ask for 10 pages of questions to be filled out by each candidate, but it’s worth taking the time now to think about how you can filter your candidate list down most efficiently at the start. Think about your key questions and how you want them answered, so you can assess, sort and filter applications from the very beginning. Hopefully you’ll have recruitment software to help you with this, but either way, the answers will significantly speed up your initial screening.

For example, if you don’t advertise the salary or rates offered, but aren’t particularly flexible, then ask candidates what they are expecting, and let your system filter out all unsuitable applicants from there. Likewise, if you’re looking for a specific answer, for example as to why each person wants the role, your software can efficiently filter out all applicants who don’t fit.

You shouldn’t wait to receive these answers in the interview stage. It’s a waste of time for both you and unsuccessful candidates – and generates a huge amount of frustration for any jobseeker when they could have been told at the beginning.

Respond quickly to every candidate

Ensure each applicant knows where they are at each step of your process. Start by setting up automatic responses to acknowledge when each application has been received. Many businesses already do this, which is great, but many tend to fail on the next step – letting unsuccessful candidates know when their applications are not progressing.

Responding to every candidate can be made significantly easier with the use of an automated recruitment pipeline. Some systems allow you to automate responses as soon as you’ve marked a candidate as unsuccessful. Gone are the days of manually emailing long lists of candidates – let your software take care of that.

From a candidate’s point of view, getting a timely response, whether positive or negative, is appreciated. If they didn’t get the job, they can stop wondering if an application was received, or stop hoping that they’re still being considered in the first place. Trust us, they’ll think much more highly of your business, even if they didn’t receive the response they were looking for.

If you change only change one thing about your candidate application process, make responding to every single candidate the one.

Offer a helping hand

In addition to automated responses, consider offering help to your unsuccessful candidates who have spent their valuable time to apply. This doesn’t need to take long, but guiding them to make their next step can move your business significantly higher in their mental ranks, should they ever come across your business again.

Consider adding a couple of pointers on what applicants can do next in your automated response. This could involve guiding them to career consultants, providing information on necessary qualifications they may be lacking, or recommending links to learn about CV or cover letter writing. If you’re a consultant who coaches candidates through the process, then offer your services here for them to get in touch.

A better candidate experience pays off in the long run

Whether you’re a recruiter or a business that recruits often, providing a consistently good application experience for applicants pays off long term.

You’ll become front of mind for anyone who’s looking for recruitment help, or if you regularly hire for similar roles and want the people who just missed out to apply again in the future, providing a professional experience is key to making this happen.


Automating your recruitment process can save you a significant amount of time when implementing these tips. Learn about the benefits of automating your recruitment process here.

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