The candidate experience spans every aspect of a candidate’s interaction with your organization, from the initial job posting to their first day on the job. Every step of the way, you have an opportunity to make a positive impression and influence their perception of your company.

A lengthy job posting, complicated application or interview process, and a lack of follow-up from recruiters can all contribute to a negative candidate experience. Ultimately, this can impact retention and our overall reputation as a company. Therefore, it’s crucial that you strive to create a positive, streamlined, and respectful candidate experience that reflects your values and priorities.

A survey by Talent Board found that 72% of job seekers who had a negative experience shared it online, either on social media, employer review sites, or directly with colleagues and friends.

Another survey by Talent Board found that 82% of job seekers say that a positive candidate experience can change their mind about a role or company they had doubts about. Let’s address the top three complaints about the candidate experience, and the questions you need to ask to improve the candidate experience. 

Top 3 Complaints About the Candidate Experience

1. Lengthy and complicated application processes

Many job seekers find the application process to be unnecessarily long, complicated, and time-consuming. This can lead to frustration and abandonment of the application. According to a survey by Workable, 60% of job seekers have quit an application process because it took too long or was too complicated.

Graphic on streamline the application process

Questions to ask: 

  1. How long does it take to apply to one of your job openings?
  2. Is the process streamlined and user-friendly, allowing candidates to apply easily using their phone or other mobile device?
  3. Do you require a resume and the entering of all the candidate’s work history, which can be time-consuming and repetitive for the candidate? 

2. Lack of communication

Candidates often complain about not receiving updates on their application status or not hearing back from recruiters after an interview. This lack of communication can make candidates feel undervalued and disrespected. Ghosting is a common complaint among job seekers. It has become a well-known issue in the job market with candidates often complaining to friends or posting their disappointments on LinkedIn.

Circular graphic, communicate often

Questions to ask: 

  • Do you have a repeatable process for following up with candidates?
  • If your process is slow, do you give a “no update, update” to check in?
  • Are you communicating with all applicants even those who are not proceeding further? Don’t fall in line with the norm and be committed to follow-up.

3. Poor interview experiences

Candidates may feel like the interview process is lengthy and complicated. This can lead to a negative perception of the company and can cause the candidate to lose interest in the position. It may also leave the impression that your company is disorganized.

a row of people sitting in chairs waiting for a job interview
Keep the interview process efficient

Questions to ask: 

  • How many interviews is the candidate being invited to?
  • How many people are involved in the interview process? Remember that candidates are often taking time off work to interview with you. It can be inconvenient for them to meet multiple times. If you can reduce both the number of interviews and the people involved, this can result in a better interview experience.  

Improving the candidate experience is critical for attracting top talent, increasing retention, and maintaining a positive reputation as an employer. By addressing the top complaints and questions related to candidate experience you reduce the burden on job seekers and create a positive experience.

With a focus on creating a positive and efficient candidate experience, organizations can differentiate themselves from competitors and build a reputation as an employer of choice.

If you need help creating a stronger candidate experience or you would like to partner with a recruiting team who values your organization, your candidates, and your brand, let us know.