Candidate Experience
By: ClearCompany
Updated: August 2019

84% of working professionals have had a bad candidate experience during a job search and are likely to share that experience with others. A negative experience creates a bad reputation for your organization, which can hurt your hiring efforts and company culture. Ensuring you have a positive candidate experience will help you recruit higher-quality applicants and will help reduce the amount of turnover your company faces. With proper focus and effort, you can transform your employee experience, all the way from the first form of communication as a candidate to an employee’s exit interview.

Enhance Your Candidate Experience - Set Up Your Free Consultation Today.

What is Candidate Experience and Why is it Important? 

Candidate experience is how job seekers perceive and react to employers’ sourcing, recruiting, interviewing, hiring, and onboarding processes. Starting long before the interview, candidates begin to form their opinion about employment with you. Will their experience with your organization have them excited over a job offer, or will it leave them longing for a different position? 

The candidate experience is of utmost importance to both the candidate and the company, and for a good reason. Candidates see their overall experience as a glimpse into working for the company, which is a contributing reason as to why companies are investing more time and resources into this experience.

With access to millions of people around the globe via social media and the internet, a negative review of your candidate experience could tarnish a potential candidates interest. Review sites have dramatically expanded the reach of candidate experiences, allowing job seekers to share their experience more quickly than ever before. What happens if you have a positive experience? There’s potential for more referrals, more applicants, cutting costs, and increasing revenue

In a candidate-driven market, people have more choices when it comes to choosing employers. Meaning, it’s essential for companies to manifest what their organization values through its company culture, and employees, while also establishing a competitive advantage. From the time an applicant applies, is out of the job, or accepts it, the candidate experience should always be the top priority.

How to Create a Positive Candidate Experience in the Hiring and Onboarding Process 

New call-to-action

When it comes to providing a positive candidate experience, organizations should gain the trust and loyalty of applicants who may become ambassadors for your organization and help strengthen your employer brand. With a strong employer brand, organizations can distinguish themselves as a job seekers’ employer of choice in their industry. 

Onboarding can be a daunting task, and if done ineffectively can make a candidate reconsider if this is a good fit for them. That’s why it’s crucial to have a seamless system in place before they get there, so they feel comfortable right away. A great way to ease this transition is to involve the new hire’s team and manager, which eases any concerns they have early on. A unique aspect of this process organizations are starting to implement is assigning a mentor or new hire peer to serve as an in-office resource for simple logistical questions. 

How do you avoid new hire turnover? The smoothest way is to improve your onboarding, and to include a culture-focused process, which is the perfect time to incorporate stories about the organization’s history, values, and people. Furthermore, with the lack of opportunity being a top reason for why people leave their jobs, ensure your new hires have a clear idea of the growth opportunities available within the organization from day one. Remember that each onboarding process should be different, not one size fits all. While an onboarding pilot program is a great outline, it’s important to fill gaps to help narrow specific roles so the organization can become more successful as a whole. 


How to Sustain a Positive Candidate Experience When Turning Potential Hires Down 

Did you know that 80% of employee turnover is due to poor hiring decisions? Proper planning, asking the right questions, thoroughly evaluating candidates, and setting appropriate expectations about the role all contribute to the data upon which you will make your decisions. If a candidate is not the right fit now, that doesn’t mean they won’t be in the future, so it’s imperative to create a positive and welcoming process, regardless. 

How do you improve this experience? We’ve created a specialized software toolkit to automate, streamline, and strengthen your interview process from beginning to end, for your candidates, recruiting, and hiring teams. Here are some key features:

Interview Schedules

Multi-interviewer scheduling automatically navigates team availability and incorporates interview format flexibility to solve the puzzle for you. Gone are the days of back-and-forth emails trying to nail down a time that works for everyone involved. This scheduling tool will manage interviewer schedules and candidate invitations, build complete schedules, send time slots to candidates, and send updates and reminders to keep interviewers and candidates up to speed.

Interview Guides

These guides provide structure and focus around the conversations you have with your candidates, ensuring both parties get the most out of the interview. We generated these using our industry-leading content and information about clients' top performers, business goals, and culture. 

Automated, Mobile-Friendly Delivery

It’s the dawn of a new era. Mobile-friendly schedules and interview materials are sent to both candidates and your hiring team to ensure everyone is prepared for the interview. Everything you need is at your fingertips, ready to go. 

Candidate Scorecards

Interview scorecards provide consistent evaluation criteria specifically structured for the role. Be confident you’re evaluating candidates against proven measures of success for your company. Defining scorecard criteria upfront also allows you to qualitatively and objectively measure candidates against one another to ensure your assessments are fair and unbiased. Results are also easily shareable and notes can be added from your team to share insights and collaborate so that when it comes to selection, it’s easier for the hiring manager. 


How to Measure Candidate Experience Effectively?

Improve your candidate experience through an extensive audit process. In order to improve the process, we must first measure where we currently stand. How do you measure experience? Formulas, collecting feedback data, and ongoing maintenance will do the trick. 

The Formula

Measuring candidate experience can be done by using the Net Promoter Score (NPS) formula created by Fred Reichheld, Bain & Company and Satmetrix, as a measure for customer satisfaction. 

Net promoter scores can range anywhere from -100 (nobody would refer this business) to 100 (everyone would refer to this business). Any scores above 0 are considered “Good”, and any scores above 50 are considered “Excellent.”

To start the NPS analysis, collect feedback from newly hired employees who have made it through the entire hiring process. Collect responses that are both very positive and very negative. Subtract the percent that is negative from the percent that is most positive.

Collect and Monitor

There are a few options when it comes to finding the best way to collect candidate feedback; chatbots and detailed surveys. Ultimately, how you collect data is up to your company’s style/brand. Both choices are pretty automated, but can offer customization to help fit your desired approach.

  • Chatbots offer you detailed insight into whether or not your hiring process is creating candidate fatigue.


Surveys will give you more of a detailed rundown from willing candidates, so long as you don’t make the surveys too exhausting to complete. The content you include in your surveys can be dependent on a few things: 

  • Your perceived weak spots/areas you’re looking to improve.
  • Areas candidates have commented on most. 
  • Holes/gaps you found while auditing that you’ve been trying to or have plans to improve.

Ongoing Maintenance

You have your experience feedback formula, monitoring tools, and internal audit notes complete, now you’re ready to build your custom maintenance plan. What you choose to do is ultimately up to you, but here are a few of our favorite best practice blog posts to ensure a knock-out candidate experience for optimal growth:

Finding a data collection process that fits your company’s needs best will take some trial and error. Conduct your internal hiring process audit first to get a feel for your strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for growth. Once you have some constructive internal feedback, determine the volume of feedback you require from candidates, how much work your online reviews and presence need, and what your budget is. All of this comes together to create your ongoing custom maintenance package.

A Guide to Placing Your Candidate Experience Front and Center



6 Best Practices of Candidate Experience

Here at ClearCompany, we have developed the 6 best practices for candidate experience. Implement these and you’ll have a more refined, in-tune process for creating the best possible experience for your candidates. 


Create a Seamless and Integrated Process

  • A good candidate experience is a brilliant recruiting and branding tactic for your organization. To turn your HR department into a powerhouse, fixing, developing, and implementing a strategic process to create the best experience is going to put you ahead of the competition.

Define the Role

  • Before hiring teams begin to look at prospective hires, define the role. Take time to think about the different skills that your organization needs - keeping in mind that this frequently evolves. These shortlists of necessary requirements, overall responsibilities, and daily duties play a large part in their first impression of the company.
  • For some useful tips to creating job descriptions that will engage candidates, download our Guide to Placing Your Candidate Experience Front and Center.

Make a Good First Impression

  • When the job market is competitive, as it is now, candidates start making judgments about prospective employers from the moment they visit your career site. Candidates expect to have a positive interview experience that’s insightful, simple, and organized -- this is a two-way evaluation. So how do you create a candidate-centric interview process that seamlessly incorporates your organizational needs? You implement interview software. With a thoughtful, well-prepared interview, you can move candidates through the funnel at a faster rate and help better identify the right person for the job. 

Respond to Every Applicant

  • You may have selected the ideal candidate, but that doesn’t mean they’ve selected you. Job seekers want to be sure that they have found the right fit, with 51% of candidates continuing to look for other jobs after an offer has been extended and during the background check process. That’s why it’s imperative to reply to every applicant, even if you don’t think they would be the first choice right away. 

Create Unique Experiences

  • Businesses that offer short, mobile-friendly applications are sure to wow potential candidates, because 68% of individuals believe that the candidate experience reflects how a company treats its employees. So taking the time to improve these processes will give your company the advantage it needs to capture top talent. Candidates respect companies that respect their time and are in-tune with today’s technology, regardless of the device, the more repetitive, time-consuming the application, the more incompletions you are bound to receive. 

Provide Feedback

  • Today’s candidates want to talk and expect communication to be frequent and personalized. If you give canned responses, top candidates may turn elsewhere for employment. With 31% of candidates saying their top frustration is employers not acknowledging the receipt of an application, and 48% are employers not keeping them informed on their standing. Top talent may take poor quality communication as a negative sign for your company. 


Top Candidate Experience Statistics To Think About in 2019

Here are a few stats associated with Candidate Experience that we’ve found extremely useful.

  • 96% of respondents from Indeed Interactive responded that building relationships with candidates are vital (Source)
  • 78% of candidates note that the overall candidate experience they receive is an indicator of how a company values its people (Source)
  • 70% of employers have invested, or plan to invest, more resources to improving the candidate experience in the next year (Source)
  • Organizations that invest in a strong candidate experience improve their quality of hires by 70% (Source)
  • 78% of employers feel they do a good job setting expectations upfront and communicating throughout the process while only 47% of candidates say employers do a good job of setting expectations in terms of communication at the beginning of a potential hiring interaction (Source)
  • 46% of candidates would sever a business relationship due to poor candidate experience (Source)
  • A whopping 78% of candidates note that their experience as an applicant is an indicator of how much the company values its employees (Source)
  • 60% of workers report a negative experience during the hiring process can change their minds about a company that they previously liked (Source)
  • Over two-thirds of employees (72%) are likely to refer a friend if they have a positive onboarding experience (Source)
  • Of the candidates that have a less than positive experience during the hiring process, 72% will share their negative experience online (Source)
  • 82% of candidates expect potential employers to provide a clear timeline of the hiring process and to keep them updated throughout that process (Source)
  • While 72% of hiring managers say they provide clear job descriptions, only 36% of candidates say the same (Source)
  • 53% of job seekers want expectations clearly explained in the job description (Source)
  • When asked “what do you want to know most about your company?” 66% of candidates answer culture and values, 54% answer perks and benefits and 50% answer mission and vision (Source)
  • Did you know that 80% of employee turnover is due to poor hiring decisions? (Source)

Use ClearCompany for Improving Your Candidate Experience

At ClearCompany, your company’s mission and vision are a crucial element to our platform. Your candidates are out there and we’re here to help you find, attract, engage, and retain the best talent possible. With our ultimate Talent Management Solution, measure and improve your current process to create a positive candidate experience. So, what are you waiting for? Get started with us and sign up for your free demo today!

New call-to-action