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Providing an Engaging Candidate Experience

Posted by Damon Ankers on 16-Oct-2018 09:24:00

happy interview

When it comes to candidate experience a large proportion of businesses reserve their 'experience' for those who've earned themselves an interview. But what about those who didn't make the cut? 

According to Workopolis only 2% of applicants get to interview stage. It's a candidate led market out there and to neglect unsuccessful candidates can have a detrimental affect on your brand. According to job board Monster, 33% of candidates who have a negative experience plan to share their experience on social media. 

On the contrary, those who have a great experience are likely to share their opinion with others via online review platforms such as Glassdoor. A report by CandE identified that those who have a great experience are likely to become brand advocates. 78% of those surveyed would refer a friend and 62% would also reapply for future company vacancies. 

Here are four ways to delight candidates and provide a great experience through every stage of the recruitment process. 


1. Keep it simple and provide guidance 

Avoid drop offs and capture more applications by having an easy to follow recruitment process. Candidates don't like complex or lengthy application process'. A survey conducted by PEAT found that 46% of respondents rated their last application experience as 'difficult' or 'impossible'.

Sometimes, due to a vacancies nature and/or industry your business operates in it's necessary to have a lengthy process with multiple stages. Having a means to support and guide applicants can improve response rates and satisfaction.

One simple way to support candidates is by adding in help icons alongside required information. When a candidate hovers over the help icon a pop up appears providing further information and/or an example answer. If you're unable to include help icons on your career page you could always display an email address or contact number on-screen. If you're looking to go the extra-mile you could even incorporate a recruitment chat bot. 

2. Ensure your mobile optimised 

Due to smartphones, candidates no longer require a PC or laptop to apply for vacancies. A 2017 report on global recruitment revealed that 45% of job seekers search for jobs daily on their mobile. In addition, 89% of job seekers believe that mobile plays a critical role in the job seeking process. By ensuring your career page is mobile responsive and your application process facilitates mobile applications you can avoid disgruntled candidates and increase application rates. 

3. The Power of Video 

When used correctly video can be an incredibly powerful tool. A story told by video is 60,000 times faster than by text according to research by 3M! When it comes to recruitment, Ongig found that candidates spent more time on a video job description (2 minutes, 54 seconds) compared to a written job description (55 seconds).

Using video on a career site is common, however some of our clients have seen notable success by including employee testimonials videos to engage with candidates throughout their recruitment workflow. Talented individuals aren't on the market for long and If you have a multi-step workflow / particularly long recruitment process in place you run the risk of missing out on great candidates. By distributing the right content at the right time you are able to cement yourself as a preferred employer of choice

4. Leave the Door Ajar 

When it comes to the final stage of interviewing it's inevitable that at least one candidate is going to end up disappointed. 

Providing unsuccessful candidates with feedback can go a long way to protecting your employer brand. Applicants value feedback, especially when moving forward and working out how to make themselves more attractive in the eyes of a recruiter. Research provided by IBM as part of their “Far-Reaching Impact of Candidate Experience Paper” revealed that 58% of candidates who endure a negative experience will refrain from applying again in the future.

Chances are you've already built a rapport with the candidate, so why throw that all away? Ask candidates if they'd be open to re-applying to future vacancies and keep their details on file. The best candidates are always looking to improve their skill set, they could develop into the perfect candidate for your future opening. 


Good candidate experience is not rocket-science. It is about making those few adjustments and considerations to ensure that your company gives candidates the best opportunity to shine as well as making sure that even if the application stage is the only part of your business they see, they will at least walk away with a positive impression. 

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Topics: career sites