A Guide to Creating a Great Candidate Experience

From the first point of contact a candidate has with your company to when they find out whether they receive an offer, candidates are looking for signals to find out what it’s like to work at your organization. Did the recruiter inform them who they would be interviewed by? Were they given enough opportunities during interviews to showcase their skills? Did they receive a follow-up in a timely manner? 

If you answered yes to these questions, then you’re already on track to providing a great candidate experience. But do you have practices in place to ensure this is done consistently across your organization? Doing so requires intention and thought. It is also essential in today’s talent-driven market. Whether or not you’re doing this, you can guarantee your competitors are. And, after all, you can’t close an above-average candidate with a below-average experience.

So, what are some actions you can take to create an exceptional candidate-centric experience?

Consider them seriously

Make sure your candidates get enough face time with interviewers so they feel like they’ve had a real opportunity to showcase their skills. It’s also important that you ask them questions that are closely related to the job - this signals your interest in determining how they would perform if they were hired. Often, candidates finish an entire interview process feeling like they still have more valuable information to share. 

Another way to show that you’re considering them seriously is to hold real-time interviews. Despite a push towards asynchronous interviewing, research shows candidates don’t view this favorably. A real-time interview allows for a two-sided conversation and lets a candidate see how their responses are being perceived and where they should elaborate further. 

Treat them fairly and with respect

Be transparent and timely in your communications. This seems obvious, but did you know almost 50 percent of candidates feel as though they’re not well informed during the hiring process? Inform candidates about when they’ll be interviewed, who they’ll be interviewed by, and when they will hear back about their interviews. And don’t just tell candidates you will follow up with them. Deliver on your promise. You can even give them feedback on where they can improve to show appreciation and respect for their time. 

Doing so will earn their trust and signal that you are a respectful organization. 

Expert tip:

Giving feedback can be equally as important as getting it. Allow candidates to provide you with feedback about their experience. Understanding where you went right and where you went wrong will be invaluable as you improve the candidate experience.

Make candidates feel important

The recipe for success here is to have candidates meet with important and relevant people in the organization as they move through the hiring process. 

  1. The Hiring Manager: Have them meet with the hiring manager early on. The hiring manager could even make the initial discovery call, especially if you’re confident that a particular candidate is right for the role. 
  2. The Candidate Liaison: You can also choose someone to be the candidate’s liaison throughout the process. This person should not be involved with the evaluation but should be reliably available for the candidate to contact. 
  3. Team Members: Introduce them to team members they will be working with. If multiple individuals are taking time to meet the candidates, they will feel valued. 

The benefits of creating a candidate-centric interview process extend beyond closing your role. A positive experience makes candidates 80 percent more likely to apply again if they don’t receive an offer and more than twice as likely to recommend the organization to others. Candidates who had a positive experience are even more likely to become a customer of the hiring organization in the future.

Start improving your candidate experience

Discover how Hireguide helps you improve the candidate experience by focusing your interviews on job-related topics, collecting candidate feedback throughout the process, and streamlining communications. Uncover additional content in Hireguide’s training corner for tips and tricks on how to make your candidates feel valued and respected so they’re excited about saying yes to your role. If you’re ready to improve your candidate experience, start using Hireguide today!


Hiemstra, A. M. F., Oostrom, J. K., Derous, E., Serlie, A. W., & Born, M. P. (2019). Applicant perceptions of initial job candidate screening with asynchronous job interviews: Does personality matter? Journal of Personnel Psychology, 18(3), 138-147. doi:10.1027/1866-5888/a000230 

IMB (2016). The far-reaching impact of candidate experience. https://www.hrotoday.com/news/talent-acquisition/screening-selection/advancing-the-process/

Arrow pointing left
Previous Post
Next Post
Arrow Pointing Right