Candidate experience is the perception and feeling that candidates have about your company and your hiring process. It encompasses every touchpoint and interaction that candidates have with you, from the moment they discover your job opening to the moment they accept or reject your offer.
Why is candidate experience important? Because it affects not only your ability to attract and hire the best talent, but also your employer brand, your customer loyalty, and your bottom line.
In this blog, we will share some of the most relevant and recent candidate experience statistics that will help you understand the current state of candidate experience and how you can improve it.
The Impact of Candidate Experience on Your Business
Candidate experience is not just a nice-to-have, it is a must-have. Here are some statistics that show how candidate experience can directly impact your business outcomes:
- Revenue impact. The white paper from the IBM Smarter Workforce Institute underscores the profound impact of candidate experience on organizations. Analyzing the candidate experience of over 7,000 recent job applicants in 45 countries, the research goes beyond hiring outcomes, delving into employer reputation and potential sales.
- Nearly 4 in 5 candidates (78%) say the overall candidate experience they receive is an indicator of how a company values its people (Career Builder).
- 80–90% of talent say a positive or negative candidate experience can change their minds about a role or company (Deloitte).
- 75% of job seekers are likely to apply to a job if the employer actively manages its employer brand (Glassdoor).
- 77% of new hires could see themselves sticking around long term with their employer when they have great onboarding experiences. (SmartRecruiters)
These statistics show that candidate experience can influence candidates’ decisions, behaviors, and opinions. A positive candidate experience can help you attract more qualified applicants, increase your offer acceptance rate, enhance your employer reputation, and boost your customer retention.
A negative candidate experience can do the opposite: deter potential candidates, lower your conversion rate, damage your employer image, and lose you customers.
The Factors That Influence Candidate Experience
Candidate experience is not a one-time event, it is a journey. It consists of multiple stages and factors that can affect how candidates perceive and feel about your company and your hiring process.
Here are some of the most important factors that influence candidate experience:
The Job Search
This is the first stage where candidates discover your job openings and learn about your company.
It includes factors such as the visibility, clarity, and attractiveness of your job ads, the accessibility and usability of your career site, and the availability and accuracy of information about your company culture, values, and benefits.
The Application Process
This is the stage where candidates submit their applications and resumes to you. It includes factors such as the length, complexity, and mobile-friendliness of your application form, the ease and speed of uploading or creating resumes, and the security and privacy of personal data.
The Communication and Feedback
This is the stage where candidates receive updates and responses from you throughout the hiring process.
It includes factors such as the frequency, timeliness, and personalization of your communication, the quality and constructiveness of your feedback, and the transparency and honesty of your expectations.
This is the stage where candidates meet you face-to-face or virtually to showcase their skills and personality.
It includes factors such as the scheduling, preparation, and execution of the interview, the professionalism and friendliness of the interviewer(s), the relevance and fairness of the questions and assessments, and the opportunity to ask questions and learn more about the role and company.
The Onboarding Process
This is the stage where candidates become employees and join your team. It includes factors such as the smoothness, efficiency, and effectiveness of the paperwork, orientation, training, and integration processes, the support and guidance from managers and mentors, and the alignment with company culture, values, and goals.
These factors are interrelated and interdependent. They can create either a positive or negative impression on candidates at each stage of their journey. To deliver a great candidate experience, you need to optimize each factor and ensure consistency across all stages.
The Best Practices to Improve Candidate Experience
Candidate experience is not static, it is dynamic. It can change over time depending on various internal and external factors.
Therefore, you need to constantly measure and improve your candidate experience to keep up with changing expectations and preferences.
Here are some of the best practices to improve your candidate experience:
1. Define your candidate persona
A candidate persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal candidate based on data and research.
It helps you understand who your target audience is, what they are looking for in a job and a company, how they behave during their job search journey, what their pain points are, what motivates them to apply or accept an offer.
By creating a candidate persona, you can tailor your hiring process to meet their needs and wants.
2. Simplify your application process
A long and complicated application process can frustrate and discourage candidates from applying to your job.
According to a study by Indeed, 60% of job seekers report they have quit an application due to its length or complexity (Recruiting Brief).
To simplify your application process, you can reduce the number of fields and questions, enable resume parsing or social media integration, allow candidates to save and resume their applications, and make your application form mobile-friendly.
3. Communicate and provide feedback
Communication and feedback are essential for keeping candidates engaged and informed throughout the hiring process.
According to a survey by Lever, 80% of job seekers say they would not reapply to a company that didn’t notify them of their application status, and 65% say they never or rarely receive notice of their application status (Lever).
Moreover, talent is four times more likely to consider your company in the future if you offer constructive feedback (Lever).
To communicate and provide feedback effectively, you can use automated emails or texts, personalized messages, chatbots, or video calls, and give candidates clear and timely updates and responses.
4. Train your interviewers
The interview is the most critical stage of the hiring process, as it is the first and often the only opportunity for candidates to interact with you in person or online.
The interview can make or break your candidate experience. Therefore, you need to train your interviewers to conduct professional and positive interviews.
You can provide them with guidelines, tips, and best practices on how to prepare for the interview, how to ask relevant and fair questions, how to evaluate candidates objectively, how to avoid bias and discrimination, how to build rapport and trust with candidates, and how to handle objections and questions.
5. Streamline your onboarding process
The onboarding process is the final stage of the hiring process, but it is also the beginning of the employee experience.
A smooth and effective onboarding process can help new hires feel welcomed, valued, and supported in their new role and company. According to a report by Glassdoor, organizations with a strong onboarding process improve new hire retention by 82% and productivity by over 70% (Glassdoor).
To streamline your onboarding process, you can use online tools and platforms to automate and simplify the paperwork, orientation, training, and integration processes, assign mentors or buddies to new hires, solicit feedback and suggestions from new hires, and celebrate their achievements and milestones.
Candidate experience is not a buzzword, it is a reality. It is one of the most important factors that influence your hiring success and your business performance.
By understanding the current state of candidate experience and applying the best practices to improve it, you can create a positive impression on candidates, attract and hire the best talent, enhance your employer brand, increase your customer loyalty, and grow your bottom line.
We hope that this blog has provided you with some valuable insights and tips on how to enhance your candidate experience.
If you want to continue to improve your candidate experience, we’d love to help with our customized RPO solutions.