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4 Reasons Why Candidate Experience is Driving Recruiting In Today's Market

One of the top drivers of recruitment in today’s competitive landscape is candidate experience. As what is rapidly becoming known as “The Great Rehire” continues to move forward and unemployment steadily shrinks, finding and retaining top talent hinges on making candidate experiences appealing and stress-free.


It’s no longer sufficient to present a job posting and wait for applications to flood in. To secure quality candidates, recruiters must now leverage marketing tactics to attract talent and implement personalization to keep applicants engaged throughout the process.


Related: See 5 Pro-Tips to Becoming a Better Recruiter with Marketing


Four Applicant Expectations for a Positive Candidate Experience

Applicants have a list of expectations when it comes to today’s recruitment experience. Failing to meet or exceed these expectations will lead candidates to self-select out of the recruitment funnel early and often, seeking other opportunities that offer a better quality candidate experience.

Applicant Expectation for a Positive Candidate Experience #1: Ease of Application

An application process that requires repetitive tasks (such as uploading a resume plus typing everything from the resume into a four-page form) or oppressive tasks (such as multiple assessments or tests) will cause candidates to drop off.

Likewise, clumsy interfaces will discourage applicants from completing the process. Applying online should be easier than applying with outdated paper forms but 92% of applicants never complete their online application. 

Applicant Expectation for a Positive Candidate Experience #2: Continuous Communication

Failure to communicate with applicants is another huge reason for candidate drop-off. More than 80% of candidates say that employers communicating continuous status updates would greatly improve their overall experience.


Unfortunately, 75% of workers say they have been “ghosted” by an employer even after making it through to and completing the interview stage. Many candidates will simply give up if they go even just a single week without contact from the recruiter.


The 6 key quality traits to look out for in candidates

Applicant Expectation for a Positive Candidate Experience #3: Ease with Interview Scheduling

Making it to the interview stage is usually a signal to a candidate that they are on a shortlist. However, if the interview fails to materialize, the applicant may decide they have been part of a “scattershot” campaign and will exit the recruitment process.


Sadly, 60% of recruiters say they regularly lose candidates before they are able to schedule an interview. That’s talent who has been identified as potentially just right for a job opening, giving up and walking away after all the time and effort put in to get them to the interview stage.

Applicant Expectation for a Positive Candidate Experience #4: Decent Treatment

Overall, candidates desire to be treated humanely throughout the job application and recruitment process. In a study of 950 active job seekers, 40% said that the single most important factor in choosing to accept a job offer was "being treated with dignity and respect throughout the hiring process.”  


In contrast, 50% of workers say they have declined a job offer after a bad candidate experience. That’s an enormous amount of effort and cost lost due to a candidate feeling that the company won’t treat them well after hiring due to their experience during recruiting.


Best Candidate Assessment Tools: A Complete Guide


3 Best Practices for Candidate Experience

Companies seeking to improve recruitment outcomes and stand out from the competition will need to focus on candidate experience. 

Candidate Experience Best Practice #1: Make hiring easier with automation

Ensure applying for a job is as easy as possible for the applicant, especially at early phases. If an application can be made over the phone using an app and an uploaded resume, a larger number of candidates can be brought in to increase the available talent pool for the position. Save assessments and tests to act as first-round eliminators after the ATS has organized all candidate data.


Reference checking, traditionally a time-consuming task relegated to the very end of the hiring process, can be moved up the funnel and shifted to a candidate-checking format. This gives recruiters a powerful tool to assess candidate quality with a process that is completed swiftly and digitally. Crosschq 360 makes it easy to get a complete view of each candidate and compare them across skills and attributes - and it reduces the time to complete each check by up to 90%.

Candidate Experience Best Practice #2: Stay in constant communication with candidates

Automation can also be a game-changer when it comes to improving candidate experience through better candidate engagement. Letting candidates know their application was received, is being reviewed, or has been passed to the hiring manager, can keep top talent interested.


Candidates who receive feedback even if they aren’t made an offer may be prompted to apply again at a later date. Interview requests and offers can be triggered to go out automatically once a candidate moves to those phases, and onboarding can be started seamlessly from the same automated system.

Candidate Experience Best Practice #3: Personalize the process 

Every recruitment processional or hiring manager has a story about sending an email to a high-value candidate but accidentally leaving a previous email recipient’s name in the header. By automating and streamlining repetitive parts of recruitment, more time is left to make interactions with candidates more frequent and personal, improving candidate engagement.


No more emails!  Check references faster. Get better feedback. Hire smarter.


Better candidate engagement, even if there is ultimately no match, leads to a positive candidate experience, which creates a better brand reputation. 56% of applicants who were happy with the way they were treated by an employer when applying for a job said they would consider applying with the company again and 37% said they would tell others to apply at the company.

The ROI of Candidate Experience

Improving candidate experience has tangible effects, and can create a positive impact for an organization that has been struggling with recruitment. The ROI of candidate experience can include:


  • 72% of job seekers are likely to share their bad experiences online or with someone directly.
  • 87% of candidates say a positive interview experience can change their minds about a previously doubted role or company.
  • 48% of candidates respond positively to receiving interview information ahead of time.
  • Candidates are 4x more likely to consider a company for future opportunities if provided thoughtful feedback.
  • Companies that take the time to develop a positive candidate hiring experience report a 70% improvement in Quality of Hire.

Related: Track your Quality of Hire with this FREE Scorecard


Candidate experience metrics to track

Metrics that can help establish a baseline for candidate experience and measure progress include:


  • Candidate sources  
  • Job post bounce rates  and career site conversion rates  
  • Drop-off rates across all stages
  • Application to interview and application to offer rates
  • Interview to offer and offer to acceptance rates
  • Candidate satisfaction


Some of these metrics can be tracked using a dashboard that overlays your ATS, like TalentWall™ by Crosschq, which shows the recruitment funnel from start to finish. Others can be built out through feedback surveys using Crosschq Analytics to measure applicant satisfaction with their candidate experience.


Ready to learn how Crosschq can deliver a faster, easier, more enjoyable, and more positive candidate experience to both active and passive candidates? Request a free demonstration from our team today.

Elena Arney

by Elena Arney

Director of People & Culture

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