The Candidate Experience

We hear it all the time don’t we in recruitment? Candidate experience is so important. Why then, aren’t things changing? Why are we still stuck debating this topic? We are now working in a market where nearly all skills are in short supply; it’s practically full employment in the UK. So if you’re a passively active jobseeker right now, what you see, hear and feel from a recruiter, agency or internal will be vital in making that next job decision.

What should recruiters pay more attention to?


Really what you need to focus on here is communication. During the recruitment process, candidates often have to divulge every single detail of their background, career history, skills and characteristics. They are also expected know significant amounts about the hiring company just so they seem keen!

Recruiters need to recognise that sharing information and helping this process will create a more positive experience for candidates. You KNOW the client, understand the process the candidate is about to embark upon. Offer information they can’t find online. What’s the nugget that will really offer insight into a business? And be honest... if there’s a challenge along the way, then be clear about it, the candidate won’t thank you for hiding it or worse, lying about it.


Let’s be honest, this is more communication really isn’t it? But simple things here make a difference. Could you perhaps show the candidate around the office? Meet other colleagues who might be able to assist, or if you’re an internal recruiter, show the actual workplace... revolutionary I know!

Offer your candidate a coffee/tea or water? It’s tough this process, your candidate might be a bit nervous, be nice!

Tech - do you need to scribble notes and not make eye contact the WHOLE time? Focus on your candidate 100%. Your candidate has a better experience and you get to know them better. Hint – Use DigiRec, when you start the interview in the app, audio recording of the interview automatically starts. All of the notes you add during the interview are also timestamped to allow you to quickly review the exact moment in the interview which prompted you to make that note.

More Tech – give the waiting candidate an iPad with links to the roles, companies you work with. Internal recruiters – LinkedIn profiles of people in the team the candidate is interviewing for.

Always ask - “Is there anything you didn’t get a chance to tell us today that you think we should know?” that way the candidate goes away knowing they had their chance to make very clear all their skills, experience, values and ambitions.


Oh guess what? It’s more communication! Lack of feedback to candidates contributes hugely to a poor candidate experience. Avoid the set responses such as ‘your application was unsuccessful on this occasion’ and again, personalise. Ensure the candidate can move on knowing what happened with this role. Similarly, providing positive feedback to your preferred candidate will enhance their initial experience with your company and facilitate a seamless transition into their new role.

But what about asking the candidate for feedback? Candidates in a skill short market are AS important as clients to recruiters – so ASK them about the experience, whether or not they got the job. Make sure you share the feedback with managers and leadership, and tweak your process based on the findings.

Just a little focus on 3 core candidate touchpoints could make a huge difference to your candidate experience. Stop talking about it and try them today. After all, has anyone ever had a candidate complain about being contacted TOO much by a recruiter after applying for a job?

Get that competitive edge with DigiRec

Start your FREE 14 DAY TRIAL today
no credit card needed!