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4 Hiring Process Tips to Design a Positive Candidate Experience

September 10, 2018

Secure your talent pipeline, improve your company brand, and help decrease turnover by designing a positive candidate experience

Securing your talent pipeline, improving your company brand, and decreasing turnover are among the many benefits that come from a positive candidate experience. In a survey of 1200 professionals, CareerArc discovered that 60% of candidates have had a poor experience. Considering today's labor market, offering a good experience to those going through your hiring process is imperative, as it can increase your chances of winning top talent and becoming an employer of choice.

Here are four ways to ensure a positive experience in your hiring process:

1. Keep the process as quick as possible, but don't compromise the quality of your process.

Talent Acquisition's goal is to hire individuals who are a good fit for the position and to make sure the position is a good fit for the individual. It sounds simple, but it does take time to do it right. Don’t sacrifice the quality of your process just so candidates have a better experience. A robust hiring process has its advantages. For example, those candidates who take the process seriously and expect an opportunity to fully display their knowledge, skills, and abilities are likely to be successful in that role. With that said, there is no need to drag on the hiring process longer than normal. Though unexpected delays and hiring freezes can arise, there should still be a certain level of transparency with candidates. Establish an open line of communication between hiring managers, HR representatives, and other key stakeholders. This can speed up the hiring process by days or even weeks.

2. Understand the candidate pool.

Another key to creating a positive candidate experience is to consider the industry, job level, location, and any other factors that will help you gain insight on the candidate pool. Your hiring process could include tools that don’t make sense for that particular candidate pool, which could hinder the candidate experience. For example, if the position to be filled is a hands-on manufacturing position, a selection process full of interviews and resumes may not give them an opportunity to display their skills. However, if you provided them a simulated hands-on test that actually assesses their ability to do the job, they will likely have a better experience and feel more validated.

3. Keep your technology up to date.

This is straightforward. Applicants make judgments based on the organization’s website and initial application process. If they encounter an outdated interface, a messy process, and/or technical issues, there is a higher chance they will drop out before submitting information. This is especially true for top talent. Start off on the right foot. Usually that first candidate experience is online, so create a more engaging experience at the first touch by incorporating new tools and emerging technology in your hiring process.

4. Provide feedback throughout the process.

As it is in so many other aspects of success, communication is vital to a positive candidate experience. Research states that 60% of candidates say better communication throughout and after the application process would make the most positive impact. Many organizations will provide automatic responses when a candidate has submitted an application or finished an online assessment, but the value of human conversation and an opportunity to ask questions can dramatically change the candidate experience.

There are many additional ways to enhance the candidate experience. Continue to ask candidates for feedback and understand specifically what your candidates are saying about your selection process to outline a more tailored plan for improvement for your organization’s selection process.

candidate experience report


Trevor McGlochlin Trevor McGlochlin is a Research Consultant at PSI. He leads the Financial and Automotive verticals within R&D. He earned a Master of Science degree in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from Florida Institute of Technology. His areas of expertise include selection, employee turnover, organizational development, applied research, and statistical analyses. His analysis work is centered around validation, adverse impact, turnover analyses, assessment scoring, and other data analysis.