Candidate experience, which includes all the touchpoints a candidate has with the organization, can sway candidate actions to the benefit or detriment of an organization. In fact, in one study, 67 percent of people said that the application, interview, or offer process would make or break their decision about whether to take a job. At a time when unemployment is low and job opportunities are plentiful, organizations can compete for talent more successfully by offering a more positive candidate experience. 

A better candidate experience elevates the hiring process and creates more opportunities for information-sharing between organizations and candidates. By offering candidates a more positive candidate experience, you can not only increase the likelihood of an accepted offer, but also provide candidates with a smoother path to eventual employment. Here are seven ways to build a hiring process focused on the candidate experience.

Showcase Your Culture

Applying for career opportunities today involves more than simply submitting an application or resume. Research shows that candidates want to know more about the organization, its culture, and whether they’ll fit in. For example, in the Jobvite Job-Seeker Nation Study, 88 percent of surveyed job seekers said that culture was an important factor when considering job opportunities. Fifteen percent said they’ve turned down an offer because of company culture.

Every company culture is different, with characteristics that will attract a range of different types of candidates, skill levels, and preferences for working. By showcasing your culture, you’re helping prospective candidates develop a clearer picture of who you are. With that understanding, they can approach the interview and hiring process with a greater sense of confidence that they know the company, its culture, and people.

Establish a Broad Interview Team

Providing candidates with a broad perspective of a position, its opportunities, and its challenges is a great way to make their experience more dynamic. Including a diverse range of interviewers helps to facilitate a clear understanding of what the role entails and who the key stakeholders are. It also provides candidates with a more well-rounded view of the organization through the perspectives of others.

The hiring manager and HR provide a good deal of the substance during the interview process, but there are other, perhaps less traditional interviewers who can enhance candidates’ understanding about a role, thereby improving the candidate experience. Individuals in other departments, peers, and direct reports to a position are all examples of people who can provide candidates with the context they need to truly understand the various aspects of a job opportunity.


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Keep the Hiring Process Moving Efficiently

At a time when candidates have so many job opportunities to choose from, organizations can’t afford to have an overly long hiring process. Candidates who have multiple job opportunities to consider can quickly grow frustrated and lose interest with a cumbersome process or one that has long stretches of time with no action or update. Therefore, it is important to keep things moving during the interview and selection process, so that candidates don’t get frustrated and drift away to another opportunity.

One great way to keep the process moving is to work with a background screening company that is dedicated to helping you complete thorough, high-quality background checks in a 7timely manner. Background checks are essential to the hiring process, but when they take too long, candidates can grow frustrated and abandon an opportunity. By working with a company that combines a strong commitment to quality, dedicated screening analysts, and next-gen background screening technology, you can automate key background check processes and make background screening your competitive advantage in the candidate experience. These are just some of the different ways a rewarding background screening partnership can make your hiring process more efficient:

  • Dedicated screening analysts review background screening results for accuracy and completeness, so you get a quality background check report in a timely manner.
  • Screening technology allows recruiting teams to easily request background checks and take action on pending cases. It can also integrate with your ATS, allowing recruiters to spend more time with candidates and less time on double entry.
  • Regular updates about state or county delays can help you better anticipate background check turnaround times.


Candidates spend time crafting their resumes, preparing for interviews, and traveling to those interviews, so it only makes sense that organizations also invest the time to communicate with candidates and let them know where they stand. Research shows that engaging in regular communication doesn’t just keep candidates informed and engaged, but it also impacts their willingness to reapply if they’re not selected the first time. One study found that 80 percent of job seekers said they would be less likely to consider other relevant job openings at a company that failed to notify them of their application status. On the other hand, they would be 3.5 times more likely to re-apply to a company if they were notified the first time. 

There are many ways to inject an extra dose of candidate communication into the hiring process, such as:

  • Adding salary ranges to job postings so candidates have a better sense of the compensation opportunity before they apply.
  • Sending automated replies that let candidates know their application has been received and is under review.
  • Following up with candidates after each stage of the interview process.
  • Providing candidates with regular updates about the status of their background check. 

Automate Parts of the Hiring Process

Automation saves time, and it can make a critical difference in meeting candidate expectations for a streamlined and efficient experience. When you automate key steps of the hiring process, it is easier to move away from paper processes as well as endless email and phone tag, both of which can be frustrating for candidates. Automation also puts more information in recruiters’ hands, creating opportunities to develop new insights about improving the candidate experience. Some examples of automation solutions that can save time for candidates during the hiring process include:

  • E-documents—put authorization and disclosure forms online so that candidates can easily sign and return documents or access them later if needed.
  • Mobile access—candidates can access information about their application, background screening results, and any pre-employment test results from any device.
  • Paperless drug-screening—candidates can easily search for and select drug screening locations and get instructions for visiting their chosen lab.

Utilize a Transparent and Reliable Screening Program

Once a candidate has been identified for possible hire, the background check process shouldn’t feel like an unorganized scramble for information. Instead, it is better to have a screening program that is organized and reliable and that lets candidates know what to expect. A transparent screening process helps to put candidates at ease and provides them with peace of mind that the hiring process will soon come to a close. Key ways to put transparency into your background screening program include:

  • Providing candidates with an estimated timetable for the background screening process to be completed
  • Making clear all the background information that candidates will be asked to provide
  • Having a direct line of communication with the background check provider through a responsive customer support team
  • Implementing a clear process for requesting clarifying information from candidates such as an address or correct spelling of a previous employer
  • Outlining the steps that will occur after background screening is complete

Follow up with Recent Hires

For individuals who successfully reach the end of the interview and offer stages, the candidate experience ultimately becomes the employee experience. Therefore, it can be helpful to follow up with newly hired candidates to ask about their experiences both as candidates and as new hires. Feedback from new employees can offer a fresh perspective on which aspects of the hiring process worked well in practice and which ones still need improvement. 

Whether you use a formal survey or solicit feedback informally, it can be helpful to ask about the ease of the application process and the efficiency of the background screening process, as well as how informative interviews were. Armed with new feedback, you’ll be in a better position to evaluate and improve existing processes over time.

Many Ways to Improve the Candidate Experience

Delivering an exceptional candidate experience keeps candidates engaged when they might otherwise grow weary at some point during the hiring process. From application to interview to job offer, a positive candidate experience can be your competitive advantage, particularly in a tight labor market. When you take actions that add more transparency, candidates know where they stand and have a better line of sight to the successful conclusion of the hiring process.


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