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McKinsey’s Steven Hankin coined the term „War for Talents“ in 1997 to describe the fierce competition companies face in filling critical roles.


Today, change and disruption is still a constant companion in the business world, and the competition to hire the most sought-after hires persists.

4 Steps To Optimize Candidate Experience In A Glassdoor World

Author: Kimberly Maucher-Lynch

In today’s market, candidates with sought-after skills can often have their pick of roles-because of this, it is vital for companies to capture their interest with the right jobs-and to provide an excellent candidate experience throughout. Steve Jobs famously said: „hiring the best is your most important task“.  Indeed, attracting and winning the best talents is a critical element for any company’s success. 


The following four points can help employers optimize the candidate experience for their hires.

Customize Job Offers and Communications to Your Target Talent Group

Today’s candidates want tailored, relevant and timely information about job opportunities. The content should be easily accessibly (think mobile and app-based alerts), relevant and candidate-driven to include opt-in and opt-out features. Innovation continues to shape the way companies court and connect with potential hires-by harnessing this innovation, employees can leverage technology to improve a candidate’s application process and allow them to tailor their experience throughout. Companies are already using social networking sites to reach out to candidates, so we can see that firms are already responding to the necessity to connect with candidates via these channels. ATS and Talent Networks afford ground-breaking opportunities to structure the process and engage with people. Leveraging talent networks can help employers to share content and news with candidates in real time. Customized emails and job alerts allow talent brokers to connect with candidates directly. By tracking key metrics (click to apply and completion rates are examples of these), recruitment organizations can assess their approach against KPIs for candidate satisfaction and recruitment campaign success. 

Communicate with Talent Throughout the Process


Throughout the candidate’s recruitment experience, it is vital to have a continuous dialogue with the applicant. This includes explaining the steps in the process (how many interviews, potential timeline to an offer/decision). In ensuring a great candidate experience, communication is key. If you cannot provide feedback on their status (because hiring manager is on vacation, the job description has unexpectedly needed to be changed, or other reasons), relay this information to the candidate in a timely manner. There is little more frustrating for companies than having talks with a promising candidate, only to have them lose interest because they did not feel informed on their progression in the process. Aside from wasting time and resources, this costs the company also in terms of loss reputation and even lost business from unhappy applicants. 


Study show that companies face potential revenue loss from dissatisfied candidates. A recent report from Ph.Attraction reveals that 12% of jobseekers discontinued their purchases from a brand with which they had a negative candidate experience. According to this study, dissatisfied candidates cost Virgin Media 4.4 million GBP of business in 2014.


Manage the Closing Process with Final Candidates 


Part of good candidate experience is managing the closing phase and involving appropriate stakeholders in a timely fashion. In this phase, it is important to ensure that all stakeholders are clear on what is to happen next and when. This includes communicating a clear offer to the candidate which is aligned with the manger and any involved business stakeholders in advance. Also, it is critical to understand the candidate’s notice period and be aware of when they need to resign at their company in order to start on the agreed date. Ensure that the candidate receives their contract with enough time to tender their resignation professionally and without last-minute hectic. Whoever possible, avoid putting candidates in a stressful situation by sending the candidate the contract on the last possible work day of the quarter or month. It is important to also allow for time and a forum for any questions which the applicant may have about the offer prior to signing. 



Leave the Candidate with a Great Last Impression


It’s said that if a customer is satisfied by a company’s service, he will tell a friend. If he is unsatisfied , he may tell ten friends. The same holds true for talent in your recruitment process. A recent Career Builder article revealed that candidates may use up to 18 online resources to research a company. According to a 2016 survey, 61% of Glassdoor users consult company ratings as part of their decision process. In this age of Glassdoor, Kununu and co., candidates can share their experience with an audience of thousands in a matter of minutes. Talent rely increasingly on online recommendations and ratings to gain information on a potential employer. It is critical that every candidate receives a reply to their application which communicates appreciation and thanks for their interest in working for that company. A survey from Career Builder revealed that 52% of participating employers send a reply to less than half of the candidates who apply. In contrast, over 50% of applicants expect a phone call response, and 84% of candidates surveyed in this same study confirmed that they expect a response via email Applicants who reached the interview phase (either virtual or face to face interview) should be contacted by a company representative personally wherever possible. Accordingly to a LinkedIn survey, 94% of respondents appreciate receiving a feedback for the rejection.  Ensuring candidates receive feedback can be a powerful way to ensure unsuccessful candidates also leave the process with a positive impression of the company. 


The American poet Maya Angelou famously said: „ …people will never forget how you made them feel“. Candidate experience is all about how talent feels about a job opportunity and how valued and informed they feel while in contact with your company. From the first contact to the very end of the process, great candidate experiences are all about constant communication and transparency for everyone involved.



1) Marketing Week article on recruitment and brand reputation

2) Career Builder survey results on candidate experience 

3) Glassdoor survey on HR trends and statistics

4) Career Builder survey results on candidate experience 

5) Fast Company article on recruitment 


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