A positive candidate experience is essential to the success of an organization – it’s about more than just finding the right person for the job. Through the recruiting process, your company is making an impression on every candidate who applies; making this experience a positive one is a part of good employer branding. Negative candidate experiences can have exponential consequences depending on the size of the person’s network.

According to a Talent Board survey, of 45,000 job applicant participants, “61 percent would actively encourage colleagues to apply to the organization; 27 percent of those who had a negative experience would actively discourage colleagues from applying. In addition, almost 40 percent of the positives would buy more of the goods or services the company sells, even if they weren’t ultimately hired; 30 percent of the negatives would buy less goods or services. Finally 50 percent of positives share their positive experience; 32 percent of negatives broadcast their bad news.”

The candidate experience can act as positive or negative marketing. You can use advertising efforts to creating an impressive employer brand all day long, but you have to be able to follow these efforts up with concrete actions.

Below are the things we think are most important when creating a positive candidate experience.


Open communication must be present throughout the entire hiring process. Being open with candidates about the overall process, where they stand, and how much contact to expect at each stage will improve their experience and make your organization seem organized and efficient.

Though rejection can be difficult and awkward for both the recruiter and candidate, it’s necessary to let candidates know when they are no longer being considered for a position. In the end, they’ll respect the openness of the process. When employers leave candidates hanging with no follow-up, especially after an interview, it demonstrates a lack of respect for candidates’ time.

Take a Walk

Allowing candidates to interact with employees and walk through the work space can work in your favor in a couple of ways. Talent Strategist, Meghan Biro articulates this well saying, “Jobs don’t exist in a vacuum. You want to hire people who are going to mesh with your culture.”

By walking candidates through the office, you’re able to gather employees’ impressions of candidates and also, allowing potential candidates to get a feel for the work environment, including the people they’ll be working with. This part of their experience can be very valuable, giving them a very real view of the day-to-day office environment.

How’d You Do?

It’s okay to ask! In fact, you should. Collecting candidate feedback is the best way to improve the process. You have to be aware of your problems before you can solve them.

What are some things that set your candidate experience apart? Do you have any tips to add? Let us know in the comments below!

J. Walter Thompson INSIDE is a full-service recruitment advertising agency and employer branding consulting firm, creating pioneering ideas in strategic recruitment, human resource development and management, and more.