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The New Candidate Experience: Must-Have Hiring Elements Based on the Latest Data


Workers and employers alike are coming to terms with a world struggling to overcome the challenges of 2020. We’re facing some challenging realities moving forward, but we all want to build a positive world of work, even during such times. Employers need to find ways to enhance their new candidate experience to make hires feel welcome.

New job creation for JazzHR clients has skyrocketed by 142 percent from January through June 2021. If your numbers are similar, you likely have some spots to fill in your organization. In addition, you probably want to know how to enhance your existing candidate experience with tools and strategies. We’ve got you.

The Traditional Candidate Experience

The candidate experience is important for your employees at every step of their employment with your organization. A positive candidate experience helps ensure that your employee feels settled and confident that you value them.

Some key elements are involved in a traditional candidate experience, many of which focus on interactions between your HR team, or any other in-house contacts, and each candidate. Here are examples of those interactions:

  • Visiting your website’s jobs page
  • Responding to your job board postings or paid job advertisements
  • Carrying out the online job application process
  • Participating in any communication stemming from your applicant tracking system (ATS)
  • Engaging in the interview process, whether in-person or via video conference, such as Zoom
  • Taking part in ongoing communication with your HR team members, department managers, and others
  • Notifications regarding the candidate’s status in the recruiting process
  • Candidate notification via letter, email, or text message informing of rejection of their application OR invitation to accept the position

As you can see, your HR team must keep track of multiple points of contact to ensure the best possible candidate experience.

Why Does Candidate Experience Matter?

Your industry is a small town. People talk. Without a strong focus on candidate experience, you can leave candidates with a negative impression of your business. They might pass that information along to industry colleagues, who you might want to attract to your organization one day.

Candidates might also leave a negative review on one of the many job sites or their social media pages, or your business pages. It’s better to proactively provide respectful information than have to apologize in a public forum.

If the candidate experience falls apart before you get to the acceptance or rejection phase, many candidates are willing to walk away from the process. Your silence speaks louder than voicemail.

Further, you might later find or develop a position for a candidate who didn’t work out during their initial recruiting session. What if you dropped the ball and neglected to send a polite rejection letter? They probably won’t be getting back in touch.

The candidate experience matters both for the candidate, and for maintaining your organization’s reputation with the individual, your industry, and the public.

Why Is It So Vital to the Develop New Candidate Experience Strategies?

Organizations have found their footing amid restrictions, lockdowns, mask requirements, work-from-home orders, and finally, vaccinations.

In amongst this, many job candidates have discovered the benefits of working remotely. These benefits include the chance to spend more time with family or pursuing personal passions.

We found that, while the economic recovery process remains on the upswing, the candidate volume has slowed significantly, having decreased by 1% from January through the end of June. And, sitting at 5.8 percent, the low employment rate isn’t the only factor dictating a new strategy toward attracting and courting new job candidates. The labor force participation rate, which shows employees actively searching for work, is resting at 61.6 percent. The lowest it has been since the 1970s.

All this means that you need to ramp up your recruiting process efforts to reach a far fewer number of candidates than a few years ago.

What Is the New Candidate Experience?

In spirit, the new candidate experience is not so different from the old candidate experience. But, there are some steps you can take to make meaningful improvements.

First, take a few moments to consider what your prospective candidates might be thinking about:

  • Who is qualified for the posted position, and is it worth my time to apply?
  • What is your company’s philosophy, mission, corporate culture, and brand, and do I feel I can find my place in your organization with that information?
  • Is your compensation package appealing enough for me to leave my current position or otherwise take the risk of signing on with your organization?
  • Will your company offer me training, professional development, promotion, and salary increases?
  • Can I expect long-term loyalty from your organization, and am I willing to make that commitment in turn?

Today, you need to find ways to answer the above questions to attract the right talent for each position.

So, develop and implement a new candidate experience that attracts the right people. Help your business thrive in terms of profits and brand reputation. Here’s how:

Tighten Up Your Company Brand Messaging

In 2015, Catherine Hess of Business to Business recommended improving your brand by focusing on your messaging. The same advice is even more important today than it was then, with Hess reminding readers that:

‘Your employer brand is what you communicate to potential employees and job applicants. It is your company’s promotion of its culture, values, and ideas. If you don’t have a strong sense of who your company is, how is a candidate supposed to know?’

Share posts on social media reflecting your company’s brand personality and company culture. Remember to embed that same messaging into your job board posts and any other messaging your future candidates will encounter, whether directly or indirectly.

Show Your Appreciation for Each Candidate’s Interest

Every candidate is crucial in a candidate’s job market. Look to your customer success team. Follow their customer-centric approach.

During each phase of the recruiting process, treat the candidate with respect and consideration, like you would your customers. You should be carefully reading through their resume, application, cover letter, and any other materials submitted for your review. Your response to their information gives them a preview of what they can expect from your organization.

Invest In Software That Features Powerful Metrics, Data, and Other Crucial Support Tools

With a multifaceted recruiting software tool from JazzHR, you can quickly develop the new candidate experience you need to attract and hire top talent for every position. We can help you customize your company branding capabilities, personalize your process, and create assets to help promote your employer brand. And, our software allows you to source, track and rank candidates. This ensures you hit all the marks in polite and timely communication at every stage in the recruiting process.

Give your new candidates an experience they won’t soon forget – a positive one, that is!

Try JazzHR to streamline your hiring.


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