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Resources > Blog > Recruitment Marketing

Candidate Experience: what is it, why it matters, & how to improve it?

All you need to know about what candidate experience is, why it matters for a successful recruitment strategy and how you can improve it with personalised videos.

6 Dec, 2021

7 min

Recruitment Marketing
Tiffany Grous image

Tiffany Grous

Marketing Manager

In business, reputation is everything. People talk, and when they talk on the internet, those echoes travel a long way. We all know the importance of good reviews and good customer service. But, when it comes to reputation, do you consider the impact of candidate experience?If not, you should. Prospective employees have more arenas than ever to discuss their experiences in applying for positions and dealing with businesses. If you want your business to maintain a positive reputation, it’s vital you consider candidate experience and what you can do to improve it. 

Let’s break it down. 

In this post, we are going to cover what candidate experience actually is, why it’s so important for a successful recruitment strategy and, crucially, how you can improve it using personalised videos.

What is candidate experience?

When recruiting, there will be a number of interactions between a candidate and the company. There will be an initial approach, either by the candidate to the company or vice-versa. There will be interviews of course, but prior to this, there will be scheduling of the time and place. There may also be tests or forms to fill in. Admin for different applications can vary.

Should the candidate perform well in their interview, they may be asked back. And if not, they will be told they have been unsuccessful. Eventually, a candidate or candidates will be hired. All of these interactions combine to form what we call the ‘candidate experience’. 

It’s not just limited to personal interactions, though. Your job advertisements are part of the candidate experience, as are any aspects of your website that are devoted to recruitment.

Put simply, candidate experience is any interaction between a jobseeker or headhunted individual and the recruitment company. 

Why is candidate experience important?

“You only get one chance to make a first impression”, as the famous cliché goes — and it is clichéd for good reason. 

First impressions really do count. Jobseekers have long known that the impression they make on a prospective employer is of the utmost importance. However, the impression that a company makes upon potential new hires has, until recently, been undervalued. that is changing. HR departments are becoming increasingly mindful of the experience that their company delivers to applicants. This is important for a number of reasons:

Recruitment competition

Often job seekers are pursuing more than one opportunity at a time, and if they are an impressive candidate, you might find that you’re not the only organisation making them an offer. A positive candidate experience might be the difference between you getting your first choice of new hire and your second or third. 

Salary negotiations

Hiring a candidate is always something of a negotiation. Factors such as salary, holiday allowance and other benefits can be tweaked to be slightly more generous if a desirable candidate seems hesitant. 

A positive candidate experience could motivate them to join the company before these negotiations even take place — meaning candidate experience can directly save  money. 

What does a positive candidate experience look like? 

There is no single perfect example, and a truly great candidate experience can mean different things to different people. However, there are some good rules of thumb. One of the most important aspects to keep in mind is honesty. A candidate can usually sniff out bluff and bluster from an employer, and unrealistic claims that don’t ring true will be a red flag. Expectations from the person who will fill the role should be grounded and based on quantifiable, achievable and specific terms. 

To this end, a positive candidate experience will stem from good, open and transparent communication. It should be free from jargon wherever possible — remember, a new hire might not yet be familiar with the terms you and your colleagues use on a daily basis. 

A respectful manner is important. Whether you’re telling someone they have been unsuccessful or you’re inviting someone to the next stage, treat them with the utmost respect.

Just to note, for those candidates who aren’t successful, it is important to let them know. Don’t be tempted to just leave failed candidates hanging on, waiting for a call that never comes — that’s just rude.

Now more than ever people talk. This is in part due to websites such as Glassdoor. If you don’t want a reputation in your industry as a difficult and disrespectful employer, treat your candidates correctly.  

How can a company improve its candidate experience? 

One of the best and easiest ways to achieve a positive candidate experience is by using video technology. You can’t always meet face-to-face, but phone calls and emails just don’t always cut it. If you can look your candidates in the eye when you’re speaking to them, they will be more at ease, and that open and honest communication we were talking about before will be a breeze. 

If you need some facts and figures to convince you, try this: 

Researchhas shown that when a job advertisement includes a video job description, candidates spend more than triple the time on the advert than a purely text-based job description.

Yes, you read that right. The average candidate spends just 55 seconds assessing text job descriptions versus 2 minutes, 54 seconds on a video job description. 

That’s a big difference, and it can make a big difference to the quality of applicants too.

Using a personalised video solution such as Seenit is a terrific way to attract top talent to your interviews and ultimately onto your payroll. Even if you’re rejecting candidates, a personalised video means that the unsuccessful applicants will feel valued — bad news is a lot more palatable when given a human face, and by communicating with people via personalised videos, you are giving them the message that you matter. 

In an era where employees and interviewees talk more than ever about their experiences with companies, you will find that a little extra effort put into candidate experience will go a long way towards cementing your reputation as a respectful and respectable employer. 

This in turn means that you are more likely to have your pick of the crop when it comes to hiring the very best talent.  After all, a genuinely talented workforce wants to work for a company that values both their skills and themselves. 

Ready to improve your candidate experience? Get in touch with us to discuss how our video platform can help you to improve your reputation as an employer and attract higher-quality candidates for job openings.


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