The Three Most Common Mistakes for Candidate Experience (and How to Avoid Them)


Candidate experience is one of the most discussed topics in the HR and Recruiting industry. Even with all this focus, however, there a few common mistakes. Here are the three most common Candidate Experience ones – and our advice for ways to avoid them:

  1. Putting all the pressure on the candidate. The candidate is no longer the only one with “something to prove.” In today’s competitive landscape and war for talent, it’s important to remember that candidates may have a variety of options as the economy and employment outlook continue to improve. Also, don’t forget that candidates are often customers first (or have the potential to becomes customers). If they have a negative experience, you won’t only damage your employer brand, but you may lose a customer and risk hurting your company brand overall. It’s important for the company to sell the opportunity just as much as the candidate is selling their knowledge, skills and experience to the organization. One way to do this is to include current employees in the process to help share more about the company culture or mission. TicketsAtWork’s Reward Management Solution platform can be an effective tool to recognize and reward employees that contribute to the recruiting strategy. In partnership with the recruiting team, your current employees can be your biggest advocates (or detractors) through the recruiting process.
  2. Declining a candidate through email. I get it, I do. Recruiters are busy filling open roles and sourcing passive talent. However, if a candidate made it through the application screen and talked to someone (on the phone or in the office) but were unsuccessful, it’s best that they are declined live. An email, regardless of how carefully crafted, can feel impersonal. This might also be the step in the process where a recruiter can deliver critical feedback or gently steer them into another career direction. Be careful not to oversteer here, however, and only direct them to another position or another recruiter at your company if there is a realistic potential fit. In doing so, this negative outcome for the candidate can actually turn into a positive sourcing and hiring strategy for the organization.
  3. Overselling the process. Candidates expect a quick and transparent hiring process and it’s likely that a recruiter will tell them it will be that way at the beginning. This might not be the best route, however. Whenever possible, recruiters and hiring managers should try to detail the full process upfront – the good, the bad, and the ugly. Candidates will hopefully understand that it takes time to align all of the moving parts. The most frustrating aspect for many candidates is not simply the time it takes, but the fact that they don’t know where they are in the process or are unaware if any progress is being made.

This is by no means an exhaustive list. It takes into account that a company is taking care of the basics first (leveraging technology, streamlining the process, etc.). By avoiding these mistakes, your company will find it easier to recruit top talent and keep them engaged once they are in the door.

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