Why is Candidate Experience Important? 

Jen Dewar Avatar
why is candidate experience important

Recruiters are busy. Between guiding hiring managers, juggling an overflowing inbox, and keeping the recruitment process moving, the candidate experience can easily fall by the wayside. As it stands, only one in four candidates are satisfied or very satisfied with the talent acquisition process. That’s a problem.

A positive candidate experience isn’t just a feel-good nicety. It’s a strategic advantage that can supercharge your entire recruitment process and provide tangible business benefits.

1. Attract skilled talent

Your candidate experience impacts your ability to hire high-quality talent—for better or for worse. 

Candidates can easily share their experiences within their network, via social media, and on employer review sites. A positive experience can enhance your employer brand and help you attract more high-quality candidates. On the other hand, a negative candidate experience can damage your company’s reputation, making it more challenging to attract top talent.

The impact the candidate experience can have on your talent pool doesn’t end with employer branding. Based on a recent candidate experience, 26% of North American candidates say they will definitely increase their relationship with the company through referrals and future job applications—as well as product purchases and brand alliance. Happy candidates can become brand ambassadors that help your business succeed, even when they’re not hired.

2. Build candidate engagement

Candidates are evaluating your team and organization as much as you’re evaluating them. 

A thoughtful candidate experience helps job seekers feel valued and respected, enabling you to build positive relationships with them. This makes candidates more likely to stay engaged in your recruitment process and excited about the opportunity to join your team. 

A poor candidate experience may lead your candidates to withdraw from your recruitment process. For example, 47% of job seekers said poor communication would cause them to voluntarily pull out of the recruitment process. It’s often the most in-demand candidate’s you’ll lose, as they have other opportunities available to them.

Being intentional about your candidate experience is a worthwhile way to keep your best candidates engaged in your hiring process.

3. Increase your offer acceptance rate

An exceptional candidate experience doesn’t just help you attract and engage candidates—it helps you close the deal when it’s time to make an offer.

A positive candidate journey can position your company as an employer of choice and reinforce a job seeker’s desire to join your team. This translates to a higher job offer acceptance rate so you can hire more of your top-choice candidates.

Conversely, a poor experience can lead candidates to view your company in a negative light and question how they might be treated as employees. Candidates who aren’t excited about joining your team are more likely to stay in their current role or keep looking for opportunities elsewhere, leading to declined job offers.

4. Reduce your time to hire

Sourcing and interviewing candidates requires a lot of time and effort. The last thing you want is for your most qualified candidates to withdraw from your interview process or reject your job offers. This can extend your hiring process, as you move on to your next best candidate—or re-start your search.

A well-crafted candidate experience can help you build a more efficient recruitment process that reduces your time to hire. Attracting skilled talent, keeping candidates engaged in your interview process, and increasing your offer acceptance rate enables you to hire qualified talent faster.

5. Elevate quality of hire

A positive candidate experience is crucial for securing top talent, especially when the most qualified candidates often have other job opportunities to choose from. These skilled professionals aren’t just evaluating your role, but also your company and your culture. The way you treat them can make a significant impact on their decision to join your company.

A thoughtful candidate experience gives job seekers a positive impression of your company. This not only makes a job offer more attractive to your top-choice candidates, it fosters a sense of loyalty and enthusiasm from the start. This leads to high-quality hires who are eager to contribute and excel in their new roles, driving your organization’s long-term success.

6. Boost employee retention

The positive impact of a strong candidate experience doesn’t end with the offer stage.

A great candidate experience sets the stage for early employee engagement. New hires who have a positive recruitment experience develop a sense of connection with your company and feel valued from the outset. This translates to a happier, more loyal workforce with lower turnover rates. In fact, Aptitude Research found that companies with positive candidate experiences were 3x more likely to improve employee retention.

7. Improve employee performance

A positive candidate experience helps you attract, engage, and close skilled talent so you can build a high-quality team. It also helps you build early employee engagement and increase retention so you have loyal, committed, and motivated team members who stay with your organization long-term. It’s no surprise that companies with positive candidate experiences are 2x more likely to improve employee performance.

Final thoughts: Prioritizing the candidate experience is a strategic investment

A stand-out candidate experience requires forethought, effort, and iteration to get it right—but it’s well worth the investment. Treating candidates well can help you attract, engage, and retain the skilled talent your team needs to reach your organizational goals.

Want to learn how JobScore can help you elevate your candidate experience? Start your free trial or schedule a call with a recruitment advisor.