The Ultimate Guide to Candidate Experience

CHAPTER 3

When does Candidate Experience start and end?

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We talk a lot about Candidate Experience…but where does it begin and where does it end?

It’s important to understand when Candidate Experience begins, and when it ends, because it’s when you can begin to either reap the rewards from a great Candidate Experience or mitigate the results of poor Candidate Experience

When applying to a position, candidates are essentially pushed through a funnel of different stages until the hiring process ends. In fact, it’s a similar approach to many marketing strategies. Think of yourself as the product, and your candidates as your customers, with the hiring of a candidate being a conversion.

Different phases of their journey describe the various stages of applying to a position, ending with either a rejection, a withdrawal, or a successful hiring. The market is broadly trending in being more candidate-centric than it previously was. While record high resignation rates have made candidates more demanding, and have given them a wider variety of potential jobs, their journey is the same.

What are the main steps of Candidate Experience?

Let's take a look at the 7 steps of Candidate Experience:

Awareness: This is where your candidate first sees the role you are advertising for, whether that be by referral, a job board, LinkedIn or somewhere else. Much like with marketing, you need your ideal candidate persona for the specific role to ensure you’re targeting the right group of people.

Consideration & Interest: First impressions matter. You need to attract your potential candidates into the funnel, which is most likely done with a strong Employer Brand across a range of channels that candidates are on. At this point, candidates will likely be looking at sites like Glassdoor to see if, firstly, the interview process has any red flags, and secondly, how current and former employees feel about the company.

Application: This is perhaps one of the most important, yet often overlooked phases of the candidate journey. Lengthy, complicated job applications can seriously detract from your Candidate Experience. Many candidates are often working full time whilst searching for a new role, as well as applying for several other positions. Keep it short and simple to make it as easy as possible!

Selection: As we all know, selection works both ways. At this stage, your candidate is also weighing different potential employers. This is a great opportunity to share what it’s really like to work at your company. For example, make sure to mention work from home options, flexible hours, company culture, and other aspects your potential employee could care about.

Hiring: This is the moment we’ve all been waiting for: making the hire! The hiring manager decides which candidate is the perfect fit, and the candidate needs to decide whether it’s right for them, too. Every step has contributed to this, and will contribute to the outcome.

Onboarding: Now you’ve got the candidate in, you’ve got to ensure you keep them around. If this is overlooked, it can come with consequences. Hiring is a time-consuming and costly process, so retention is key. Ensuring that the onboarding process is smooth and optimized is essential in maximizing your company’s hiring ROI.

Finishe-...hold-up, it doesn’t quite end there. So where does it end?

Candidate Experience doesn’t end when you hire someone into your company, which might seem odd. In fact, they can always become internal candidates in the future, engaging in Internal Mobility.

As we all know, hiring from within is a much more cost effective way of filling roles whilst also retaining your top talent. It’s really important to still measure how your internal candidates feel , otherwise you could be treating external and internal candidates differently, resulting in some pretty dismayed internal candidates.

Candidate Journey

Here at Starred, we measure from the beginning - yes, even on the career page! - through to the end, including internal candidates. This provides our customers with a holistic view of the entire funnel, better informing their TA teams.

The next chapter will outline how you can give a voice to your candidates.