7 ways to improve your Candidate Experience

Magnus HR
4 min readJul 9, 2021

What impression does your hiring process leave on the candidate? Is it positive, exciting, challenging, or neutral? Candidate Experience is the term which HR folks use to describe everything associated with the candidate’s feelings regarding the hiring process. In other words, it’s the journey you walk your candidate through :)

A candidate’s personal experience can make a significant impact on your recruiting, regardless of whether you have sent her an offer or a rejection letter. How so?

Let us draw you a picture: it’s the end of the day, your candidate is having drinks with her friends somewhere downtown. She is telling them what a disastrous experience she has had with your company. How terrible the interview went. This will make you lose not just one candidate, but a portion of your company’s reputation!

So, how to make a candidate feel welcomed and cared for at your company?

  1. Be their Career Agent

Each of the candidates you meet should feel that you are trustful. Being trustful means you are not trying to trick into or hide anything from them. For instance, talk transparently about the challenges the candidate may face after joining your company.

No matter if you’re a Corporate or External Recruiter, or even a Hiring Manager — remember that your role should be that of Career Agent’s. This involves building a truthful relationship with the candidates from the very beginning through personalizing your communication and representing their interests rightfully.

2. Provide a clear picture of the Hiring Process ahead

Communicate the road and the stages awaiting your candidate as plainly as possible. A cool approach is to develop a step-by-step guide and send it to the candidates in advance. This is important especially now, during the times of remote interviews. These are the things we make sure to include in the guides we send to Magnus candidates:

  • What types of questions to expect?
  • Whom are they going to meet?
  • What to pay specific attention to?
  • Any hints that might be useful.

3. Tell the candidate about your Company Culture

This is an aspect of no less importance. No matter if you do this while the candidate is in the meeting room waiting for the hiring manager to come, or sharing a video at the end of an email — every opportunity should be used to show your company values, relationships, culture and people. Hint: culture is communicated best when done informally ;)

4. Provide feedback. Always.

Every single one of your candidates deserves to receive feedback. We know you are busy. But think of candidates as yourself — when you invest your time in something, you expect to be treated the right way. Feedbacking is especially important when dealing with rejected candidates: you should do it right which essentially means two things — Personalization and Honesty.

If you find it hard to write a personalized message to each candidate, here is a suggestion for you: break down the rejection reasons into categories, e.g. lack of experience, language or a particular tech skill, and make sure to include some hints to help the candidates improve. At @Magnus we include recommendations, tips, channels, sources and resources that make the candidates feel appreciated and cared for.

5. Prepare every person involved in the recruitment process

Improving the Candidate Experience does not assume interactions only with the candidates. You need to carefully work with anyone who has their stake in the hiring process. They may be your hiring managers, external recruiters, and others.

Since interviewing is an important touchpoint in the Candidate Experience, here is a simple checklist on how we manage the process:

  • Interviews are structured: we have clearly defined evaluation criteria for each role.
  • Free-to-attend mini-trainings for client-companies’ hiring managers are available, during which we discuss candidate types, interviewing tips and approaches.

6. Ask the candidate — “What do you think?”

Presenting a company’s perks & benefits is one thing, assuming the candidate will fall in love with your company is another. What if she’s looking for something totally different?

Listening to the candidate matters. You need to develop a precise idea of what to offer them, so seek your candidate’s opinion about the position and the company in general from early stages of communication.

7. Work with crystal clarity

The smallest things can have a big impact on your Candidate Experience. As they say — “The devil is in the details.” To ensure a thoroughly managed process we use Recruitment checklists and here’s a sample for you:

Pre-interview checklist

  • Check available days/hours in your calendar
  • Call and invite the candidate to the interview
  • Open and send a calendar invite
  • Develop interview structure
  • Make a reminder to the hiring manager and other interviewers a day before
  • etc…

The application of such checklists at every stage of Recruitment will positively contribute to the Candidate Experience at your company.

Try the steps above to guide the journey with your candidates the way you desire. Need advice? Drop us a message on Facebook now!



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