March 27, 2023

Optimizing The Candidate Experience in 2023

Recruitment Process Outsourcing

The talent acquisition sector understands full well how recruiting and the overall hiring process has changed dramatically; however, what hasn’t changed is that recruiting is still missing out on creating a great candidate experience. The vast majority of job seekers state that they have a less-than-desirable experience with most companies’ hiring process.

What is missing for most companies? Personalizing the candidate experience that meets them on their terms. Those terms begin with how recruiting teams promote the organization’s employer brand — moving from brochureware to personalized communications unique to each candidate. Job seekers want to communicate through their communication channel of choice: text, email, or chatbots. They also desire ease when filling out forms on the career site or self-scheduling and expect a robotic experience in the right places to move them through the process faster. Unfortunately, many organizations miss the fact that the robotics they put in place should be there to collect information on the user that can be used for personalization later.

The candidate experience remains disjointed today, and it is a widespread pain point for anyone going through their recruitment journey. Delivering seamless experiences across many communication channels and introducing digital touchpoints within the recruiting process is challenging, requiring special attention and a deep understanding of your audience. There needs to be a more thoughtful approach to ensure it creates a relevant experience specific to their needs. Every interaction you have with your candidate is your opportunity to tell a great story about your organization, your employee value proposition, and your “why” with the intent of building a relationship between the individual and your organization’s brand

Those touches or interactions throughout the recruiting process reflect your brand and signal what it is like to work for your organization. Like any customer buying experience, your candidates assess your social media, your career site, the way you communicate, and build their own impressions if your truth is well told. At Aspirant’s RPO, we work to help organizations continually assess their candidate experience. It is a critical component in helping organizations to compete and stand out in a crowded space.

There are some easy steps that organizations can take to begin optimizing their candidate experience, and those include:

  • Treat candidates as customers Candidate Experience: Treat Talent as Customers
  • Create a positive experience that candidates remember at every interaction 
  • Personalize the messages and use digital interactions in a way that feels authentic 
  • Find ways to create an easy interaction for candidates to enter your recruiting process 
  • Stop treating all candidates the same 

Your candidates need to learn what goes on behind the scenes. The recruiting process for candidates can feel long and full of uncertainty which often creates a negative experience, especially when there is a lack of conversation. In addition, candidates often find it daunting and discouraging to go through an organization’s recruiting process, give up and leave with a negative impression of your brand. 


Candidate Experience Begins with a Conversation

The average person checks their phone around 80 times daily, meaning your recruitment texts will likely to be seen long before your emails, and you’re more likely to get a reply. Text messages average a 45 percent response rate, partly due to the freedom candidates have to text even when they’re working at their current jobs. Rather than using computers attached to employers’ networks, candidates can search for positions and respond to messages on their personal devices without being concerned about who may be monitoring the communications.


Every Interaction is the Start of Building a Relationship

Today’s candidates want to feel connected to your brand, not just your jobs. Candidates want to understand your organization’s commitment to diversity and your company’s mission, purpose, and values. They also want to see that in action. Videos and testimonials are more authentic messaging approaches over traditional words on a page. Have your leadership speak directly to candidates; this message can go a long way, leaving lasting impressions that your leaders are authentic about the importance of talent to the organization's strategic goals.


Speed Up the Recruitment Process

Guide candidates on the best way to share more about themselves and remove any gates in your process, such as registering with your applicant tracking system or using easy-to-populate forms using their social profiles. Let candidates see a self-scheduling link on your site without a recruiter sending them a link to schedule a pre-screen. 


Attract Better Talent

Think about the software your organization uses to engage with candidates. Talent acquisition software helps you weed out candidates who don’t meet the minimum requirements for your open positions. Still, if you fail to engage with the best profiles, then you’ll lose them to your competitors. Seventy-three percent of job seekers prefer to receive personalized or targeted messages via text, and millennials favor texting over other types of communication. Today’s top talent is looking for responsive employers providing positive user experiences. Text messaging allows you to deliver what they want. When text messages are part of your recruitment system, you can connect with the talent your company needs faster than with the methods you’re using now. Start meeting candidates where they are with timely, relevant job offers, and create the kind of user experience today’s talent expects. 

The most important thing is to fully understand the candidate journey and apply your strategy across every stage of the recruiting process. In addition, you need to consider the quantity and quality of how the candidates interact, as well as the availability of touchpoints.


Candidate Experience Journey Map 2023


Beyond the starting point of assessing your candidate experience, here’s how to develop a candidate experience strategy: 

  • Understand your audience and create candidate personas; check out our simple guide for creating candidate personas 
  • Analyze your recruiting objectives 
  • Reverse-engineer the recruiting experience you want to deliver 
  • Pay attention to candidate feedback 
  • Research your competitors 
  • Incorporate a memorable employer brand personality.
  • Apply AI technology where it helps to personalize the experience for future interactions; make use of the right technology and tools. 
  • Redefine your recruitment marketing strategy and your candidate communications. 
  • Understand your candidate experience metrics; career site abandonment rates, application drop off, recruiter screen no-shows. 

A candidate experience strategy is ongoing, and your organization needs to adopt a continuous improvement approach. Measure, optimize, repeat. Remember: candidate experience provides a massive opportunity to boost your ability to hire faster with the right talent.


Want to create a better candidate experience? Learn how an outsourcing partner like Aspirant RPO can improve your candidate experience, by filling out the form below.



Executive VP of RPO recruiting, Patty solves client talent acquisition challenges through innovative solutions that enable companies to attract top talent. Her experience includes recruitment marketing strategy, employment branding, HR technology implementations, research, and project management. Patty was the visionary for building a talent attraction platform (ACTIVATE) that leading organizations use to improve the candidate experience by transforming career sites into highly effective search engine optimized sites. 

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