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Why the “Candidate Experience” Really Matters

Are you ignoring the most important aspect of the candidate experience?

Providing a good experience can make the difference between the best candidates accepting or rejecting your job offer. It can even enhance your reputation over time, and help to attract more and better applicants in the future.

You probably already know the basics:

  • Job posting/advertisement/description should be informative, interesting, maybe even exciting.
  • Application process should be convenient, accessible, easy to use.
  • Pre-employment assessments should provide relevant feedback.
  • Interviewers should be welcoming, professional, competent.

But if that’s all you’re thinking about, you’re missing something else. Something essential.

Fairness matters

When it comes to candidate experience, you should think beyond positive or negative.

People care just as much about fairness.

For example, it’s not just about whether your selection standards are easy or difficult—it’s whether they’re relevant or irrelevant.

It’s not just whether the interviewer is friendly or unfriendly—it’s whether they’re biased or unbiased.

Perceptions of fairness during the application process have substantial effects further down the line.

A recent series of studies found that:

  • Candidates who felt that they had been treated fairly found the job more desirable.
  • Candidates who felt that they had been treated fairly were more likely to say positive things and recommend the organization to friends and colleagues.
  • The actual hiring decisions didn’t have a huge effect. Rejected candidates showed the same basic pattern of results.
Image credits: Andy Bright, theilr