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Defining the Candidate Experience

Recruiting organizations are becoming more cognizant of the power of the candidate experience, and how a good (or bad) one can impact their organization and recruitment marketing efforts. However, when we talk about the candidate experience, we often focus on the application and interview process. While those are a big part of the equation, the real candidate experience actually starts much, much earlier – before a candidate has even decided to apply.

Chris Brablc, SmashFly Director of Marketing, defines the candidate experience as the collective result of all the interactions you have with a candidate over the course of the recruitment marketing and hiring process. As you can see, the real candidate experience is:

  • TOTAL: It’s the accumulation of ALL the interactions we have with a candidate. And that doesn’t just include human to human interactions; the experience also comes from messaging, communications, and third party sources like Glassdoor.
  • INCLUSIVE: The candidate experience spans both the recruitment marketing and hiring process. It begins with their first interaction with your company, whatever that may be.
  • COLLECTIVE: Even if you have great messaging and an awesome career site, if your application process stinks, candidates are going to have a bad overall experience. A great candidate experience must be beginning to end.

This essential article touches on where candidate interactions are happening today, and how you can improve your overall candidate experience by paying more attention to job attraction, targeted engagement, candidate research, your apply flow, interview process, and employee engagement.