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Accessing the best talent starts with a positive candidate experience

How user friendly is yours?

Have you ever interviewed an amazing candidate and then been baffled as they ghosted you?

How about an offer to the perfect recruit being rejected?

Have you ever been the candidate who applied for a role and then never followed up with the recruiter?

It may sound brutal but it’s far more common than you might think.

Rejection and ghosting in recruitment work both ways, but if you want to prevent candidate drop–off it’s important to understand why this happens. Offering somebody a job isn’t the final step in the recruitment dance: for starters, a candidate is 38% more likely to accept a job offer if their candidate journey was good, and secondly – more worryingly – between 10 – 20% of people think it’s acceptable to accept a job and not turn up on their first day, without contact, if they changed their mind or got a ‘better’ offer. The key here is in the candidate experience; to maintain the best candidates, you need to ensure you are building a culture of two-way loyalty and trust from the moment a candidate applies for your role.

Keep it simple

Before we even consider interviews, the application process needs reviewing. Most jobseekers have an existing CV, so why overcomplicate things with downloadable application forms or online CV builders? Your applicant drop–off rate will show you how many candidates began an application but didn’t submit it and should be indicative of how hard your jobs are to apply for. Keep your process quick, slick, and easy to follow to ensure the best candidates for the job actually apply. If the process is difficult, it will begin to sow those doubts right from the beginning.

Apply yourself

Literally. Apply for your own vacancy to see how it works. The application process is often indicative of the company: is it smart and forward-thinking or clunky and outdated? If you find it hard work to apply for your own job, imagine how frustrating that would be for a jobseeker. Key factors for the modern workplace include multi-device application, CV upload, clear and concise job descriptions and minimal ‘extra-work’ like setting up profiles. Candidates may be happy to do the extra work at interview stage, but it is a lot to ask at application and can be off-putting.


Everybody involved in the hiring process must be aligned with your company values and with each other. Whether you’re the hiring manager, the recruiter, or the administrator booking the interview, first impressions count. Ensure that all candidate contact is positive, engaging, and in-line with your company values. If you have an employer brand (and if not, why not?), make sure that is reflected throughout your hiring process.

The first conversation or email a candidate has with your business is super important for building that trust and making them want to be a part of your vision. Remember that this process is as much for the candidate to interview you as you them!

Ask for feedback

The only way to understand how candidates feel about the process is to ask them. You can use your ATS software to build this into the process, sending requests for feedback at appropriate points in time. It is easy to only get feedback from candidates when it comes to the point of offer, but there are useful nuggets of insight throughout the process which can help improve your process in the future. Importantly, action that feedback to avoid future disappointment as you lose top talent.

The Remote Recruitment Playbook

This blog has been part of our remote recruitment series, keep an eye out for the rest of the series, or download our remote recruitment playbook below to boost your recruitment strategy today.

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Written by Caroline Hawksworth


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