Employer Branding Talent Acquisition

How Would YOU Describe Candidate Experience & Why is It Important?

From what point does it matter what a future employee thinks of your company? Once you’ve recruited them? Or maybe after they’ve been with your company for a few months? Well, according to our new panel of experts on candidate experience, it actually begins way before all of that. The clue is in the word ‘Candidate,’ and a company’s reputation starts from the moment they post a job advert. Here our panel of ten experts explain precisely what candidate experience is and why it matters.

Katrina Kibben 

Candidate experience is more than a check box and an application process. It should be an actual experience because it’s the first tangible interaction you have with a potential candidate. People talk a lot about how important first impressions are and just because the experience is digital doesn’t mean the candidate experience should be treated any differently.

Katrina Kibben is the CEO and Principal Consultant at Three Ears Media.

Kevin Grossman 

Candidate experience encompasses every single candidate interaction with an employer – from pre-application to onboarding and beyond. In fact, even once employed, the employee experience is the candidate experience, because we’ll all perpetual candidates at any given time. Those employed have to be constantly re-recruited to be retained. So, all these interactions are important because for the majority of candidates – 99 out of 100 for any given open job for example – don’t get the job, and their experience informs whether or not they’ll apply again or refer other.

Kevin Grossman is President of Global Programs at The Talent Board.

Lori Sylvia 

It’s a candidate’s overall experience with your company from the beginning of their recruitment journey to the end. It includes every interaction that a candidate has with your company, from talking with your employees to following your brand on social media to visiting your website to applying for a job and throughout the hiring process. It’s important because a terrible candidate experience not only affects your ability to recruit, it also affects your company’s ability to grow.

Lori Sylvia is the Founder and CEO of Rally Recruitment Marketing.

Manuel Heichlinger 

Candidate experience is an individual’s experience of a company’s recruitment process. For me, it is how the candidate reacts to and perceives a company’s hiring process, encompassing the entire journey from first touch to final point of rejection or job offer and hire. The obvious answer to why a company should care about their candidate experience is that it will help attract the best new recruits. But the truth is that the implications of a bad candidate experience go beyond just the recruitment process. Bad candidate experience is directly linked to brand perception- research has found that 41% of applicants who have terrible candidate experiences say they’ll take their loyalty and money elsewhere.  Equally, a good hiring experience will set the tone for the rest of their career with the company.

Manuel Heichlinger is LinkedIn’s Senior Manager for Talent Acquisition.

Jeanette Maister 

Candidate Experience is the relationship between employers and candidates during the entire application process. It’s about making and strengthening connections through every touchpoint. Candidates are the people you’ll be working with and adding to your team. Even if you don’t hire them, they may be your customers now or in the future. Being careful and intentional about the relationship, you gain pools of candidates who might fit your organization in the future. In the same way a marketer builds a relationship with a prospect over time, so too, should anyone in talent acquisition.

Jeanette Maister is Head of Americas at Oleeo (formerly WCN).

Josh Tolan 

The candidate experience is the process that candidates go through as thy make the decision on whether or not your company is the right fit for them. It’s everything from the information they find when doing research on your company before applying and through on boarding. It’s important because it can make or break your recruiting results.

Josh Tolan is the CEO of Sparkhire.

Aida Fazylova 

We believe the moment a candidate clicks on a job post, their interaction with a potential employer begins. The experience they have from this moment on and the feeling they associate with your company is their candidate experience. Having great candidate engagement is important because top applicants know their value. When these applicants are looking for the right job, they seek out opportunities that deliver a personalized experience.

Aida Fazylova, CEO, and Founder, of

Benjamin Gledhill

Candidate Experience is at the centre of everything. Not only is it what candidates will see, think and feel during the application process it’s also the grounding for the employee experience. It can make or break your Employer Brand.


Benjamin Gledhill is the Head of Resourcing at Yodel.

Jill Shabelman

The candidate experience is the way someone feels about what they went through and how they were treated in their search for a new opportunity – either in their current organization or a new employer. Finding a job can be one of the most humbling and frustrating experiences and it’s the important job of the hiring team to show candidates that their time is valued and respected at each stage in the journey.

Jill Shabelman is the Employer Brand Marketing Manager at Deloitte Services LP.

Chris Murdock

We find connecting with our candidates to be an incredibly vital first connection to make for our clients. As an outsourced service, we’re at risk to creating a disconnect between the passing of the candidate from sourcing to recruiting. When you can carry these conversations with fluidity, the candidate feels you value them and their time, and gives them insight into how they will be treated as an employee.

Chris Murdock is Senior Partner and Co-Founder at IQTalent Partners.

By Ushma Mistry

Editor & Content Strategist at Link Humans, download our new eBook now: Measuring Employer Brand: The Ultimate Guide and check out our latest product The Employer Brand Index.