Employer Branding Talent Acquisition

What’s the Greatest Pitfall with Candidate Experience?

With most things in life, nothing is ever perfect and the same can be said about candidate experience. And whilst you might have the best intention to give future employees the best candidate experience, there are times when you may fall a little short.

Our expert panel this week share some of the candidate experience pitfalls they’ve come across.

Katrina Kibben

Across our industry, we’ve bought into these “best in class” elements. There are so many people trying to be prescriptive but that’s not real. Best in class is really a bottom line. They’re the minimum standards we expect to be humane about hiring. That’s not the right place to start if you want to be excellent. You have to do something entirely different to be special.

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

Kevin Grossman

The near- and long-term impact on the business. Each year we see similar trends in whether or not candidates will apply again, refer others and make purchases if and when applicable. The negative impact on the business could translate to millions of dollars of lost revenue for consumer-based businesses (search for the Virgin Media case study online) and lost referrals for B2C and B2B companies.

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

Lori Sylvia

I have two:

1. Not treating candidates like humans. Lack of communication is basically a sign of disrespect. That’s no way to build a brand or start a relationship.

2. Not making your career site or application process mobile responsive. You’re losing tons of great candidates by not thinking Mobile First.

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

Manuel Heichlinger

For me, one of the biggest pitfalls is maintaining a balanced level of communication with a candidate. A massive 77% of candidates have reported never hearing back from a company after applying for a position, leaving the candidate with the impression that the company doesn’t respect their time. It is vital to maintain a transparent dialogue with the candidate throughout the process.

But that’s not to say that a candidate will be pleased to hear from you any time of day or night, as 14% of job-seekers have said that the most inappropriate thing a recruiter could do is to send them a text outside of business hours.

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

Jeanette Maister

Thinking the experience ends when the candidate is hired and onboarded. HR Managers often forget about the people they’ve hired until there’s a problem or until they want to leave. In the same way, recruiters often forget about other candidates once one has been plucked from the candidate pool. That candidate pool still retains plenty of viable talent for your organization and can be a great resource should future positions open up.

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

Josh Tolan

Assuming that candidates are interested in working for your company. Everyone believes they have the most attractive job opening or the best company to work for. Take the approach that no one is interested and you need to do everything you can to change their mind.

Josh Tolan is the CEO of Sparkhire.

Aida Fazylova

Feedback. Or the lack of feedback. Offering feedback will help create a positive candidate experience. Ninety-four percent of candidates want feedback after the interview. Your feedback can include a couple of pointers on what they did well and where they might look to improve in the future. Your response should provide enough to make them feel like they’ve been through a worthwhile learning experience.

Aida Fazylova, CEO and Founder, of

Benjamin Gledhill

Ignoring the negative comments/feedback you receive. Take it as free consultancy and a massive opportunity to improve what you do.

Benjamin Gledhill is the Head of Resourcing at Yodel.

Jill Shabelman

Delivering an exceptional candidate experience to every person, every time is not easy. It requires empathy, being able to anticipate what may come next from a candidate or hiring team, and sometimes delivering hard messages. The greatest pitfall is that amidst all the processes and tasks involved in recruiting, it can be easy to forget there are real people with real emotions involved on each side. It’s important for recruiters and hiring teams to occasionally hit pause and do a gut check to ensure they are treating candidates with respect and fairness.

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

Chris Murdock

Failing to make true, working connections with your candidates in the first stages of communication. If we expect candidates to do their research on us as a company and employer, we need to meet those standards, too. Prove to your candidates you value their time and skills by building tailored messaging when reaching out about a position. This also means meeting candidates where they’re hanging out instead of waiting for them to filter through your job site.

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

By Ushma Mistry

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