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How the Candidate Experience Pushes the Needle in a Competitive Hiring Market

Candidate Experience

If your organization is not heavily focused on identifying meaningful ways to improve and streamline the job candidate experience, now would be an excellent time to start.

Why does the candidate experience matter so much?

While we are currently in a balanced job market, finding the right specialized talent continues to be quite challenging for many companies. Plus, marketing, creative and tech professionals with in-demand skills in hot areas can afford to be highly selective. And that will remain true in any economic climate. For employers, this means that to stay competitive it’s crucial to look at increasing pay, boosting benefits, providing more perks (particularly ones that enhance work-life balance), and offering clearly defined career advancement tracks.

But it’s also important to reexamine the overall candidate experience. Gaining a reputation for having a smooth and enjoyable candidate experience can set you apart from competing firms. But if mishandled, fumbled first impressions can negate all of the time, resources and effort you’ve invested in trying to woo top performers.


The candidate experience is the sum of every interaction and every point of contact between a job candidate and your organization during the recruiting and hiring process. It’s the job posting. The website. Every email exchange. Every phone call. Every interview. It’s the negotiation. The offer. The description of the onboarding experience. And even the welcome message on the first day of employment.

The candidate experience, in general, involves the length and complexity of the whole hiring process. The candidate experience is shaped by you as the hiring manger but also by every single ambassador of your employment brand, including other internal representatives and those who serve as external proxies (such as the recruiting partner you choose).

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How all of these steps are handled has a significant impact on candidates’ perceptions – and whether they end up working for you or not. If your hiring process is unnecessarily long, cumbersome or complicated, you risk losing out on great job candidates, while doing your employer brand reputation no favors.

We are all consumers and live in an experience-driven society, trained for this by the best brands in the world. Where once we may have expressed our experience by word of mouth to a smaller circle of friends, family, acquaintances and colleagues, today our reach as individuals is so much broader and faster. It is now common to evaluate everything as an experience and have the capability to share our candid thoughts and assessments in an instant, empowered by platforms such as Glassdoor and Google reviews.


If you’re still wondering why the candidate experience matters, well, as the saying goes, you only get one chance to make a first impression. This concept no longer applies only to the job seeker; the employer needs to “wow” the candidate too.

If you are having any challenges attracting the right job candidates or keeping them engaged through the various phases of the recruitment process, contact 24 Seven for hiring help now!

This post was updated on January 26, 2024.