According to LinkedIn’s 2017 Global Recruiting Trends, 38% of talent acquisition leaders would invest in candidate experience if money wasn’t an issue.

Candidate experience is a candidate’s overall evaluation of the hiring process from sourcing, screening, interviewing, hiring, and onboarding.

As an area of recruiting that’s historically had a pretty terrible reputation, the good news is that there’s a lot of room for improvement.

Here are 5 ways technology can help improve your candidate experience.

Why candidate experience matters

A survey of job seekers found that nearly 60% of them have had a poor candidate experience. A bad candidate experience can seriously damage your recruiting efforts.

A CareerBuilder survey found that when job seekers had a bad candidate experience, 42% of them would never apply to that company again and 22% said they would tell other candidates not to work at that company. 72% of candidates with a poor candidates experience shared that experience with someone directly or online.

This means that attempts to re-engage the hundreds or thousands of candidates already in your ATS may be a waste of time if they had an initial bad experience.

A positive candidate experience, on the other hand, can result in more applicants and hires plus reduce your cost per hire and time to fill.

What job seekers hate about candidate experience

A Software Advice survey of job seekers found the top causes of a bad candidate experience include:

  • Unclear application instructions
  • Extremely long application
  • Minimal job description
  • No confirmation email
  • No notice when the position is filled
  • Unable to contact a recruiter

negative candidate experience

Source: Software Advice

What job seekers want in their candidate experience

The frustrating lack of communication is often referred to as the ATS black hole. Unsurprisingly, job seekers’ top requests for improving the candidate experience include:

  • More communication
  • Notification if passed over
  • Timeline of hiring process
  • Human contact after application
  • Timeliness of replies

improving candidate experience

Source: Software Advice

1. Use technology to speed up your recruiting process

The lowest hanging fruit for improving your candidate experience is speeding up your recruiting process by automating time-consuming manual tasks.

Recruitment automation software can help you speed up sourcing and screening by using AI to learn the job requirements and then finding resumes of candidates and automatically shortlisting, grading, and ranking every single candidate for you.

2. Use technology to instantly reply to every applicant

Because automation allows you to screen every applicant you receive, it’s possible to reply to every one of them as well.

At the very least, your ATS (or an add-on tool) should send an automated email that acknowledges receiving a candidate’s application and the expected next steps. CareerBuilder found that in addition to an automated reply, 84% of candidates also expect a personal email response.

Similar to marketing automation, recruitment automation can help you personalize your outreach by auto-filling the applicant’s name and other details in an email and providing next steps in the process depending on where in the recruiting funnel the applicant currently is.

3. Use technology to provide feedback to candidates

The lack of feedback is one of the biggest frustration of the recruiting process for candidates. The same technology that can automatically screen, grade, and rank candidates based on their qualifications can provide you with details on why someone is or isn’t a good fit for the role.

By tailoring this feedback to rejected candidates on why they didn’t move forward in the recruiting process, you can create a useful and high-touch candidate experience.

4. Use technology to rediscover previous candidates

Rejected candidates are often told, “We’ll keep your resume on file and if another role comes up that you’re qualified for, we’ll contact you.

Even though a recruiter may have every intention to do so, the ability to quickly and accurately find resumes of past applicants in an ATS has been unavailable until recently. With rediscovery technology, AI can search your existing resume database to find candidates who applied for a previous role and match them to a current open req.

Learning that you weren’t lying when you said you would contact a candidate again in the future makes a positive impression and can really make you stand out.

5. Use technology to enable candidates to talk to a human

Even with all the technology in the world, one of the top wishes of candidates is being able to talk to a human during the recruiting process.

Make sure that even with your automated outreach, you provide candidates with the ability to contact a human. Whether it’s through email, chat, or text, there are several ways a candidate can communicate with someone at your company.

Even a brief interaction can create a positive candidate experience which means the candidate will be more likely to re-engage with you in the future and share their positive reviews with others. Win-win.