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The importance of providing a good candidate experience

By Jack Campbell | |6 minute read

Having a solid candidate experience during the hiring process can help an organisation to stand out, which can result in more great talent coming into the business.

Bluefin Resources technology sales recruitment lead Ben Townshend said that ensuring you create a positive candidate experience is crucial to securing talent.

“Having a good candidate experience, in general, is going to really enable you to stand out from the crowds. There [are] lots of companies that have a great brand in terms of what they do, but their actual candidate experience and how they get people through the process is awful, and they end up shooting themselves in the foot,” Mr Townshend said.


“Even though they’re maybe the best company in their space and they pay well, they still do a really bad job of actually being able to get good talent on board.”

Creating a good impression from the get-go is a great way to lure people into the organisation. Once that is done, processes need to be streamlined in order to make hiring as quick and effective as possible.

“Candidate experience really starts off with the interview process. And why it’s so important in the interview process is because the better that your candidate experience is in that point, the greater chance you’ve got of being able to actually get good talent on board,” explained Mr Townshend.

“So, what we’ve suggested to a lot of our clients is streamlining that interview process as best as possible. That doesn’t mean that you need to reduce your interview process to one stage because actually, that can actually end up almost doing yourself a disservice because candidates aren’t bought into your company, they haven’t spoken to enough people within your business to really be bought in.”

He continued: “What I mean by streamlining is, say, if you’ve got a four-stage interview process … make sure that, say, those four stages are a maximum across 10 days … If you can keep that within two weeks, then you’re in a really good spot, and you’re going to be way above a lot of companies out there, and you’re really going to increase your chances of being able to actually secure talent.”

Mr Townshend noted that companies that take too long to hire are potentially going to lose talent to competitors.

“That two, three, four-week period of where they’re on their notice period and before they start, that is the most dangerous time that you’re actually going to lose people,” he said.

Another way to ensure that connection isn’t broken is to keep constant contact with candidates. If you leave them in the dark through the hiring process, you risk doubt and confusion, driving potential hires away.

Mr Townshend commented: “It’s so important with the candidate experience [to stay] in contact with future employees once they’ve signed the contract, because you’ll lose them.”

“That could be anything. Sending them a welcome pack, meeting them through a face to face, or taking them for a lunch. We’ve had a few clients that invite the new recruit into a team WhatsApp group, and then they [can] have a bit of back and forth, and they already feel like they’re part of the company then, and you are really going to reduce your chance of losing out on people because they already feel connected with the business,” added Mr Townshend.

The transcript of this podcast episode, when quoted above, was slightly edited for publishing purposes. The full audio conversation with Ben Townshend on 4 April is below, and the original podcast article can be found here.




Candidate experience

The experience of job candidates throughout the hiring process is known as the candidate experience. This is crucial for gauging the organisation's marketing as a desirable employer and for analysing abandonment rates (the percentage of applications that are started but never finished).


The practice of actively seeking, locating, and employing people for a certain position or career in a corporation is known as recruitment.

Jack Campbell

Jack Campbell

Jack is the editor at HR Leader.