Optimising the candidate experience for better recruitment and a better image


In the recruitment process, it’s essential to put the candidate experience at the heart of everything we do; Candidate experience refers to a candidate’s overall perception of their interaction with a company throughout the recruitment process.

A positive experience can strengthen the employer brand, attract top talent and encourage employee retention.

Let’s look together at the importance of the candidate experience and explore the different ways in which this can be improved throughout the recruitment process.

We’ll also explain how our recruitment software Jobaffinity can contribute to this improvement by offering advanced features focused on the candidate experience.

Understanding the candidate experience

Recruitment is a dialogue. You may have dozens or hundreds of candidates, but for each person who applies, you or your company will be the sole contact for that particular position.

As a recruiter in the digital age, it’s easy to lose sight of this essential point under the flood of different applications, CV sorting, questionnaires, etc. You always have to think about the human element behind each application;

Definition of candidate experience

The candidate experience encompasses all the interactions a candidate has with a company, from the initial contact to the final recruitment decision. This includes the application, pre-selection, interviews, assessment tests and discussions with recruiters. A positive candidate experience can create a lasting impression and influence a candidate’s decision whether or not to join a company.

The impact of the candidate experience on the employer brand

A positive candidate experience strengthens a company’s reputation as an attractive employer. Satisfied candidates are more likely to recommend the company to others and share their experience on recruitment platforms and social networks (social networks can be an excellent recruitment method).

This can also encourage candidates who may not have been shortlisted for a given position due to a lack of skills to apply for other vacancies within your organisation, simply because they have a good ‘feel’ for the job.

What’s more, a bad experience can damage a company’s reputation and discourage talented candidates. Especially if the experience is so bad that the candidate(s) talk about it on social networks.

Worse still, the longer the experience and recruitment process is going to take, the more the cost of recruitment will be high. There’s every reason to optimise your processes.

Statistics and studies demonstrating the importance of candidate experience

According to a study by Talent Board, an organisation dedicated to improving the candidate experience, 60% of candidates share their online application experience, whether positive or negative. Candidates often use employer rating sites, forums, social networks or recruitment platforms to share their experiences. This clearly underlines the importance of creating a positive candidate experience to maintain a good reputation.

According to the same study, a positive candidate experience can also have a significant impact on candidates’ recommendation of the company. The figures quoted indicate that a positive application experience can lead to a 15% increase in recommendations made by candidates about the company. Not only does it improve the company’s image, it also attracts more talent!

Another study conducted by CareerBuilder highlights the crucial role played by the candidate experience in candidates’ perceptions of the company. According to this study, 78% of candidates believe that the candidate experience is a key indicator of how a company values its employees. Candidates see the candidate experience as a reflection of the company’s culture, values and commitment to employees, which will have a positive impact on their onboarding, motivation and retention.

The different phases of the recruitment process and their impact on the candidate experience

The application phase

The application phase represents the first a crucial stage in the recruitment process, as this is when candidates interact with the company for the first time. A positive experience from the outset can have a significant impact on the candidate’s overall perception of the company.

It is vital to make the application process as simple, fast and user-friendly as possible. Talented candidates are often approached by several companies, and if the application process is complex or tedious, they can quickly become discouraged and look for other opportunities. Selon une étude menée par CareerBuilder, environ 60% des candidats abandonnent un form application form en ligne s’il est trop long ou trop complexe.

In order to optimise the application platform and facilitate the process for candidates, it is recommended that the following aspects be taken into account:

  • Reduce the number of mandatory fields: Candidates can feel put off by application forms that are too long and complex. It is preferable to limit the mandatory fields to essential information, so that applicants can complete the form quickly without feeling overwhelmed.
  • Prefer multiple choices rather than free text: You’ll have plenty of time to judge the candidate’s verve in their cover letter, during discussions or at the interview. By offering multiple choices (or a list of choices to be selected) for the most common expected answers, you’ll not only make it easier to apply, but also easier for you to sort the applications!
  • Simplifier la navigation et le design : Une interface claire et intuitive facilite la navigation des candidats sur la plateforme de candidature. If the advert is on your site, make sure the design is attractive, with a well-structured layout and clear instructions. Browsing also has to work well on mobile. An easy-to-follow and visually appealing application process can make the experience more engaging for candidates.

By adopting these best practices, you will optimise the application phase and offer a more positive candidate experience. We need to make the application process easier, reduce obstacles and simplify the steps involved. This is just the first contact, the “handshake”.

The pre-selection and evaluation phase

The pre-screening and assessment phase is perhaps one of the most time-consuming parts of recruitment, allowing recruiters to filter applications and select the most relevant profiles. Effective pre-selection is essential to optimise time and resources for both candidates and recruiters.

The use of automated pre-selection tools can greatly facilitate this process. These tools, like our Jobaffinity recruitment software, allow you to quickly sort applications according to predefined criteria such as skills, professional experience, education, etc.

For example, we can use information extraction (parsing) to create clear, concise candidate files, with or without anonymisation. You can also set up a questionnaire with different rating scales to make an initial selection at a glance. This will enable you to concentrate on the most qualified candidates and reduce the time spent examining profiles that do not match the criteria you are looking for.

By using automatic pre-screening tools such as those built into the Jobaffinity recruitment software, you can save valuable time and focus on the candidates with the highest potential. This speeds up the entire recruitment process, reducing response times and improving the overall candidate experience.

In addition to automatic pre-selection, it is also crucial to provide transparent and rapid feedback to unsuccessful candidates. If a candidate is not selected for a specific position, they should be kept informed as soon as the decision is made (which is just one click away on Jobaffinity).

In some cases, for certain profiles of candidates who have spoken to you, accurate and constructive feedback can contribute to their professional development and positive perception of the company. Detailed feedback enables candidates to understand why they were not selected and to learn from the experience. It can also maintain a positive relationship with candidates, who may consider applying for future opportunities within the company.

Using recruitment tools such as Jobaffinity facilitates communication and feedback management by centralising all interactions with candidates within a single platform. You’ll be able to chat with candidates via email, automatic or otherwise, schedule calls or send SMS or Whatsapp messages via KMB Labs.

Effective pre-selection and the use of automatic pre-selection tools simplify the recruitment process, allowing recruiters to focus on the most qualified candidates. By speeding up the processing of these requests, you will build up an image of a serious recruiter, even with people whose applications you are not going to retain.

Consider this figure, which can be discouraging for many: 64% of applications go unanswered. What if we all worked together to bring it down?

The interview and final assessment

The interview and final assessment phase is often seen (wrongly, we shouldn’t forget onboarding) as the final phase of recruitment. It is at this stage that candidates have the opportunity to demonstrate their skills and suitability for the job during the sacrosanct job interview (if you have trouble preparing for interviews, check out this article). To ensure an optimal candidate experience, it is essential to simplify interview planning and provide clear information to candidates.

Planning interviews can be a complex process, especially when several stakeholders are involved (different managers, HR, different departments or even geographical location, etc.).

Automated planning tools, such as those built into our ATS Jobaffinity, make this task much easier for You. These tools allow recruiters to propose predefined time slots to candidates, reducing the time-consuming round-trips to find a suitable date and time. Automated scheduling also simplifies coordination between the various parties involved, enabling them to view availability and easily reserve the appropriate time slots, while making the candidate file available before and during the interview. This saves time and reduce waiting times for applicants, improving their overall experience.

As well as simplifying the planning of interviews, it is important to provide candidates with clear information about the assessment process, the next steps and the deadlines. Candidates need to know what to expect and feel guided throughout the process. By communicating transparently about upcoming stages, planned assessments and approximate deadlines, candidates are less likely to feel anxious and uncertain. Clear communication also reinforces the company’s credibility and shows its commitment to a positive candidate experience.

Best practices for improving the candidate experience with Jobaffinity

Personalised communication

Personalised communication is a key element in delivering an exceptional candidate experience. Jobaffinity offers advanced features to automate and personalise communications with candidates at every stage of the recruitment process. By using communication models adapted to each stage, recruiters can send relevant, clear and personalised messages to candidates. This increases candidate commitment and satisfaction, while saving recruiters time.

You can have several message templates, call on AI to help you reformulate, automate or customize them on the fly, all in perfect synchronisation with your email or calendar system.

As mentioned above, you can even communicate with candidates by SMS or Whatsapp directly from our ATS.

Using Jobaffinity’s advanced features

Jobaffinity offers advanced features that enhance the candidate experience throughout the recruitment process. With an integrated candidate tracking system, recruiters can efficiently manage applications, track the progress of each candidate and provide real-time updates.

Transparent, centralised communication between recruiters and candidates via Jobaffinity facilitates the exchange of information with candidates and reduces response times, contributing to a smooth and enjoyable experience for candidates.

You can ask managers or colleagues for their opinions, rate each application, place candidates in specific pools, search by skills, experience or geolocation… Our recruitment software offers a wide range of functions;

Measure and continually improve the candidate experience

To improve the candidate experience, it is essential to measure results and take corrective action. Jobaffinity offers Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for monitoring the candidate experience, such as the application conversion rate, average response time, best-performing application sources and gender parity. By regularly collecting candidate feedback and analysing the data, companies can identify areas for improvement and implement strategies to optimise the overall experience in reporting directly from the application.

Improve the candidate experience to get better candidates

The candidate experience plays a crucial role in the recruitment process. A positive experience can strengthen the employer brand, attract the best talent and encourage employee retention. With the recruitment software Jobaffinity gives you access to dozens of advanced features to enhance the candidate experience throughout the recruitment process.

Optimisation of the application platform, no-click CV preview, rejection at the click of a buttonthe questionnaires, applicant poolsYou’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to making the application experience for your organisation as seamless as possible.

You can significantly improve the candidate experience, strengthen your reputation as an employer of choice and attract the best talent on the market by optimising your recruitment processes…

It’s time for companies to put the candidate experience at the heart of their business and take advantage of technology tools such as Jobaffinity to deliver an exceptional candidate experience. By investing in improving the candidate experience, companies can ensure they recruit the best talent and build high-performance teams to achieve their long-term goals.

Could your own processes be optimised? Ask us for a demo, and we’ll answer that question together.Could your own processes be optimised? Ask us for a demo, and we’ll answer that question together;

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