10 Reasons to Care About Candidate Experience, In Stats

Remote or in-person, the candidate experience is something you can’t afford to ignore. How candidates feel during and after the recruitment process can have lasting effects on your future talent pool and your reputation as a brand. Here are 10 statistics that show why you should pay attention to your candidate experience. 

94% of candidates want to receive feedback after interviews — if they receive constructive feedback, they’re 4 times more likely to consider applying in the future 

When you think of your talent pool, the first candidates who come to mind are probably not those you previously didn’t hire. In reality, this group could make up some of the best candidates for future employee selection. They’re already familiar with your company and have invested time and effort in your application process. You also have information about them from their previous application: their contact information, resume, skills, and what made them a good or bad fit for your company. 

While you might not be able to provide individual feedback for every candidate you interview, narrow down your list to the strongest applicants who didn’t make the cut to make the task less daunting. Maintaining a professional relationship with them — more on that below — lets you keep strong candidates ready for your next posting and decreases your time and cost to fill.

73% of candidates are never asked for feedback 

No one is better at pointing out the strongest and weakest parts of your hiring process than the candidates who experience it. Send follow-up surveys to both successful and unsuccessful candidates, including those who opted out partway through the process. Start with simple questions like scale ratings to encourage engagement, and then provide the opportunity for candidates to answer an open-form question. 

Recent hires are also good sources of feedback, as they can tell you whether the expectations they were provided during the hiring process translated to the job itself. If you notice that you stop hearing from candidates after a certain point in the process, that’s a big red flag that it’s an area that needs improvement. This brings us to our next point…

60% of job searchers quit in the middle of an application because of its length or complexity 

If you want to hire the best candidates, they first need to get through your application. Make it easy for candidates to submit their resume or fill out a simple form, especially if the overall hiring process is lengthy. 

Consider what is essential to this touchpoint. For example, can long-answer questions be instead handled through an interview or skills assessment? Can you use a feature like LinkedIn Easy Apply instead of having applicants create a username and password for your portal? 

Ensuring your application process doesn’t contribute to cognitive load improves accessibility and will speed up the overall hiring process. It also sends the message that you respect candidates’ time. Here are a few guidelines specific to creating an easy job application process:

  • provide clear instructions on applying, without jargon, and use inclusive language 
  • manage expectations by providing an estimated time to completion 
  • limit the application to one page 
  • don’t require users to create a password to access their application 
  • ensure the form is mobile-friendly and can be completed with assistive technology 
  • don’t surprise candidates with file uploads or long answers in the middle — make it clear at the beginning or on your careers page that you’ll be requiring cover letters or samples 
  • offer generous file size limits for portfolios and samples to avoid candidates having to compress files 
  • provide the opportunity to submit URL links for samples as an alternative to file uploads 
  • ensure that only essential fields are marked “Required” 

57% of job hunters lose interest in a job if its hiring process is too long 

Job searching today is a long and involved process. Candidates often apply to multiple jobs at once and will look more favorably on companies with a shorter and more engaging hiring process than those who string them along. When faced with competing job offers, applicants are more likely to accept the one they receive first. 

If your hiring process is unavoidably long, ensure you’re managing candidate expectations and providing timelines and regular updates. This will keep candidates engaged and let them know they haven’t been forgotten. It’s also a sign that you respect their time and recognize the effort they’re putting into the hiring process. 

22% of unhappy candidates will actively encourage others not to apply. 72% share their experience online or with someone directly 

Candidates’ social networks often include others who work in the same industry, either as colleagues or former classmates. Poor candidate experiences will not only cause candidates to not apply to your company in the future, but can also create a butterfly effect in your talent pool and encourage others not to apply, either. On a customer level, bad hiring experiences can also lead former applicants to boycott your company’s products and encourage others to do so as well. On the other hand: 

81% of candidates will share a positive candidate experience with family, friends, and peers, and 51% will share it on sites like Glassdoor and LinkedIn 

Your company’s output — products, initiatives, contributions — are significant for brand reputation, but how you treat current and potential employees is becoming increasingly important. This is especially true for Gen Z, who care about diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives at work and in the hiring process. 

Having the reputation of a company that treats its employees well can lead to more spontaneous applications and a larger, more diverse, and inclusive talent pool. More than that, candidates who had a good experience but didn’t get the job will look more favorably on your company and be more likely to reapply in the future. 

47% of candidates are waiting to hear back more than 2 months after applying 

Being ghosted is never fun. If you’ve received hundreds of applications for one position, many of those candidates will assume that after two months they aren’t moving forward in the hiring process and will write your company off. That’s hundreds of poor candidate experiences and the potential for hundreds of negative reviews on social media or by word-of-mouth. 

Make sure there’s a notification in place to tell candidates you’ve received their application. If your hiring process really is just that long, this would also be the place to let them know so they can manage their expectations. 

Use automated emails to keep candidates engaged and let them know they’re still being considered. If a candidate reaches out directly to inquire about their application, reply to them in a reasonable amount of time. Remember that candidates aren’t just tangential to your company — they’re potential colleagues. 

A close up of a phone screen showing social apps such as instagram, email, and messenger

Stay in touch with candidates and keep them engaged with content that fits your employer branding. 

20% of candidates received an email notifying them they weren’t continuing in the hiring process 

How do you turn someone down for a job and still make them want to work with you? Great candidate experience, and a well-worded and -thought-out rejection email. Remember that you want to forge a professional relationship with even rejected candidates, who will remain part of your talent pool. 

If the candidate made it deep into the hiring process, you can offer to connect with them on LinkedIn. For candidates who didn’t make it as far, thank them for applying and suggest they apply for future positions. You can also invite them to email lists or future networking events to keep them engaged with the company. 

Internally, keep their information saved within your recruitment software along with notes about their strengths and areas of interest. This will lower your time to fill later. 

2/3 of employers claim to care about candidate experience at every stage of the recruitment process 

Candidate experience isn’t just about clear online applications or automated emails. Candidate experience starts when a potential applicant first comes across a job posting — if we’re being generous, it could even start from the first time they hear about your company if the sentiment is especially positive or negative — and continues long after an employment offer or rejection. 

In many cases, the job description is where candidates get the first taste of your candidate experience. Make sure the description is clear, current, and accurate to the job role, and only include required qualifications. You might be tempted to include “nice to haves,” but these can turn off perfectly qualified candidates who feel they don’t match every point. You can also boost inclusive hiring efforts by removing degree requirements. 

But 57% of candidates don’t think employers care 

When was the last time you tested out your application process? The world of work and the limits of technology are constantly changing, and your hiring process should, too. Update job descriptions, review candidate feedback, and make sure you’re communicating regularly with candidates. Test out your entire application process on different devices, including mobile phones and assistive technology, to make sure it’s accessible to everyone. 

Show candidates you really do care about them by making candidate experience a priority. It affects your brand reputation, your talent pool, and your bottom line. It can even be the difference between a candidate choosing between you and the competition when it comes to offer time. Above all, respect your candidates and remember they’re investing time and effort into your process. 

Bonus: Companies see a 23% improvement in Net Promoter Score when using Knockri 

Candidates want clarity, communication, flexibility, and feedback — all things Knockri can provide. Assessments include clear instructions, time estimates, and practice runs to lower stress and manage expectations. Send automated emails from the Recruiter Dashboard. Assessments can be completed on any device and any browser. Use candidates’ responses and scores for individual feedback after the hiring process is complete. Book a demo today to chat with our HR solutions consultant about how you can improve your candidate experience with Knockri.