What is candidate experience?

December 14th, 2020
HireVue Team
Candidate Experience
smiling woman taking notes

What is candidate experience?

Candidate experience is how candidates perceive and interact with the hiring process. The key components of candidate experience are the job application, the screening methods used to filter candidates, and the interview process.

A stellar candidate experience was necessary for hiring teams as they battled for the best talent during a candidate-driven job market, but what about now?

We're seeing a power shift from candidates feeling empowered during a tight labor market, to those same individuals feeling defeated, or even hopeless, as we recover from record unemployment.

While some companies may look forward to renewed bargaining power thanks to a much broader pool of active job seekers, the real opportunity is in using the down market to develop candidate experience as a competitive advantage.

Maximize your Hiring Value Infographic

What is a great candidate experience?

A great candidate experience keeps loyalty of current customers, creates new customers, increases the depth of your talent pool, and helps you land the best talent.

When evaluating their experience, today’s candidate’s look for:

1. Mobile-first, high-touch engagement

Today's candidates are mobile-first, and they value engagement. One Gen Z job seeker shared after applying to 30+ jobs that "when companies 'ghosted' me – especially the ones whose application took a long time – it left my image of them tarnished. A sensible 'we're interested' (or not) goes a long way. In one instance, a company was very prompt to schedule a phone interview, using text messaging to get in touch, and keeping me in the loop throughout the process. While I wasn't overly interested in the company when I applied, their communication was so personal and swift it changed my entire view on the role and organization."

This is no surprise. Companies that utilize chatbots are 3X more likely to improve candidate experience, and satisfied candidates are 38% more likely to accept a job offer.

2. An ethical organization with a strong company culture

Company culture is top of mind for job seekers. Today’s candidates are adamant about working for an ethical organization and look at the candidate experience as an impression of how companies value their people.

Standardizing your hiring process will help. Candidates are 204% more likely to increase their relationship with an employer if they felt the interview process was fair.

3. Speedy, friction-free applications

You're not the only one aiming for a fast time-to-hire; candidates value speed too. In fact, 60% of job seekers quit mid-way through a job application due to length or complexity. Measure how long it takes to complete an application on your careers site, and aim for 5 minutes or less.

The benefits of a great candidate experience

While engaging every applicant, building a strong company culture, and simplifying your application process all work to improve the candidate experience, that’s not all; they also boost your bottom line.

Recruiting automation empowers companies to aggressively compete for the top talent by finding the best candidates faster, and by drawing from a broader, more diverse pool.

Additionally, recruiting technology eliminates tedious tasks such as interview scheduling, which reduces cost-per-hire through significant time savings.

Plus, when you make candidates happy during the hiring process, employee retention skyrockets, saving thousands per person in employee replacement costs.

How do you measure candidate experience?

To measure candidate experience, you will need to survey your candidates and monitor change over time as you tweak your hiring process to improve candidate experience. You can also monitor varying responses at different stages of the hiring process.

We recommend keeping candidate experience survey questions as short as possible, preferably one simple question. Ideally, your hiring software designed to help improve candidate experiences, such as hiring assessments or chatbots, will have candidate experience surveys and analytics built-in.

One way to measure candidate experience is with net promoter score (NPS). To measure NPS:

  1. Ask candidates on a scale of 0-10, how likely they are to recommend the experience to a friend or colleague
  2. Tally the respondents who rate it a 9 or 10 (your “promoters”) and those who rate it between 0 and 6 (your “detractors”)
  3. Calculate the percent of respondents who are promoters and the percent who are detractors
  4. Subtract the percentage of promoters from the percentage of detractors
  5. Monitor this metric over time, and note that a positive NPS is considered good since promoters outnumber detractors.

Candidate experience survey stats and findings

HireVue is built for giving your candidates a great experience which is why we automatically measure the NPS of every single customer to ensure the best experience for your candidates. Our customers average >50, which is considered excellent.

We've found that our customers average NPS by industry:

  • Manufacturing: 68
  • Energy: 69
  • Finance: 66
  • Food & Beverage: 71
  • Healthcare: 74
  • Retail: 74
  • Pharmaceuticals: 68
  • Hospitality: 74
  • Transportation: 83

We've also surveyed over 1.5 million candidates to determine how they rate HireVue interviews. The results?

  • 88% appreciate the flexibility
  • 80% Agree it’s an effective way for companies to get to know them
  • 83% appreciate the fairness
  • 85% agree perceptions of the company were positively affected

Want to learn how to improve your candidate experience step by step?

We've pulled the latest candidate experience statistics and insights from employers of choice to guide you through creating a faster, fairer, friendlier hiring process.

Download Whitepaper