Quantifying the Candidate Experience

August 29, 2015 at 10:00 AM by Kathleen de Lara


Any talent pro who’s been in the space for some time has heard the perpetual push for creating a better candidate experience. 

To start, a recruiter’s warm, engaging outreach to a candidate, an efficient interviewing process, an informative onboarding process have all been cited as quick fixes hiring teams can make to improve the candidate experience. Each interaction with someone at the company builds a first impression – how the team communicates with each other, how the team prioritizes hiring and developing relationships with people. 

Measuring candidate experience, however, can be a bit of a grey area for recruiters. How can teams evaluate experience in the hiring process? Here are four questions to consider. 

How long are people taking to move from one stage of the hiring funnel to the next

Pick out which stage of the hiring funnel is the slowest and find out what adjustments need to be made to make the process more efficient. The longer it takes for recruiters to first reach out to candidates, schedule interviews, and follow up, the more chances there are for people to drop out of the hiring process disinterested, peeved, or steered away by another opportunity. Break down the time-to-hire metric into stages and find out the average time between initial outreach, interviewing, and the offer. These pipeline management tools are a good start to eliminating unnecessary gaps and delays.

At what recruiting stage are candidates falling off?

The cost of the talent gap? $29 billion. Being able to pinpoint the funnel stage where the company is losing candidates helps teams figure out where the disconnect lies within the hiring team, and between the team and potential employees. If people are abandoning your online application, look into the ease, length, and types of questions you’re asking candidates. If people drop off after an interview, check for trends in the questions, interviewee, or interviewing style to pinpoint the issue. Don’t forget to check out how long it takes for recruiters to follow up with people on next steps in the hiring process. (Give a range of time for candidates to expect to hear back from you and stick to it.)

These answers help teams understand candidate behaviors and if companies need to establish a stronger employer brand, add more detail to the job description, or change up the interviewing process.

Which companies do candidates decide to work for after rejecting your offer?

Here’s something you might not have yet considered. A candidate who’s fallen out of the hiring process shouldn’t be written off as a lost cause. If you’ve extended an offer to someone who ultimately gives you the “no”, find out the lucky companies who end up hiring them and get connected with their recruiter or talent head. Grab a coffee and find out what they’re doing to source, engage, and hire people. What are they doing that you’re not to attract the best candidates? Competitors make good teachers.

Precision and intention are key to building a good relationship with candidates and creating a positive image through the people at the face of your company. What does your team measure to gauge candidate experience? Tell us in the comments! 

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