Ouch! Why bad candidate experience sucks for everyone and how to rescue your employer brand

Ouch! Why bad candidate experience sucks for everyone and how to rescue your employer brand

All sorts of things can result in a bad candidate experience.

In fact, any of these could land you in hot water:

  • No communication
  • Rude/inadequate communication
  • Disorganisation
  • Delays
  • Lack of enthusiasm

Whatever the case, the outcome will still suck for you, the candidate and just about everyone.

Feeling the burn of a bad candidate experience

Here's just a little of what a bad candidate experience might mean for you:

They won't work for you

Cutting a few corners in your recruitment can actually put you back at square one.

First, you can pretty much kiss goodbye to any chance of the candidate wanting your job. So, it's back to the job market you go.

Maybe they were a decent candidate, but just not right for that role. Forget about them applying for roles they're better suited to in future. And, that just means more work down the line.

They'll stop being a customer

If they apply for your job, chances are they're either a customer, or at least agree with your company ethos.

Well, probably not for much longer. 32% of candidates are less likely to buy from a company that ignored their job application.

It doesn't stop there, either. 78% would tell friends and family about a bad experience (Forbes). That's a whole load of trade you're chasing away.

They'll go online and start venting

Almost 25% of job seekers would turn full-on keyboard warrior and share their bad experience online (Forbes).

It'll be in a public forum – social media, Glassdoor or a Google review – so other applicants will probably be put off applying as well. Some applicant rants have even made it to the national news.

With so many bad vibes now surrounding your company, customers will probably start turning away too.

How to keep your candidates smiling :)

Try these top tips to give your candidates an experience they'll love:


Make sure you're keeping candidates in the loop by providing timely communications with just the right amount of detail.

Use recruitment tech to set up a system that automatically texts or emails candidates after each stage of the application process. Tell them where they're at and give them instructions on what's coming next.


Put yourself in candidates' shoes – all those nerves and butterflies and treat them as you'd like to be treated.

Be polite and positive in all your communications, answer their questions before they feel obliged to ask and give feedback that feels proportionate to the effort they've put in.


Use a candidate management system to avoid unnecessary delays.

Plan, schedule and book interviews in the system to keep all your deets in one place. Then, reject candidates, or progress them through the process with minimal effort.


Make sure candidates have a good experience when they come in for an interview, or begin the on-boarding process.

Give them an enthusiastic welcome. And create a process that eases them in gently, makes it easy to ask questions or make the odd mistake without getting a stern telling off.

Avoid all those bad candidate experience nasties by using these simple tips to tweak your strategy to perfection.

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