Candidate Experience Checklist

Ultimate Candidate Experience Checklist For Recruiters

This Candidate Experience Checklist outlines some practical tips to help hiring managers improve the job application and onboarding experience for candidates.

In the current candidate-driven market where employers are constantly struggling to win the war of talent, the hiring game has become tougher. Now the rules have to be changed as well as the way they recruit. As a matter of fact, the new age of talent acquisition places considerable importance on enhancing the candidate experience.

In this tight, fast-moving labor market, an invaluable candidate experience can give your company a talent acquisition advantage. But the question is how to create such an experience for candidates in 2020 and beyond?

We have curated a candidate experience checklist to help you adapt to the virtual world and provide a top-notch experience throughout the hiring process.

A Complete Candidate Experience Checklist for Recruiters

Here are some indispensable elements to have in your checklist for candidate experience in 2020 and beyond:

• A short and easy application form

A lengthy and frustrating application process can kill the candidate experience. In fact, you must have yourself come across the overly complicated application forms that seem to be never ending. Although some recruiters consider it as important to screen candidates, the truth is it actually harms the candidate experience.

Let’s face it, the most qualified candidates are off the market within 10 days. This is why it is important to keep an easy and short application process so you don’t miss out on top talent.

A user friendly and streamlined application process, such as one that involves gamification, will keep candidates riveted all the way through and ensure that they reach the submission checkpoint.

In a Talentegy Survey, 68.4% of respondents said they used a combination of mobile and desktops to apply for jobs. Considering this fact, a shorter application process should definitely be a part of your checklist for candidate experience.

• Availability of the information candidates want to see

A Talent Board report reveals that over 70% of candidates carry out their research before applying to a company. The pre-application stage thus gives you a great opportunity to establish a positive mood for the entire hiring process.

Also, it suggests the importance of supplying useful information to candidates and why this should surely be an element in you checklist for candidate experience.

What recruiters can do is, provide more of the information candidates attach importance to. We automatically arrive to the question as to what kind of marketing content do job seekers consider essential? Core values of an organization top the list, with 44% finding this valuable followed by employee testimonials and information about your company culture (both 37%).

• A creative display of your company culture

Although it is much easier to display culture when candidates are onsite, the online application process gives recruiters a chance to get creative and innovative.

As a recruiter, make sure you gather all materials that could be used to show your company culture, including any podcasts, videos, or culture decks that you’ve already created. If you have nothing to start off with, request your employees to send you any pictures or videos of the team events and activities that you have conducted.

Share the material with the candidates once you have gotten your hands on it. You may share a presentation and photos during your video call as well as attach pictures and include links in your emails. Show that your company thinks outside the box as candidates admire organizations that bring innovation in their recruitment process.

One great example here can be the use of gamification to enhance your candidate experience. As a company, you can showcase your employer brand to thousands of candidates by using your branding collaterals in your recruitment game. Using gamified assessments will give you the liberty to show your workplace, assess candidates on your organizational values and portray yourself as an inclusive employer.

• A fair opportunity to showcase skills

Fairness is one of the biggest factors that influences candidate experience. But making sure that candidates get the feeling of fairness is one tricky job. This is because candidates don’t see everything that goes behind in creating an objective, unbiased process.

When gamification in recruitment is used by an employer, candidates are given an opportunity to present their knowledge, skills and experience – in other words, show their true potential. Not only does this increase the perception of fairness for candidates, it also provides the recruiter with deeper insights into their abilities.

• A smooth onboarding experience

If your company is working remotely – whether temporarily or not – your talent acquisition professionals would also have to onboard new hires remotely. This stage is pivotal to building your candidate experience as it can make or break the new hire’s confidence in your company.

Making sure your onboarding experience is trouble-free is a critical part of your checklist for candidate experience. So, set the right expectations by communicating openly. In case you are offering additional support to set up a work station at home, inform them on they could get access to what they need.

It’s also a good idea to add your new hire to group communication channels so they can get to know their coworkers. Make sure the manager checks in on the new employee on a regular basis. Encourage the old employees to share tips and insights on how to adjust to the remote way of working, helping the new hire settle in.

How to Measure Candidate Experience

• Harness the power of data

The most important method of measuring your candidate experience is by using data analytics. The data that you collect from the hiring process can be used to find areas that you are succeeding on as well as areas that require improvement.

Speaking of data analytic, we should look into how these data points are captured in recruitment games. By using games for talent acquisition, recruiters can gather information from candidates in real-time and utilize that information to improve the hiring process and make better decisions when shortlisting candidates for the next round.

• Take feedback from the candidates

The simplest way to measure the candidate experience in 2020 or beyond is by taking the candidate’s opinion on the process via survey or online polling. Keep the survey or poll very simple and meaningful, with no more than 4 to 5 questions on relevant factors.

This will both give you key insights into the areas you need to work on and give the candidates a voice. In fact, seeking feedback may improve the candidates’ perception of the experience.

• Find reviews on social media

In the current age where social media is extremely popular among job seekers, it’s quite easy to find candidates talk about their experiences with certain companies and their employers on social networking websites.

Social media can prove to be quite useful when it comes to receiving potential feedback. It can give you a great opportunity to see how the outside world will see your experiences. For example, consider Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other social media platforms – there are review sections specifically for candidates to their share their thoughts about organizations.

Candidates do leave negative reviews if they face any inconvenience during the interview or any kind of bad experience. So, candidates who are applying to your next recruitment program or job opportunity will look into your company reputation on social media.

Great Candidate Experience Examples

Let’s check out how some companies have redesigned their hiring strategies to boost their candidate experience:

• Slack

Slack, a proprietary business communication platform, eliminates the element of bias and bolsters diversity, which in turn enhances the candidate experience. The company conducts an objective and just assessment process.

Candidates are given a problem to complete at home. Their answers are then rigorously checked without the involvement of any personal identifiers. Applicants who prefer doing the assignment in the office have the option of doing so as well.

The unbiased application process, along with the flexibility in taking the assignment, significantly improves the candidate experience for those applying at Slack.

• DigitalOcean

DigitalOcean’s recruiting team prioritizes transparency at every stage of the candidate experience. This strengthens the relationship and trust between the recruiters and the candidates they are in contact with.

Fully understanding that most candidates tend to have similar questions regarding the application and interview process, DigitalOcean has put together a slew of resources. This useful content not only shows candidates they are being cared for, it also saves the HR managers’ time. Additionally, candidates who fail to get selected for a role are provided feedback to better prepare for future interviews.

• FrieslandCampina Engro Pakistan Limited

FrieslandCampina Engro, a Pakistani dairy company which is a subsidiary of Dutch multinational corporative FrieslandCampina, used online gamified talent assessments to find top-tier talent. The unique AI-powered assessments improved their candidate experience as well as allowed the talent acquisition managers to screen thousands of candidates. With this recruitment tool, the company was able to hire the top talent and boost its employer brand.

How Top Organizations Improve Candidate Experience

Let’s look how some top organizations get the cream of the crop by offering an invaluable experience to the applicants:

• Uber believes in regular communication

The one thing that all candidates crave is regular communication throughout the process. Set expectations on how and when you will communicate, what the process will be and how long it will take. Then be sure to follow through, be on time for calls or meetings and be transparent about a candidate’s progress. Simple. But why are so many hiring teams and recruiters not doing it?



• Bevov suggests the use of recruitment technologies

There are recruiting technologies that you could use to automate notifications to let candidates know if they are shortlisted to the next step at regular intervals, even if it’s letting them know they were not a good fit. Send personal notes and guide candidates who reach out to you via email or social media, and they will remember you all their lives.

Bevov, Inc


• Hunter + Esquire dissuades recruiters from leaving candidates hanging

Creating a positive candidate experience is so important! I recommend treating the process as a fact-find mission for both parties with attention to frequent and transparent communication. Don’t leave your candidates hanging. I’ve found that over-communicating to talent is not only appreciated, but leads to reciprocation on their part and more data points for your hiring team.

Hunter + Esquire



Over the years, the focus on candidate experience has only grown immensely. The technological age necessitates that hiring, like many processes, be a blend of intuition and objective practices. And thus smart recruiters are constantly tuning these practices to create a positive candidate experience and reap its countless benefits.



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