Closing the Loop in your Candidate Experience

When thinking about the
candidate experience, it’s important to note the breadth of the interactions that you have with candidates in your recruiting process.  Once you understand where you interact with candidates, you will be able to improve your process to make sure these interactions are leaving candidates with a better experience.


There are a number of areas you can
improve your candidate experience, but when it comes down to it, if there is one thing you can do to improve the overall candidate experience it would be to focus on “closing the loop”.  This concept is one born out of conversations with Ed Newman (co-founder of the
Candidate Experience Awards) and is a pretty simple mantra.


For every action taken by a candidate in your recruiting process, an equal reaction should be taken by the employer (i.e. close the loop of this interaction.)

To explain the concept a little further, I’ve included some scenarios below of interactions probably already happening in your
recruitment marketingprocess and what the appropriate reaction should be:

  • Action:A candidate just finishes submitting an application

    • Re-action: Each candidate should receive a confirmation that their application was received (with an expectation on how long it should take to hear back).  This can be automated in many ATS systems through email.


  • Action:A candidate submits an application

    • Re-action: The candidate should receive a communication (email or phone) about the decision (whether they are given an interview or are rejected for the job.)


  • Action: A candidate interviews for the position

    • Re-Action: Any candidate that interviews should receive a call back after their interview to let them know next steps or if they will not get another interview.  This should be done for each interview stage.


  • Action:A candidate is hired for the position

    • Re-action: Candidates that have gotten to the last interview steps but not received the position should be called and be screened for their interest in other employment opportunities.  Add them to short-list for future similar positions.


  • Action:A candidate that opts into your Talent Network to receive job and company updates

    • Re-action: Candidates that opt-in should receive targeted updates to their interests and skills and should receive them on a timely basis.


  • Action:A candidate sends an IM chat request (if on Career Site), sends email to recruiting help email or interacts on a specific social recruiting profile.

    • Re-action: Candidate should receive a timely response from someone on the recruiting team.  If organization does not have the ability to staff these portals they should remove it as an option.


It’s simple.  For every action taken by a candidate, a company should make a corresponding reaction to respond back.  Take a look at your recruiting process and the communications you currently send at each stage in the process and see if candidates are entering a Black Hole.


Close the loop and it should have a positive impact on your overall applicant flow.  But don’t assume, make sure to track the effects of these measures with 
recruitment metrics.


Not knowing what happened to your record or application can be the most frustrating part of applying for jobs and the more you limit this, the more candidates will have a positive experience in pursuing job opportunities at your company.

The Candidate Experience Awards are still accepting applications for this years awards.  If you are interested in submitting your recruiting organization,
you can do so here.
You can also follow me on Twitter at

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