Why Candidate Experience Is Damaging Your Employer Brand

Recently I have been considering whether freelance work is for me or if I would be better to have the security of a permanent role and I thought I would share my experiences.

Having now sat both sides of the fence as a recruiter and now as a candidate I have been shocked that many companies are not making any progress when it comes to the candidate experience.

Before applying for a role I will spend time researching a company, making sure that there is a culture fit and that I would be right for the role. I then would spend time adjusting my CV so it is tailored for the role and then writing the all-important cover letter.

All of this happens before I even am faced with normally an awful ATS that requires lots of useless information before letting me submit my CV.

Then nothing …..


Complete silent more often than not I will not even receive an acknowledgement to my application, let alone a rejection email. How do think I feel my candidate experience has been with that brand? And do you think I would apply to them again? Absolutely not! Why would I want to waste any more time on a company that has a one sided recruitment process?

Now there is nothing worse than a bitter jobseeker, trust me I’ve met a few but when are companies going to consider the recruitment process an important part of their employer brand?  In this connected world of social media where peer to peer reviews make everything so visible why then would you choose to damage your employer brand?

Millions are spent marketing companies and yet they still fail to realise that a good candidate experience is brilliant marketing for an organisation. Here is my advice for companies considering the candidate experience you give.


  1. Go through the process yourself what average overall rating would you give?
  2. A automated reply is better than no reply but try to inject a personal touch
  3. Ask your candidates for real time feedback about their experience and listen to it.
  4. Don’t undo all your great marketing by lack of communication.
  5. Remember the candidate experience lasts from the CV submission through to an new employees first day so have a process in place to make sure that candidate will refer others to your business.

Views: 568

Comment by Anna Brekka on February 26, 2014 at 10:39am

Amen to that!

And to think point 2 hasn't hit home yet at most companies - so sad

Comment by Keith D. Halperin on February 26, 2014 at 12:40pm

Thanks Amanda. Unfortunately, nobody really cares what one or a million rejected applicants think;there are many more very capable people willing to apply for the job (IMSM, 3 people for every opening). who'll be willing to crawl over broken glass to get it. Until we get a by seller's job market again as we had in the Dot.com time, employers can treat most applicants and employees any way they like.

I work on contract, so I'm very frequently applying for work. If I get professional (and possibly even pleasant) treatment in my application process, I consider it a pleasant surprise, but I don't expect it.

No Cheers,


Comment by PAUL FOREL on February 26, 2014 at 4:55pm

I've been saying for a long time it would not derail anyone's ATS to provide an auto-responder with each application.

These auto replies would indicate in advance there will be no follow-up unless there is an interest. Not much better than no reply but it would show a little more class and style than presently exists.

Comment by PAUL FOREL on February 26, 2014 at 5:07pm


If you are a recruiting consultant, why are you even using the ATS?

I spend quite a bit of time teaching people how to identify and contact the HA (Hiring Authority) directly.

It gets my candidates on the appropriate HA's desk and in fact has been seen as a blessing by certain HA's who are fatigued with the unnecessarily long cycle time it takes their HR department to process a candidate of interest.

In fact, the last time I had this conversation with a client, he had told me it takes his HR department seventy-seven days from the time a resume comes in to onboarding.

HR executives are amongst the easiest to ID in advance, I don't see why you don't just contact them directly.


Comment by Keith D. Halperin on February 26, 2014 at 7:34pm

Thanks, Paul.

Comment by Amanda Ashworth on March 2, 2014 at 10:24am

Thanks for your comments.

Comment by PAUL FOREL on March 2, 2014 at 6:52pm

Thanks, Amanda...!


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