Brand Reputation and Candidate Experience

There are a great many things that affect an employer’s brand, however there is one aspect that is often overlooked or undervalued; companies often neglect to think about a critical influence; that of job candidates. “Candidate experience” is a buzz phrase that organizations hear but may not have an adequate understanding of.

A study by CareerBuilder revealed that 82 percent of employers think there’s little to no negative impact on the company when a candidate has a bad experience during the hiring process. The same study showed that 58 percent of candidates are less likely to buy from a company that did not respond to their application, and 69 percent are less likely to buy if they had a bad experience in the interview.

The impact of these numbers can be magnified when you consider that people talk. People like to talk when good things happen, they like to talk even more when negative things happen. When there is a poor candidate experience those candidates are often quick to share that experience with their colleagues, friends and family, thus exponentially hurting the company’s brand reputation.

Every day we see companies who allow for a very poor candidate experience – they publish a job posting, often filled with cryptic language, and wait for candidates to apply. When candidates do apply, they are treated with a one-size-fits-all process. They are often asked irrelevant questions in online applications, hit submit, and hope to hear back. More often than not, candidates don’t receive any notice that their application was even received. If they are considered, but ultimately not selected, they don’t have any idea why they were eliminated from consideration, or even that the decision process has taken place. For the ones that do get an interview, there are often timing and communication mishaps that make this stage of the process even more frustrating. Although this scenario doesn’t describe the hiring process for all companies, it’s true for far too many.

Now that we have illuminated the reality of the situation, the question becomes what can organizations do to ensure a positive candidate experience and avoid taking hits to their brand reputation?

  1. Improve communications (communicate with timeliness and respect)
  2. Understand that it’s not just about the candidate you hire, but also the candidates that don’t get the job
  3. Audit your process (initial applications, interview scheduling, interviewing, follow up, offer extension, onboarding, etc…) – have an expert to take a look at your process if unsure

Brand reputation starts the minute a candidate becomes aware of your company whether it be through a job posting, an inquiry from an internal recruiter or a phone call from a search consultant. Their experience from that point forward is vital and the adequate amount of time should be devoted to making sure that the candidate experience at your company is a positive one, for those hired AND those not hired.

Humanize and personalize your recruiting and hiring processes and treat candidates with respect, your brand will thank you.

 ‘People might not remember what you said, but they will remember how you made them feel.’ – Maya Angelou

Thoughts, comments or would like to discuss further please check us out at The Swan Group or email me at