8 Ways to Secure Excellent Candidate Experience [+ Free Tools]

Candidate Experience is the most popular buzzword among HR professionals for several years now. Candidate experience is quite self-explanatory; it describes the experience of candidates during the hiring process. 

Table of Content:

✔️ Online Reputation Management 

✔️ The Simple Stuff 

✔️ Avoid Templates 

✔️ Transparency 

✔️ Job Board UX 

✔️ What’s your value proposition? 

✔️ Create a Connection 

✔️ Measure your Candidate Experience 

What’s the big deal about Candidate Experience? 

Candidate experience is vaguely used as a value proposition of different applicant tracking software. It is essential that candidates can easily apply to your job ads, and this software helps Hiring Managers to track candidates flying in different phases of the recruitment process. 

Candidate Experience: ATS Keyword

However, they do need to APPLY first. 

So, let’s take a few steps back and learn about different ways to improve candidate experience. 

Online Reputation Management

The wordy term refers to what others are saying about your company as an employer online. The most popular platform for Employer Reputation Management is Glassdoor. 

Job seekers are relying on online reviews. That’s a new word of mouth. Before they apply for a job, candidates will study websites that offer them authentic data about the position and the company. That’s why you have to make sure your reputation management game is strong. 

Amazon reputation


How to? 

Create a profile and fill out a piece of the necessary information. There is a paid and a free version. Contrary to feeling, poor reviews on Glassdoor can give your company credibility, so don’t be afraid of Glassdoor. Is anyone looking for 100% positive feedback or a real-world mix of the different reviews to help you decide a critical purchase? Job seekers want the truth, too. Stay genuine. 

The Simple Stuff

They sound simple, but we know from the perspective of an HR professional, it might not be that easy. Responding to each candidate’s application is the simplest way to improve your candidate experience. But crafting an excellent candidate experience requires more than that. It suggests a mindset shift that focuses on respecting candidates’ time and designing your candidate experience to be as enjoyable as possible.

Bonus tip: If you don’t have a budget for an ATS, simply use Trello. It’s free! Here are several things you can do: 

  • You can add due dates to remind you to follow up with candidates. 
  • Add labels to mark different positions.
  • Share the board with your teammates to collaborate and exchange opinions on candidates’ performance. 

Explore Trello template boards here. 

Avoid Templates

No one likes templates. Even Google checks if you a robot when you sound like one. You work with people, and one of our best features is the ability to communicate! 

Scheduling interview is your first interaction with the candidate, and you want them to feel safe to share information with you. Do not use template emails to schedule interviews, cause you might miss an opportunity to form a meaningful relationship with exceptional talent. Only then you can expect that candidates will invest more time in your hiring process. 

Candidates are somewhat used to receiving the automatic ATS email after applying to a job. 

“Thank you for applying for the position of Unicorn at ABC! We’ll get back to you soon IF we think you’re a fit!” 

Job seekers know this isn’t personal. As a matter of fact, they probably received the same ATS template from several companies. Additionally, that’s probably the last message a candidate ever receives from a company. 

We ❤️ Calendly 

Calendly will send the message that you respect your candidates’ time, and it will dodge ping-ponging emails to schedule an interview. After you choose slots available for an interview, you send the link to your candidates. 

Calendly HR tools



From there, they will be able to schedule the interview themselves, and you will receive a calendar invite once it’s done! 

Be Transparent

Candidates expect a fair and straightforward recruitment process. Don’t beat-around-the-bush about job specifics, salary, and hiring process.

a) Write Truthful Job Descriptions. To write a proper job description, you need to define your candidate persona first. It will ensure you will give candidates a precise idea of job responsibilities. Use clear, brief writing, and use enough detail.

b) Be clear about the recruitment process. Inform the candidates about the steps of a hiring process. While they wait, candidates get anxious. If you set clear expectations regarding your hiring process, the waiting period may be easier to bear. Do you need a cover letter? 

c) Is your Job board responsive? Candidates expect a short application process, and 90% of job seekers apply from their phones. Scary, eh? The quick application process ensures the candidate won’t spend too much time on submitting data, and possibly give up applying. 

What’s YOUR value proposition? 

An HR professional is the first impression candidate will have about the company. By offering candidates something of value, you will bring your talent pool to a deeper level of commitment. 

a) Feedback is super-important to job seekers. If you come across a competent candidate with a bad CV, offer your advice on how to improve it. This practice will result in building a loyal talent pool longterm.

Bonus Tip: Use the compliment sandwich technique to give negative feedback. Start by highlighting the candidate’s strengths, then add negative feedback and finally wrap it out with another round of praise. 

b) Help them with resources and mentorship programs. Everyone needs a little guidance early in their careers. If you frequently work on entry-level positions, growing your talent pool is conditioned by the value you give back to the community of professionals you work with. 

Bonus Tip: Create a Google Drive folder with e-books and other resources you collected over the time your candidates might find useful. Simply share the folder with them and ask them to let you know if it was helpful. 

Create a Connection 

HR professionals should be where their candidates are. The online reputation of your company on social media strongly depends on your talent network. 

Tend to understand how candidates find out about your company and openings. The most important KPI in connecting and engaging with candidates is getting them to apply. So, get busy on social media and keep the company visible with active and passive job seekers.

Measure your Candidate Experience

You should be curious about what candidates think about your hiring process. Take your recruitment game to the next level by identifying the possible threats with a simple survey. 

The key questions might be: 

  • How well did you understand the position?
  • How was the communication throughout the process?
  • How would you rate the in-person interview experience?
  • Would you refer your friend or family member to apply for a job with us?
  • What was your primary motivation to apply?

These candidate’ feelings’ influence candidates in their decision to apply to your company or accept your job offer.


Good candidate experience will leave the candidate feeling good even if you don’t offer them the job. Great candidate experience will improve Employer reputation for your company. 

We’ve powered you up with free alternatives to expensive HR tools. Now you make sure every interview counts.