Candidate Experience

Monster’s recent State of the Candidate Report found this: candidates don’t feel respected throughout their interview process. In fact, the candidate experience is often poor.

There’s often a disconnect and lack of communication throughout the entire process, starting with acknowledgement of application receipt and all the way to rejection notices. Additionally, HR Dive reported that ⅓ of survey respondents found job hunting now to be more difficult than before.

With nearly everyone professing that it’s currently a candidate’s world, why do so many of the ones that apparently hold the power feel disrespected and discouraged by the process?

How you treat your candidates has an affect on what kind of talent you’ll eventually bring in to your company. There’s a reason why Glassdoor invites contributors to review your interview process: how you treat candidates is a great window into how your company values their employees.

Even if that’s not entirely true, it’s the reputation you’re building! Here’s our take on how to run a respectful interview process:


It may seem like something small, but setting up an autoresponder to acknowledge that you’ve received an application is a big deal to candidates. It’s nerve-wracking to send out your resume into the abyss that’s the internet– and you never know if anyone’s even received it, let alone read it.

An autoresponder involves minimum effort on your part and has maximum return. It also opens up a line of communication and respect to your candidate. Your acknowledgement reflects the respect that you have for taking interest in your organization!


In an ideal world, candidates would go from received to scheduled to interviewed to hired in less a month. While that’s not always possible, reaching out to at least schedule a preliminary phone screen helps candidates feel top-of-mind (even if they’re not!).

This also extends to during the interview. If you can already tell that the candidate won’t be a good fit, there are plenty of ways to politely end the interview and let them know that you won’t be moving forward. While this might feel rude at first, it’s actually very respectful. You’re cutting the candidate loose so they can focus their time on applying to other positions that would be a better fit.

Another part of timeliness is responding to candidate inquiries. Whether it’s questions about the interview process or aligning their goals to the company’s, taking the time to respond to them will boast a great image for the company. It’ll also help your interviewers interview better candidates.

Open Communication

Recruiting is so fast-paced that there never feels like there’s enough hours in the day to do everything. Whether it’s playing calendar Tetris, screening applicants, or performing cold outreach, you should be sure to keep open communication with any current and prospective candidates.

What someone hears about your company will impact whether or not they choose to move forward with you, or even if they’ll reply to your message. In a survey conducted by CR Magazine and Allegis Talent2, 75% of respondents wouldn’t work for a company with a poor reputation even if they were unemployed.


75% of respondents wouldn’t work for a company with a poor reputation even if they were unemployed.

Those that would, however, would only do so for significantly more pay. This means anywhere from a 50% pay raise to doubling their salary.

Companies with great reputations for a great candidate experience, of course, have a much easier time finding candidates and they can find them for much cheaper.

You don’t have to spend a ton of money marketing your organization or craft really killer poaching emails in order to get a candidate to be interested. The foundation of a great reputation and great candidate experience is the open communication that you have with candidates, and it’s built upon the word-of-mouth that creates.

Recruiting is more than just finding someone to fill an open position. You’re working as in-the-field marketers for your company. Running a respectful candidate experience is one of the best and easiest ways to create positive buzz.

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