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What is Candidate Experience and Why is it Relevant in 2023?
6 min read

What is Candidate Experience and Why is it Relevant in 2023?

For companies looking to attract top talent in a competitive job market, Candidate Experience is more important than ever in 2023. A positive experience throughout the recruitment process can improve a candidate's perception of the company and its products/services. Prioritizing Candidate Experience can reduce dropout rates and improve the quality of hires, ultimately saving time, money, and effort.

This article is part of Talenthub's Ultimate Guide to Candidate Experience.

In recent years, more and more companies have started paying attention to their Candidate Experience. As the job market trends began shifting to a more candidate-centric approach, employers found themselves in the middle of a “war for talent.”

But is Candidate Experience still relevant in 2023, where the trend is shifting from the “Great Resignation” and “Quiet Quitting” to “Mass Layoffs”? The short answer is: more than ever, actually.

The last quarter of 2022 triggered an avalanche of layoffs left, right and center. Thousands of people losing their jobs overnight, the fear of being next spreading all over. But when you look at statistics, we’re nowhere near mass unemployment. Being able to hire the right talent in 2023 still means playing by the candidates’ rules. 

In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics declared January 2023 as the month with the lowest unemployment rates since May 1969. The Eurostat reports a decrease in unemployment by 518 thousand between December 2021 and December 2022. 

The labor market is still just as competitive as we predicted last year. Being able to attract and hire the right talent requires an aligned team, streamlined processes and a candidate-centric approach.

If anything, 2023 is the year for Candidate Experience to top every company’s agenda.




What is Candidate Experience?

Candidate Experience is the way job applicants perceive a company’s recruitment process. Usually, Candidate Experience is measured from the time a candidate submits their application until they leave the recruitment process, whether that’s because they’re hired or don’t proceed to the next stage.

At Talenthub, we look at the recruitment process holistically, taking every communication touchpoint into account. This includes:

The Application Process

  • Navigating a company’s career site
  • The job description itself
  • The process of submitting their application
  • Receiving the first email confirmation

The Recruitment Process

  • Pre-screening
  • Interviews, case assignments, personality assessments, etc.
  • Communication between stages

Exiting the Recruitment Process

  • Hiring
  • Rejection
  • Pre-onboarding
  • Onboarding


All written and verbal communication across those stages adds up together and influences the candidate’s perception of the recruitment process and – often – the company itself and the product and/or services it offers.


Infographic - 41percent of candidates



How to Provide a Positive Candidate Experience?

While defining a “positive Candidate Experience” is very subjective, our Candidate Experience Managers have been able to identify some universal qualities that will turn your recruitment process into a competitive edge.




Transparency Will Set You Apart

We recently conducted a study asking candidates about their main pains while looking for a job. We found that 56% of candidates find the most challenging part of a recruitment process to be not knowing how their application was going to be assessed or which skills they should highlight over others.


Infographic - 56percent not knowing

Source: Talenthub 2022 Candidate Experience Report


Candidates appreciate a recruitment process that:

  • Paints an accurate picture of the role and its tasks and responsibilities;
  • Provides clear expectations and instructions between steps;
  • Outlines (and adheres to!) a reasonable timeline;
  • Is transparent about the process from start to finish, including the selection criteria;
  • Gives clear directions to perform better during interviews or tests.


Effective Communication is Key

A survey showed that nearly 63% of candidates are dissatisfied with the level of communication from most employers after applying. Clearly, tackling your communication flows with candidates should be one of the first steps towards improving your Candidate Experience.


Good candidate communication means:

  • Tailored and personalized messaging with a human touch (scratch those robotic, 2-sentence emails!);
  • Explaining your decisions, even the unfavorable ones;
  • Providing feedback when it’s due;
  • Being available for questions and replying in a timely manner.


A Little Extra

In most cases, going above and beyond will leave candidates with an extraordinary impression of your business. And as we know, 64% of candidates are likely to increase their relationship with the brand if their recruitment process is pleasant. From a business perspective, doing that little extra just makes sense.


Infographic - what is candidate experience 64percent relationship



Gifting a goodie bag or a voucher to candidates at interview level, especially the unsuccessful ones, will usually help improve their overall experience.


Why is Candidate Experience Important in 2023?

Prioritizing Candidate Experience will show your candidates that you appreciate their effort and care about their success, yes. 

But as a consequence of that, you will reduce the dropout rate throughout the process and increase the chances of finding the right person to fill the position.

Companies that spend time developing a positive candidate hiring experience reported a 70% improvement in the quality of hires. (Not so) coincidentally, Candidate Experience and the efficacy of your recruitment process are thoroughly interlinked.

An inefficient process, made up of bottlenecks, unobserved timelines and misaligned team members will reflect poorly on the Candidate Experience you’re providing your candidates.

Conversely, putting your candidates at the center and sticking to your promise means that you have taken the time to smooth everything out internally; spending less time, money and effort on finding the right talent.

Today’s reality of budget cuts and world-wide layoff, Talent Acquisition Specialists are faced with the challenge of doing more with less. Hiring at an even more efficient rate with less resources and standing out from all the open positions available. 

This is the time to be efficient, data driven and candidate-centric.



In Short

Candidate Experience refers to the way job applicants perceive a company's recruitment process and is a crucial element in attracting and retaining top talent in today's job market.

With declining unemployment rates and a competitive labor market, ensuring a positive Candidate Experience is more important than ever in 2023. 

A positive Candidate Experience can set a company apart and attract the right talent, while a negative experience can deter potential candidates and damage the company's brand reputation.

To provide a positive Candidate Experience, companies should focus on making the application process more:

  • Accessible
  • Transparent
  • Effective in communication

This includes:

  • Making the process mobile-friendly
  • Providing clear expectations and instructions
  • Communicating in a personalized and timely manner

Going the extra mile with small gestures such as gift bags or vouchers can leave a lasting positive impression and increase the chances of finding the right person for the job. 

Ultimately, prioritizing Candidate Experience can lead to:

  • Lower dropout rates
  • Higher quality hires
  • A stronger company brand