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Creating a Positive Candidate Experience From Application to Onboarding

Creating a Positive Candidate Experience From Application to Onboarding

Forty-nine percent of job seekers have rejected a job offer because of a negative event, such as a slow or disorganized interview process. So, you should prioritize the overall candidate experience for better recruiting outcomes and increase your organization's reputation. Here are some ways to improve workflows when hiring employees, from application to onboarding. 

Simplify the Application Process

Overly complex job applications can negatively impact a job seeker's experience. In fact, applications that take more than 15 minutes to complete wouldn't receive a response from more than 70% of candidates, according to one study. 

That's why it's essential to streamline applications as much as possible. You can do this by asking candidates fewer questions and collecting more detailed information from the most qualified applicants later in the recruiting process. Another way to simplify applications is to make it easier for job seekers to submit information like resumes and cover letters. For example, allow candidates to upload files in different formats rather than just Word documents. 

Improve Communication

More than half of candidates in the United States, UK, Ireland, and Germany expect to hear back from an employer in one week or less after applying for jobs. Delayed communication — or no communication at all —can frustrate job seekers, increasing the chances of them dropping out of your recruiting process. 

Improve communication by keeping candidates informed during every step of their journey. For example, sending a personalized email to confirm you've received someone's application only takes a few seconds and can enhance your organization's reputation. 

Provide Feedback and Status Updates

Don't ghost a job seeker if they don't make it to the next stage of your hiring process. Instead, send them a quick email with the reasons why you didn't choose them for a role. This transparent feedback might mean a lot to someone finding it difficult to get a job, and they might share their positive experience with your company online. Also, provide information to qualified candidates as they progress through your recruitment workflows. For example, you might want to tell someone to improve their resume before they meet a hiring manager. 

Status updates can also enhance the candidate experience. Applicant tracking software will send job seekers notifications as they approach different recruitment milestones, such as attending an interview. You can then view analytics about how long it takes candidates to move through your hiring funnel. 

Improve Onboarding 

The candidate experience includes onboarding, where you introduce new hires to your organization. At this recruiting stage, applicants are typically nervous about meeting your team, so you'll want to make them feel comfortable. Encourage new employees to reach out if they have a question or problem with their jobs and provide them with HR resources that ease their transition into your company. Employee handbooks, welcome packages, and training sessions can result in seamless and more successful onboarding. 

A formal mentorship program can further improve onboarding outcomes.

A mentor can help a new hire learn and grow, leading to increased trust and team cohesion. The hire can also ask the mentor questions about their role, freeing up resources and workloads for your HR team

Collect Feedback From Candidates

It's important to gather feedback from candidates at various stages of the recruiting process, including after orientation. That will help you improve the way you hire candidates and welcome them to your organization. 

How you collect this information depends on where the candidate is in your workflow. For instance, you can ask someone how easy it was to apply for a role at their interview and use this feedback to streamline future application forms. Alternatively, send new hires a survey a few weeks after orientation to gauge their opinions about your recruitment procedures. 


Optimizing the candidate experience results in fewer applicants dropping out of your recruiting process, ensuring your organization's reputation. Simplifying applications, enhancing communication, providing feedback and status updates, improving onboarding, and gathering information from candidates can help you achieve this goal. Making life easier for job seekers can also attract more talent and increase offer acceptance rates. 

You can further improve hiring outcomes if you work with an expert in talent strategy and recruitment. MRINetwork helps you find the right employees for your unique use case so you can always access the world's top talent. Follow MRINetwork to learn more about the candidate experience, applications, onboarding, and other topics.