The Link Between Candidate Experience and Customer Satisfaction

Candidate Experience

Happy candidates and happy clients make for a happy recruiter. It’s obvious that if each piece of the recruitment puzzle is content with the process, the whole show is likely to run smoother and more effectively.

But does the fit of one puzzle piece affect the fit of another? If your agency puts real effort into creating a candidate experience that’s second-to-none, will this affect the mood of your clients on the other end of the equation? Or, as the Rolling Stones so eloquently put it, will they get no satisfaction?

Oh no no, no hey hey hey.

Attracting the Best (and the Most) Candidates

To figure out whether tickling the tail of the recruiting snake will get the head laughing, let’s first look at what naturally comes from focusing on the candidate experience. It’s no secret that even in this time of candidate empowerment, many recruitment agencies treat their job seekers as little more than numbers on a screen.

Don’t think that’s true? Take a look at some numbers from a survey of 95,000 candidates completed as part of Candidate Experience Awards.

  • Over 61% of candidates who made it to the interview stage received no worthwhile information from their recruiter.
  • 26% of candidates who attended interviews described the information given to them by their recruitment agencies as ‘detailed’.
  • Only 5.5% of unsuccessful candidates were given feedback from their recruiter that they found even moderately useful.
  • 55.9% of candidates didn’t hear a peep from their recruiter post interview.

That is only candidates who were of high enough quality enough to be submitted to and interviewed by clients. It doesn’t even take into account the rest of the applicants or those who didn’t make it to an interview. Most people would prefer not to see those stats!

With so few recruiters offering a complete and positive candidate experience, those that do are in rarefied air. If you work to make your agency an exception to this recruitment rule, you can expect to grow your employment brand which in turn can start doing some of the work for you. Positive experiences will encourage candidates to talk to other job seekers about their experiences, offering the sort of word of mouth marketing that any organisation, recruiting or otherwise, would dream of.

By putting an agency focus on building the candidate experience, you’ll attract a greater number of higher quality candidates. Top talent puts a high price on the comfort and effectiveness of the job seeking experience.

If you build it, they will come*

*A good candidate experience, not a baseball field in a corn crop.

The Perks for the Customer

So let’s presume that you’ve got happy, healthy and plentiful talent at the candidate end of the equation. How does this affect things at the client end, if at all?

The perks should be fairly self-evident. More candidate choice, and candidates of a higher calibre than might otherwise be the case, will mean that your agency is in the best position to offer the perfect person for an open job. Your clients will be consistently happier with the personnel that you supply, which should really be the mission statement of any good recruitment agency.

But it’s not just about the personnel you’ll be able to offer. The speed of submission can also be drastically lowered when you share a good relationship with your candidates. The fact is that your clients will often quibble over the particulars of a position for months on end, but when they decide what they want or need, they expect you to be able to deliver within days, or even hours. Unfair? Sure. But a focus on offering up a good experience to your candidates will allow you to make the best of a challenging situation.

A happy, trusting and motivated candidate will be more likely to take your call or answer your email when you try to make contact about an open position, and if you’ve got a good number of appropriate candidates to offer up to your client, you’ll be in a position to submit far more quickly than your competitors. 

A Focus on the Candidate Experience

So pushing the candidate experience domino will eventually lead to the customer satisfaction tile toppling over at the other end. But what form does this initial push take? What does a recruitment agency focus on to ensure that their candidate’s experience is a good one?

There are a few ways that any recruitment agency can work to heighten the affection that their candidates feel for them (many of these and more are covered in The Recruiter’s Guide to Candidate Engagement):

  • Send personalised communications rather than bulk where possible
  • Communicate with your candidates as a habit, not just when you’ve got a new job to tell them about
  • Sell an open position in a way that shows how it would suit the specific candidate
  • Manage the expectations of the candidate by being honest about their likelihood of success
  • Identify or work on your agency’s USPs, and make them clear to your candidates
  • Be as accessible as possible to your candidates

By focusing on and committing to providing a good candidate experience, you’re giving your recruitment agency the greatest chance of long-term success. A happy candidate means a happy client, and a happy client means a happy recruiter.

The Rolling Stones were wrong if they were singing about recruitment (which I’m pretty certain they were). You can get satisfaction, provided you focus on the satisfaction of your candidates first.

Candidate ExperienceAbout Jason: Jason is the Co-Founder of Herefish, a company dedicated to helping the recruitment industry better engage with their candidates and contacts. Jason spends his days working with customers and the Herefish team, figuring out ways to build better relationships with candidates and potential clients. 

Before Herefish, he was with the software company Sendouts, then on to industry-leading Bullhorn where he continued to build cool products. Outside of work, being active, getting outside and spending time with his two sons.


positive candidate experience

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