Hiring Tips

A Guide to the Perfect Candidate Journey

Reading time 5min

When there are a shortage of skilled workers, the recruitment process becomes an ever-increasing challenge.

In order for companies to attract and retain promising talents, the application process should be as user friendly as possible. To this end, there are various ways in which you can optimize the candidate journey to attract more applicants to your company.

In this article, we will show you what the perfect candidate journey looks like from the applicant's point of view and which touch points (i.e. points of contact between your company and the candidate) are most important. The better the candidate/applicant experience, the less likely it is that qualified applicants will pass up your company.

What is a Candidate Journey?

What is a Candidate Journey?

The Candidate Journey refers to the individual journey of an applicant through a company's recruitment process. In order to gain an objective impression of this process, employers should put themselves in the shoes of applicants and find out what weaknesses exist and how they can be improved.

A good candidate experience helps to get more applicants, while a poor experience leads to higher application dropoff. Studies show that the Candidate Journey contributes significantly to the attractiveness of the company. So it is well worth investing some time in optimizing this process. This way, candidates feel invested in the company for the long-term – thus leading to higher employee satisfaction and retention!

Stages of the Candidate Journey

Generally, the application process is divided into five different phases, from research to hiring:

1. Research

1. Research

The first contact between the applicant and the employer is made through job research.

For this purpose, candidates search for openings on job sites or on the hiring section of the company's website.

*** To attract many candidates, job advertisements should be created in such a way that they appeal directly to applicants and contain as much relevant information as possible.***

According to a survey, 40% of candidates will not apply for a job if they find the job title and description incomprehensible.

2. Application

2. Application

In terms of posting applications, companies have a variety of channels at their disposal, such as filling out online forms, one-click applications, or sending them via email.

To successfully reach jobseekers, it's best to have multiple conversion-optimized channels to choose from.

If any technical deficiencies come to your attention in the process, they should be addressed immediately. Applicants will lose interest and ultimately leave the application process if they run into cumbersome issues such as form errors or submission mishaps.

3. Selection Process

3. Selection Process

Applicants appreciate it when employers provide a concrete timeline on how the selection process will flow.

Too slow or no feedback often leads to the applicant choosing another company.

Just acknowledging that an application has been received makes a good impression on jobseekers. If the process is clearly structured, applicants feel considered.

4. Decision

4. Decision

When announcing the decision – in other words, the shortlist of applicants who made it through to the next interview round – employers should make sure to convey a positive feeling even in the case of a rejection.

For example, candidates can be added to a talent pool after rejection to get information about new job openings in a timely manner.

Don't take an unnecessary amount of time in making a decision, as this may tempt candidates to look for jobs elsewhere.

5. Onboarding

5. Onboarding

The last step of the Candidate Journey is signing of the employment contract.

For the company, this means that the onboarding process must be prepared. Here, future tasks are explained and the candidate is introduced to their team, daily tasks, and overarching objectives.

Candidate Journey Touch Points

Candidate Journey Touch Points

Direct or indirect contact between applicants and companies is referred to as touch points. With the help of these touch points, an initial connection to interested parties can be created. They occur with varying frequency in the different phases, namely at:

  • Research: Job ads, websites, social media
  • Application: Online channels and email
  • Selection Process: Job interviews or remote interviews, tests, assessment programs
  • Decision: Email, phone calls, face-to-face interviews
  • Onboarding: Greeting, onboarding process

Candidate Journey Mapping

With Candidate Journey Mapping the process from application to hire is visually represented.

Here, the different touch points also become visible. The visual representation helps you improve the employer branding strategy and optimize the candidate experience. This also helps companies know which channels work best and makes the recruitment process faster and more cost-effective.

Creating an Optimal Candidate Experience for All

Creating an Optimal Candidate Experience for All

If you also want to optimize your applicants' Candidate Journey, you first need to put yourself in the position of the candidate and look at the whole process from their point of view. After that, you should start with Candidate Journey Mapping and list all the contact points between you and the candidate.

The hiring process should then be tested to identify any shortcomings. If any weaknesses stand out, they need to be improved.

When posting the job, make sure that the job position being offered is clearly described and that all necessary information is readily available.

If possible, provide contact information to applicants. This strengthens retention.

HR should be well aware of applicants and their resumes and enter the interview process informed. To take the recruiting process to the next level, seek feedback from candidates. This is the best way to get first-hand information.

In summary, you will be well received by candidates as a company if you:

  • Provide a detailed job description
  • Provide enough information about your company
  • Describe the process clearly and simply
  • Respond to interested parties in a timely manner
  • Provide different channels for the application process
  • Be willing to optimize your hiring process on a regular basis
  • Take feedback from applicants seriously

Here's How to Make the Onboarding and Candidate Experience Positive

Here's How to Make the Onboarding and Candidate Experience Positive

The Candidate Journey and Candidate Experience are both used in the context of the application process, but they refer to two separate concepts. The Candidate Journey is the path from job search to hiring. The Candidate Experience refers to how the company and its processes are perceived.

For this reason, it can be said that the Candidate Journey is the cornerstone of a good Candidate Experience.

A good Candidate Experience determines how motivated the employee is to approach the new job and how productive they are.

Employees with a good Candidate Experience stay with the company longer and also perform better.

Additionally, they are more likely to recommend the company to other job seekers.

The Candidate Journey is the basis for a successful Onboarding Journey and has a direct influence on the Employee Experience. With a good Candidate Journey, you can reduce rejections from applicants.

Future employees will then also be much more willing to be engaged team members. Thus, both employers and employees benefit from an optimized process.

If your company is also looking for qualified talent, check out TieTalent and register for free. We find top tech candidates for your company that suit your hiring needs from start to finish.

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