Reviewing and Improving the Candidate Journey (part 1)

Reviewing and Improving the Candidate Journey (part 1)

 26 Feb 2019

I wrote a blog last year about how precious and vital your brand is during recruitment.  And with so many reporting a talent shortage – the global figure is at a 12 year high – constantly reviewing early messages and how they land is even more important. 

Nearly 60% of candidates say they have had a poor candidate experience.  That’s bad enough, but 72% of those that had a bad experience say they shared that negative experience with friends or online.  So out of every 100 people who apply to your business 43 of them are sharing negative feedback.  Wow – and that’s just those that actually get to the application stage!

Of course, they may not be the people you wanted to employ anyway, but when a potential candidate journey encompasses so many early touchpoints and interactions with your company, from initial awareness right through to becoming a member of your team, what others hear and say can have a significant impact on potential candidates even pre-application. 

The Candidate Journey

In this blog we look at the first 3 stages - Awareness, Consideration and Interest.  The next blog will follow on and consider the second 3 stages. 

What we are trying to do is to put ourselves in our candidates’ shoes.  And that way, we will be able to better understand their needs, wants and fears in different phases of their journey.

Early touchpoints with your organisation could be;

  • Seeing your job advertisement on a job board
  • Visiting your career site or reading your career blogs
  • Being approached by an agency on your behalf
  • Checking the ratings of your company on a company review site
  • Visiting your company’s LinkedIn or Facebook page
  • Talking to your company representative during a school or university visit or career fair
  • Seeing the company’s brand sponsoring a sporting or other event

To better understand, evaluate and measure the early stages of this candidate journey, we need to know this…

  • Who is your ideal candidate? What does your candidate persona look like? Touch points will be very different for a senior candidate versus those applying for a graduate scheme or to work in one of your retail outlets
  • What do you want candidates to feel, see and hear when they first come across your brand online?
  • Where are they likely to interact with your brand and where is the best place to engage with them?
  • Who, apart from the in-house team, may be having those early interactions with potential candidates?

To build this out and to help you answer the questions and evaluate effectiveness, here are some tips;

  1. Widen your feedback


Do you ask only those who are successful about their candidate journey, those that are offered a role, accept and join your business?  What about those that were rejected?

Can you run wider groups and assess the impressions of those who haven’t applied, yet?


Ask those currently employed within the business if the current online messaging represent real life within the company. 

How did they hear and learn about the business and what were their early impressions?

Where did they learn about what you had to offer as an employer?

  1. Foster closer relationships with agencies

If you have a PSL or use agencies, some of your brand may be managed and portrayed by someone else.  Consider whether you have a group of agencies who are well informed and who introduce your company positively?

Do you brief them well on the messages and behaviours you expect them to deliver?  And is there a formalised feedback process in place to understand how they interact with your candidates in practise?

  1. Regularly review comments left on company review sites and on social media

Firstly, do you check online comments regularly on Glassdoor, Indeed, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn? The advice from Glassdoor is to acknowledge reviews, especially those that are negative, with empathy and understanding.  It’s very difficult to get negative comments taken down but responding positively and compassionately can mitigate the posted remarks.

  1. Do your research and listen to broad industry-wide feedback

Regular research is available which highlights the most popular, current job sites.  It’s always worth checking out where your competitors advertise and having a look at what messages they put out online and how do they communicate their values and offering?


Joanne McTiffin

Tindall Perry Insights

February 2019




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