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How the Candidate Experience Affects Employer Brand

August 31st, 2020
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We all know the importance of a strong employer brand when it comes to talent acquisition.

Now, in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, job seekers are evaluating an employer’s brand and reputation with an unprecedented level of scrutiny. With so much uncertainty invading so many parts of our lives, people want to choose an organization where they feel confident their needs matter, their job is secure, and their best interests are at the top of their employer’s minds. And employer brand is what they use to make that decision.

Today, candidates are interviewing you just as much as you are interviewing them.

Simply put, companies that have a healthy, promoted employer brand win talent over the companies that don’t. And few organizations realize just how much of an effect the candidate experience can have on their overall brand—75% of job applicants believe that the candidate experience is an indicator of how a company values its employees.

Before we get into the specifics of just how this works, let’s first define what the candidate experience is.

Most assume the candidate experience is simply how a candidate is greeted by the front desk, how tasty the coffee in the lobby is, and how many softball questions they include in the interview. But this isn’t quite the case. The candidate experience consists of the following:

  • Job postings
  • The job application process
  • Communications with HR
  • Scheduling phone and in-person interviews
  • The interview itself
  • Feedback response time
  • The offer process and potential negotiations
  • Onboarding
  • The quality of coffee in the lobby (kidding) 


All of these sometimes overlooked components make up the overall candidate experience, and each component is just as critical as the next. For example, 60% of applicants (yes, sixty percent) will quit a job application right in the middle if it’s too long or complicated. How does this affect employer brand? 23% of job seekers say that they will never apply to a company again if they have experienced issues with an online application.

Every part of the candidate experience matters.

Make sure you evaluate each piece listed above and ensure that everyone is as convenient, efficient, and accessible as possible.

Now that we know what the candidate experience is and how it affects employer brand, let’s talk more about how you can improve yours.

Improve your response time

Few things frustrate job seekers more than a company that is slow to get back to them during the hiring process. This is especially true as candidates are now likely engaged with more than one organization at a time.

Emphasize to your acquisition teams the importance of responsiveness throughout the entire candidate experience. Consider setting up an automated email system to ensure immediate replies as a candidate progresses through the hiring process. If delays with interviews come up, be sure to communicate them as quickly as possible.

Be more accessible

Too often, candidates feel there is too much distance between them and hiring managers and the organizations they represent. If questions or concerns arise, many candidates feel there isn’t someone they can address them with.

Make sure you’re the company where candidates feel like they have a real human being directly available to them should they have any issues or questions during the hiring process. For the people who don’t get hired for an opening, they’ll remember your willingness to be accessible and are likely to recommend you to others.

Bear Staffing

Struggling to find the talent your business needs to navigate through uncertain times? Bear Staffing is here to help.

Our team of industry experts has substantial experience connecting organizations with top-tier talent across multiple industries. Call us today to learn more. 

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