Top 3 Causes of a Bad Candidate Experience

Kristina Martic | 5/5/2018 | Recruiting

Consequences of a bad candidate experience are devastating, both for your recruiting process and your company’s ability to sell products. In this blog post, we will present 3 most common causes of a bad candidate experience and suggest simple, yet effective ways to fix them.

Top 3 Causes of a Bad Candidate Experience

What is candidate experience?

Candidate experience” is candidates’ overall perception of your company’s recruiting process.

It is the way they experience your company's whole recruiting process, from sourcing and screening to interviewing and rejection, or hiring and finally onboarding.

This means that it encompasses their whole candidate journey - all 6 stages through which job seekers go through: Awareness, Consideration, Interest, Application, Selection and Hire.

Candidate experience-candidate-journey

How common is a bad candidate experience?

In the last few years, the term “candidate experience” has become one of the most important HR buzzwords in recruiting and hottest topic in recruitment marketing.

Why is everyone talking about candidate experience?

Candidate experience is not just a passing fad. There is a real need for it.

According to research, nearly 60% of candidates have had a poor candidate experience.

Top 3 causes of a bad candidate experience

Here are the 3 most common causes of a bad candidate experience:

1. Lack of response from employers

Research shows that the No.1 frustration during the overall job search is the lack of response from employers.

According to CareerBuilder survey, 75% of applicants never hear back from employers.

No.1-cause-of-bad-candidate-experience-lack-of-response

Imagine investing hours and hours into preparing your job application, only to never hear back from a company. How would you feel? 

Yes, you are busy, we know. But providing a closure for each and every candidate doesn’t have to be a time-consuming and exhausting process!

How to fix it:

2. Complicated job application process

One of the biggest culprits of bad candidate experience are job application forms that are too long or too complicated.

According to CareerBuilder survey, 60% of job seekers quit in the middle of filling out online job applications because of their length or complexity.

No.2-cause-of-bad-candidate-experience-too-long-or-complicated-job-application

If you want to provide great candidate experience and stop losing talent, you need to optimize your career site.  

How to fix it:

  • Allow various application options (let your candidates apply only by uploading their resume or via their social media profiles)
  • Automate resume parsing to eliminate lengthy application forms
  • Shorten your application forms - include only the questions that are absolutely necessary
  • If you have many job openings, add a search bar to your career site
  • Eliminate creating accounts in order to apply

3. Unpleasant interview

An unpleasant job interview can literally destroy candidate experience and cause candidates to opt out form your recruiting process altogether.

According to the LinkedIn survey, 83% of talent say a negative interview experience can change their mind about a role or company they once liked.

No.3.-cause-of-bad-candidate-experience-unpleasant-interview

How to fix it:

Consequences of a bad candidate experience

According to CareerBuilder survey, the effects of one candidate’s negative experience can lead to a broader impact on the employer’s ability to recruit or sell products. 

Further research showed that:

  • 63% of job seekers will likely reject a job offer because of a bad candidate experience (Source: Software Advice).
  • 72% of job seekers that had a bad experience told others about it, either online or in-person (Source: CareerArc).
  • 64% of job seekers say that a poor candidate experience would make them less likely to purchase goods and services from that employer (Source: CareerArc).

Consequences-of-a-bad-candidate-experience

Not only can a negative candidate experience have a disastrous impact on your recruiting process, but it can also very negatively impact your company’s bottom line - and cost you big bucks

You are probably familiar with the famous case of Virign Media, whose experts calculated that a bad candidate experience costs the company $5M annually.

This is because an unhappy candidate can easily turn into an unhappy customer who will boycott your company’s services or products.

Additional tips for a winning candidate experience

In this blog post, we presented three most common causes of a bad candidate experience and suggested ways to fix them.

However, there are many more factors you need to consider if you want to deliver a winning candidate experience.

To deliver that perfect candidate experience, you should start from your candidate persona and carefully craft your candidate journey by paying attention to each and every touch point.

This might seem a bit complicated and overwhelming, but don’t worry, you can easily improve candidate experience in 10 simple steps.


The most productive recruitment marketing strategies
TalentLyft ATS

Your Hiring Teammate

TalentLyft is intuitive and simple recruitment software specialized for SMBs.
Try it free for 14 days!
No credit card required, unsubscribe at any time.