Why a Candidate Portal is NOT the Way to Go?

Keeping the candidates up to date with all information about the status of their application in the hiring process represents a significant challenge for companies and hiring managers. While this time-consuming task can require a lot of manual work for recruiters, candidates can quickly form a negative experience if they lack feedback. 

To tackle this challenge, companies are trying to find a suitable way to offer candidates continuous feedback without spending too much time doing it. One of the popular solutions became establishing a candidate portal.


A candidate portal is a unique place where candidates can log in at any moment and track the status of their applications without ever having to communicate with people in charge of hiring them for the position. 

Sounds great, right? 

And that is precisely why a significant number of companies decided to implement it into their hiring process. However, this article won't try to sell you on using a candidate profile for your efforts. Quite the opposite, it will offer you all the reasons why a candidate profile is not something you should run towards but away from.

Things that candidate portals lack:

Two main reasons make candidate portals outdated and ready for replacement: 

  1. They offer a bad candidate experience due to a lengthy and complicated application process
  2. Candidates never get an answer as to why they got rejected or hired for a position

Complicated application process for the candidates

Candidate portals usually introduce extra work for the candidates. Frequently they need to create a complete profile, provide additional information, and even provide the same information multiple times. This lengthy procedure that doesn't bring any extra value for the candidates makes it likely to discourage them from applying for the position in the first place. 

Why would you lose a great candidate due to the longevity of their application process? To us, that seems unacceptable. Additionally, CareerBuilder found that 60% of candidates give up in the middle of filling out their applications due to its longevity and difficulty. Therefore, by introducing the extra step of applying for a portal, you risk losing some great candidates! 

average abandonment rate

Not only do they have to take part in a longer application process, but by applying to a candidate profile, candidates manually have to revisit their profile daily to track the status of their application. If a candidate only applies to one position at a time, maybe the process isn't so exhausting. But the reality is that candidates apply for several, even a dozen if not more positions at the same time, and tracking their status on ten different portals represents an absolute nightmare for them!

"Don't forget, maybe your candidates are competing with other candidates, but you are also competing with other companies for winning the best talent!"

To win this battle for talent - instead of using a candidate portal, you can consider automating your workflows and setting up automated email messages triggered in each step of the recruitment process. Then, depending on whether the candidate is being sent to the next stage or disqualified from the process, you can preset up the content. 

If marketers can leverage their email communication with customers so well, why wouldn't you do the same with your prospective candidates? Therefore, keep your candidates engaged, eliminate the amount of work for them, and create a positive experience for everyone applying for a position at your company. 

Context is everything

Let's not forget how it is to be in a candidate's shoes. As a candidate searching for a new job, you constantly have to improve and adjust your CV, do extensive research about each company you're applying for, write a unique cover letter, work on an assignment or update your portfolio to impress the future employer. It's a lot of work. 

And candidates are willing to do the work, but in return, they are asking for a human approach from your side! At the end of the day, we can't blame them. Simply by sending personalized emails and keeping candidates updated about the status of their application, or even rejecting them timely and personally, they will establish a better opinion of your brand.

If, in addition to everything listed a few rows above, they also have to create a candidate profile and do extra work to make you have less work, they are likely to get discouraged and less engaged. 

Additionally, candidates lose the sense of applying to a person behind the computer and quickly start feeling like a number when applying through candidate portals. But isn't that unfair? To ask candidates to put so much work in their application, treat each employer like they are the only one they would even consider working for, and then offer them nothing in return. 

For that reason, giving specific feedback on why they didn't make it to the next round is what makes this process more human and protects your employer brand - which we all know reflects way beyond your recruitment process! 

As the title here says context is everything. It is in our nature to seek the answers to Why something happened. The Same goes for candidates, they want feedback, and they want it constructive. TalentAdore reports a statistic from Lever stating that talent is four times more likely to consider the company in the future if they receive constructive feedback on their application. Unfortunately, this feedback turns into a simplified yes or no in their profiles on a candidate portal, which can be pretty demotivating. 

the impact of feedback on candidate experience

Candidate portals are a thing of the past

You might think that providing the context to 100 applicants can be unachievable in reality. However, by optimizing your process and organizing the database initially - setting up automatically triggered personalized emails at each step of the recruitment process, your workload can be drastically reduced. Therefore, by embracing what the new technology offers, you can simplify the application process for your candidates, build stronger relationships and improve their entire experience. Because let's face it, candidate portals are a thing of the past!

Want to know how you can improve candidate experience and become more efficient at recruiting top talent?
With TalentLyft, you can automate all your repetitive tasks and eliminate manual work. Talk to our product specialists to learn more!
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