Talent Connection Blog

All HR managers and recruiters understand the importance and benefits of standardizing and optimizing the interview process. Yet, many fail to realize the consequences of providing a poor experience to candidates during the selection process. A poor candidate experience can directly affect a company’s reputation. A recent survey suggests 72% of job seekers report bad candidate experiences on sites like Glassdoor, social media, or directly to a colleague or friend. It can discourage good candidates from applying, limit a company’s future talent pool, and increase hiring costs down the line. Below are five hiring etiquettes that can significantly improve candidates’ experience during the selection process:

1. Structure your interview process.

In the absence of a deliberate structure, interviewers often ask random questions that can create a sloppy, repetitive process and result in a bad candidate experience. A structured, consistent approach helps identify the best talent that fits with company culture, promote a positive brand, and solidify its reputation. Structuring the interview process includes determining the number of interviewers, standardizing how notes and scoring are documented, identifying a candidate’s strengths and weaknesses, clearly articulating what attributes you’re looking for, and aligning with candidates on the organization’s core values and leadership principles.

2. Make the candidate feel welcome

One study showed that 41% of potential candidates with poor interviewing experience intend to take their loyalty elsewhere. The top talent usually evaluates the organization’s culture while interacting with other team leaders, managers, and employees. Hence, it’s essential to keep all stakeholders informed about the recruitment process.  All candidates should leave an interview thinking the company is an excellent place to work. Even if they are not suitable, they should be given enough time to feel they have demonstrated their skills and communicated their experience.

3. Maintain communication with unsuccessful candidates

Not every candidate will be a perfect fit for your company. When this happens, it’s the hiring manager’s job to communicate the hiring decision promptly. Too often, hiring managers fail in terms of simple follow-up with unsuccessful candidates, even for more senior positions.  It takes a bit of courtesy to reply to create a good experience even if they are not offered the role. It’s surprising how appreciative candidates are when it comes to this gesture, as it gives them the closure they’re seeking.

4. Uphold the company’s brand and communicate its value

Like the customer-facing brand that helps attract new business, you should always work towards improving your employer brand. The best way to attract the top talents is by selling the high points of your organization and aligning candidates’ experience with company values. You can proactively introduce top candidates to cross-functional partners and even C-suites when appropriate. Such an approach can showcase your company’s values in action and create a personal experience that stands out within a candidate’s recruiting journey. Helping candidates feel like part of ‘something larger’ will differentiate your organization and aid in the overall negotiation process.

5. Lean on your recruiter

Professional recruiters have a stockpile of helpful recruiting tools and resources and know exactly where to look for qualified candidates. They know how to properly prescreen candidates. They’ll be able to identify not only the candidates with the right skills but also those who’d likely be a good fit for your company culture. If possible, work closely with your recruiters. Doing so will provide  a balanced perspective, and your candidates will have a fairer hiring process.


An integrated approach to the candidate journey can improve an organization’s brand, attract better-quality hires, and increase ROI. Candidates share their experiences with friends, colleagues, and strangers through public platforms. A poor candidate experience can adversely affect an organization over time through reputational damage and the missed opportunity to recruit the right person. Hence, it’s vital to sit down and consider where you can improve for various candidate touchpoints to enhance employer branding.