Most professionals in recruitment have heard the horror story of how Virgin Media lost roughly $5 million dollars in revenue from mishandling the candidate experience. The rejected applicants which were treated incorrectly turned out to be customers too, and the overall negative experience resulted in them taking their subscriptions elsewhere. This infamous example perfectly demonstrates the dangers of a bad candidate experience. Here’s how you can avoid getting into a similar situation yourself.


What is a ‘candidate experience’

Before we get into more detail about how to provide a good candidate experience and the dangers of a bad one, let’s talk about what it actually means. The term is now a buzzword within talent acquisition and that’s because it’s a fundamental aspect of recruitment. A ‘candidate experience’ is how the job seeker perceives the hiring process and the impression they are left with in the end. How the applicant is treated during sourcing, interviewing and onboarding – or perhaps rejection - all contribute to the overall candidate experience.  


Why it’s important

It’s no secret that we’re facing a skills shortage and that businesses are finding it more difficult than ever to source the employees they need. The candidate experience severely impacts how likely a person is to accept an offer, which is why it’s crucial that firms invest in developing a positive experience. The hiring process gives job seekers a good indication of what working life is like in the business. So, if employers want to make a good impression, they should be supportive, organized and honest. Regardless of whether the person is right for the advertised role, an overall positive candidate experience still matters as it can impact their decision to apply for future positions, or share their experience with connections.


The dangers of a bad candidate experience

One of the most important aspects that a business must protect is its employer brand. Just as poor customer service can lead to fewer sales and a tarnished reputation, a bad customer experience can damage how you are perceived as an employer. This will undoubtedly make it more difficult to find quality candidates in the future and leave positions empty for longer than necessary, impacting productivity and revenue. The true dangers of a bad candidate experience can also be seen in a company’s sales. By losing skilled-professionals along the hiring process, you’ll be left with inferior talent which may not deliver the results your business needs. Also, just as how Virgin Media’s candidates turned out to be customers, you may also be risking relationships with your clients too.


How to avoid a bad candidate experience

The best way to avoid the dangers that come with a bad candidate experience is to think carefully about every step of the recruitment journey. Consider how your applicants will perceive the careers page, company reviews, interviews and the final decision. Here are few things that you can do to keep job seekers happy.

Keep things simple

There is no need for lengthy applications or complex questions when sourcing new employees. Most quality candidates can demonstrate their skills and provide an overview of their professional background through LinkedIn or a succinct CV. Research also shows that many people are likely to quit the application process if it is too time-consuming. That’s why businesses should try and limit job applications to just a few clicks.


Keep in touch

One of the main causes of a bad candidate experience is a lack of communication. Too many businesses ‘ghost’ applicants if they are not right for the role or fail to keep them updated throughout the process. This, of course, will make people feel unvalued and create a negative impression of the business. There are certain touch points during the hiring process which are particularly important, such as after the initial application, after the interview and once the final decision has been made.


Remember it doesn’t stop when they are hired

A good candidate experience should blur into a fantastic employee experience. To achieve this, it’s crucial to have an organized and productive onboarding process, where the new starter feels guided, supported and comfortable.

By remembering the dangers of a bad candidate experience, and treating every applicant like a potential employee, you’ll be on track to winning the best talent. To find out more, get in touch today.

Inspired by jobseekers, designed by recruiters and built by experts, LogicMelon is a refreshingly different recruitment solution. Find out more at


Darren Brown, CEO at LogicMelon


This entry was posted in Recruitment, The Candidate Experience