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4 tips to improve your candidate experience right now

Posted by
Kaushik Satish
February 16, 2023

Have you noticed how looking for the right job is astonishingly like dating? Lots of misses. Some annoying experiences. And then, when the right one finally clicks, oh joy!

But, two years of working from home has given job seekers clarity on what they want—and don’t want—from work. They’re willing to wait to find the perfect job. And now more than ever, they’re demanding a seamless candidate experience (CX) from employers.

We took a look at CX through the lens of common dating tropes in our recent webinar. Where does CX fall short? How can employers and recruiters fix it? What can you do to land top talent right now? Here are our four favorite dating tropes coupled with actionable advice you can take right now.

1. “We’re not compatible”

Poor candidate experiences throughout the sourcing and hiring processes leaves talent feeling like your company is anything but compatible with their needs.

You’ve got to create a better experience to help candidates feel like you’re not only compatible, but that your company is a match made in heaven. One way top-performing recruitment teams are doing that right now is through job matching. 

This can be done on-site, when talent visits your website. But poor website experiences typically mean that talent heads elsewhere (likely your competition). We hear from customers all the time who have struggled with candidates visiting their website, only to bounce quickly (in other words, without applying). Talent is busy, probably already employed, and they don’t have time to search or scroll endlessly. 

That’s why we built our recruiting chatbot to engage candidates, answer questions, and even schedule interviews with your recruiters 24/7. It’s powerful stuff, and it prevents your website from “leaking” candidates. 

Outreach job matching entails your team reaching out to the tens of thousands (or more) candidates in your database, after identifying which candidates are a match for your current openings. After all, you’ve spent probably hundreds of thousands of dollars in the past 12 months to attract new candidates. Why not maximize that spend by actually reaching out to those candidates you’ve already acquired?? 

The challenge lies in volume. Your recruiters are already overworked. They don’t have hours to do this outreach. Okay, who are we kidding? It would take days, weeks, even MONTHS to search through and find the right candidates for all your current openings. And you’d need dedicated recruiters working tirelessly on it. Oh, and you’d have to ensure all your candidate information was up to date, and that you had a tool that could identify which candidates are a match for your openings (unless you want to read each candidate record individually).


And you know a broadcast, generic message to your entire database is going to result in crickets. Automation and AI to the rescue! We’ll save you those hours (weeks? months?!) and provide you with powerful matches from within your database. Sense Discover matches candidates to open roles, we help you automate check-ins to ensure candidate data is accurate, and we can help you set up automated outreach campaigns across email and text. Powerful stuff, this job matching!

2. “I can’t believe they blew me off!”

Our research shows that 75% of candidates have been recently ghosted by an employer. That’s a surprisingly high number in a candidate-driven market.  

Glassdoor reports that mentions of ‘ghosting’ in their interview experience reviews is up 450% since the start of the pandemic. This does not bode well for your employer brand. It also makes employees reluctant to refer friends or family. 

Poor hiring practices could be the culprit, but more often than not, ghosting is unintentional. Work-swamped recruiters are genuinely unable to get back to candidates for days or weeks, by which time the candidate has moved on or been scooped up by a competitor. The underlying problem is one of communication: the candidate wants to be in the know but recruiters don’t have an easy, efficient way to respond. 

Automation of communication, especially texting, has immense potential to solve this.

Texting is a personal, non-intrusive, and highly effective (51% response rate, 3X faster replies) way to communicate with candidates. And automation allows you to text at scale. For instance, you can set up texts to let candidates know their application status {“Alicia, thanks for applying. We’ll review your resume and get in touch in 4-5 working days.”), respond to queries instantly (“Yes, confirming our call tomorrow at 4PM EST.”) and engage them throughout the application process (“All the best for your interview today, Alicia. It’s at 9.15am EST with Mark Heldon.”) 

When candidates know what’s going on at all times and have an instant, direct line of communication with you, they’re happy. And when candidates are fully engaged, they feel valued, which is great for your employer brand.

While building Sense Messaging, our 1:1 text recruiting solution, we wondered what other features would make life easier for recruiters. A major texting challenge is lack of context. So we built that in. With Sense Messaging, you can reference previous emails or chats with the candidate to give them complete context. All with a personalized touch based on powerful personalization capabilities.

3. “It’s complicated.”

Whether you’re filling out an online dating profile or your next job application, anything too long or complicated is a pain. According to Appcast, a whopping 92% of candidates click on ‘Apply’ but leave without completing the application. For employers, this leak of high-intent candidates (acquired for hundreds of dollars EACH, may we add) is most painful.

UX firm InFlight recently conducted an audit of the job application processes at Fortune 500 companies and discovered that there are an ‘exorbitant number of steps and clicks involved’. Candidates are made to create user accounts and set passwords, asked the same questions multiple times, and repeat information already in their resume. On average, it takes them 51 clicks to complete the application!

There’s a real opportunity here to reimagine the entire application process and deliver a seamless CX. One of our favorite ways is to deploy an NLP-powered conversational chatbot (like, ahem, ours) to guide the candidate through the application. 

4. “You’re too clingy.”

Texting is how couples stay connected, size up each other, and build the tone of the relationship as they move from ‘casually seeing each other’ to ‘in a relationship’. But it’s also rife with danger zones. Text excessively and you’ll seem needy. Text too little and you’ll appear uninterested. Text at the wrong times and you might come off as insensitive!

Messaging candidates as a recruiter, be it via email or text, is just as precarious.

Job seekers want personalized messages, regular updates and relevant job opportunities. At the same time, they’re fielding unwanted calls, emails, and texts from marketers of all kinds. Regulations like CAN-SPAM and TCPA exist to protect their privacy rights—but sometimes, these filter out even relevant communication that candidates may want to know.  As a recruiter, how do you balance the need for personalized communication with regulatory compliance?

It all boils down to keeping good CX at the heart of your messaging strategy. Here are some best practices we encourage all our clients to follow:

  • Ensure consent (!)
  • Make it easy to opt out
  • Text during the workday and avoid evenings/early mornings
  • Don’t be spammy
  • Get to the point quickly - don’t waste people’s time

The good news is we’re building two AI-powered intelligent content features to help our customers with compliance. The first is Content Warning, which reviews your messages and tells you if you’ve violated any best practices or guidelines and suggests how you can edit your messages.

The second is Content Scoring, which uses AI to compare your messages to historical delivery data and tell you how similar your message is to others that have triggered carrier filtering. This will give you a chance to review and update your content before sending it out, keeping your business safe from punitive fines.

What you can do next to step up your candidate experience 

In this post, we’ve covered quite a bit about how you can create a positive candidate experience from first touch to first day. 

If you’re ready to put that into action, here are six actionable ways to craft your candidate engagement plan. Download the ebook here.


Want to go from strategy to action? Sign up for a demo and we’ll show you exactly how Sense works with your ATS to ramp up CX and deliver powerful ROI.

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