Candidate Experience: Top Talent in High Demand

3 May 2019


Sylvie Lepage, CPHR, RCC

Human Resources


Organizing open houses or handing out pens at job fairs is no longer sufficient… In order to attract the best candidates in a highly competitive hunt for talent, employers must be engaging and distinctive. The candidate experience has become more personalized and human-centered!

Here are my ideas to help perfect the “candidate experience” during your next recruitment activities.

Web presence

In this era of hyperconnectivity, we know that more than one-third of candidates research a company online before starting the recruitment process (see chart).

Your online presence must therefore provide genuine information about your organization: the culture, the values, the professional challenges, the benefits, and the work environment. Think of what sets you apart as an employer and avoid “copy/pasting” from your competitor. Add employee testimonials to your career section, and include videos, like Raufoss Technologies has done.

Create a YouTube channel and shoot a guided tour of your work space, and make sure to involve your employees. Nothing is stronger than sincere, factual stories from employees!

An attractive job posting

Without reinventing the job posting, it is possible to make it attractive, while keeping it short and sweet. Add visual elements: photo of the team in action, products, etc. Talk about the team the new hire will be working with, as well as upcoming projects to tackle. Put yourself in the candidate’s shoes and reflect on ways to capture his or her attention (the latest company achievements, distinctions, list of major clients, etc.) In general, I recommend against adding an endless laundry list of qualifications and skills required, since doing so might scare off potential candidates.

Why not make a video to present your job posting and ask your employees to share it on social media? The visual aspect will be more appealing to potential candidates, as seen in this eye-catching job offer from SEPAQ. Be creative and remain genuine! To inspire you, here are two great examples that stand out: Bain magique revamped their employer brand and BRP and their interactive recruitment campaign.

Mixing recruitment and technology

Chatting and texting are the most popular ways to communicate, so why not add them to your recruitment process. At the very least you can integrate a live chat to your career section so that future candidates get quick responses to their questions. Greeting them by their first name, answering their questions directly, and having a signature, personalizes your messages and builds relationships with future candidates.

Small details count

A personalized email invitation to an interview can really make a difference in the candidate’s experience. How? Make an effort to tell the candidate who they will be meeting and share their LinkedIn profiles to allow them to prepare. Provide details about the location of the office, parking or public transit nearby. Calling the candidate the day before to confirm his or her presence at the interview is probably the most appreciated detail of all. In addition, maximize the first interview to avoid the candidate having to come back on numerous occasions.

Nearly 80% of candidates will share a positive candidate experience with loved ones, colleagues and friends.

More than 60% of candidates will share a negative candidate experience with those around them, and 35% will share it publicly, either on review sites like Indeed or on various social media platforms.

Source: 2018 North American Experience Benmark Research, Talent Board, 2018



In-person meeting

An interview is, first and foremost, a time to exchange and get to know one another. Make sure that the candidate feels welcome and respect the initial time slot agreed upon for the meeting. Take a few minutes early on during the interview to set the tone and make the atmosphere more relaxed. Be empathetic and courteous, and involve a member of your team who will be able to concretely describe the challenges of the position.

If you can, take a tour of the workplace and take advantage of this moment to show your main attractions, be it the cafeteria you just renovated, your relaxation areas, or your beautiful terrace. The candidate can then become more immersed in the environment and work climate. Before concluding, take some time to answer the candidate’s questions and let them know what to expect from the rest of the process. The more informed they are about the job, the challenges and the work environment, the more equipped they will be to make a decision.

Be proactive

Take a few minutes the day after the meetings to call the candidates of interest and see where they stand. Thus, this will allow you to gauge ​​their interest and you will be able to address any concerns they may have, and perhaps even reassure them while remaining honest with your answers.

During the process, keep in touch with all candidates and inform them right away of any progress, whether positive or not.

Finally, to make the candidate experience even more exceptional, make them fill out a survey and have discussions with your employees, in order to develop recruitment practices adapted to the needs of future talent.

Have you put some inspiring ideas to improve your candidate experience in place? Don’t hesitate to share them with us!

About the author

Sylvie Lepage

About Sylvie Lepage

Founding Chair of Innovation RH

Member of the Chartered Professional in Human Resources (CPHR) and Registered Corporate Coach (RCC), founded the consulting firm specializing in human resources management, Innovation RH, in 2004. Sylvie has a long history of carrying out strategic assignments in human resources management, business coaching, organizational development, talent management and compensation.