Employee Experience

Designing a digital candidate experience that attracts top talent

Your digital candidate experience is a window into what it’s like to work at your company. It plays a huge role in the type of person who finishes the application process. Obviously, this then determines which individuals you get the opportunity to interview. 

Old-fashioned technology, a clunky user experience, or complicated application forms can be really off-putting when someone applies for a role.

If you provide a poor digital candidate experience, the highest quality job seekers will take their time and skills elsewhere. 

The best candidates are off the market within 10 days. The better your digital candidate experience is, the more likely your business is to be the one that hires them.

Despite this, the hiring process takes an average of 36 days. The longer your hiring process is, the lower your chances are of getting those top-quality candidates that bring you greater ROI. 

It’s not just that, though. Bad hires can cost you up to $15,000!

The best way to mitigate that? Invest in your candidate experience—it improves the quality of your new hires by as much as 70%!

So where should you start? What should you consider when evaluating your digital candidate experience?

Start with your website

If your website is ugly or hard to navigate, it will make your business look old-fashioned, too. It’ll put off younger or more technologically savvy candidates because user experience matters to them. They’ll probably switch off before they’ve even started the application process. This shrinks your candidate pool and loses you those great-quality hires you need.

Your website should be easy to navigate. You should also make sure it’s easy for anyone interested in working with you to find the careers section. 

If they can’t find that, unless they really want to work with you, they’re not going to dig for it. 

Instead, they’ll take their skills and perspectives that you could have benefited from to one of your competitors.

Shorten your application process

68% of recruiters believe investing in new technology is the best way to improve hiring performance. Which backs up the statistic we saw at the start, about how investing in your candidate experience improves the quality of your hires by up to 70%.

It starts with simple things. For instance, if you’re asking someone to upload a resume and a cover letter, you don’t need to ask them to manually fill in their job history in an application form too. 

Yet there are still some businesses that do this. It’s repetitive, annoying, and pointless.

If your job application process is overcomplicated, applicants will wonder what other systems you have that are pointless or repetitive.

If you want to ask questions during the initial application process, focus on things that won’t be on their resume or cover letter. For instance, why they want to work for your business, examples of their work, or when they used a skill that’s key to success in the role.

Be accessible

What can you use to make your digital candidate experience more accessible

Maybe you can make sure that any step in your application process is optimized for screen readers. 

If applicants need to read something, is it easy for them to adjust the font size of your website? How does this impact the design?

If they need to complete tasks as part of the application process, do you offer both written and spoken instructions? This ensures it’s easy to understand no matter how someone learns.

These may seem like minor things, but they add up. They’ll improve your digital candidate experience and make your business more inclusive from the very start.

Keep applicants in the loop

There’s nothing worse than applying for a role, then not knowing if anyone has even received your application. Or never hearing back from them. 

Most systems now allow you to send a confirmation email, so that candidates know you’ve received their application. This is a common courtesy that helps reduce some of the anxiety that comes from the job application process.

81% of job seekers feel that employers who send status updates improve the candidate experience.

You could even allow candidates to track what stage in the application process they’re at through your applicant tracking software. Having a progress bar on the candidate side means they can visualize how far into the process they are. 

You could also show them what’s coming next. For instance, if they’re shortlisted, they’ll have a phone interview, then an in-person interview or a task, etc. The more transparent you make things, the less stressful it is for candidates and the better they can prepare.

If a candidate hasn’t heard from you, but they can see in the portal you haven’t reviewed their application yet (for example, because the deadline hasn’t passed), this further reduces some of the nerves they may feel about applying for the role. It also saves you time because anyone who wants to chase you won’t have to.


Your digital candidate experience is a reflection of your business. Having an amazing website but a poor candidate experience makes it look like your business focuses solely on appearances.

If you truly care about the people who make your business the best it can be day in, and day out, the digital candidate experience has to reflect that. It’ll bring in more awesome people who can help you get the sales your brand deserves.

One way to ensure you have an amazing culture to showcase as part of your candidate experience is to rally everyone around a central hub. With one place for all your employee groups, programs, and events, it’s easy to highlight what makes working for your organization so great.

If you’re ready to elevate your employee experience and streamline the transition from candidate experience to team member, see if Workrowd could be a fit. Drop us a note at to learn more.

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