A guide to the ultimate ‘candidate experience’ from start to finish

The ultimate ‘candidate experience’ from start to finish.

A positive candidate experience is key to improving and retaining a ‘top-notch‘ hiring brand. Where does the candidate’s experience begin? Our answer… right at the very start. That very first tap on the shoulder, that online application, that casual coffee introduction or that ‘out of the blue’ phone call. However it begins, the very first impression of a company and the steps taken in the hiring process leaves a long-lasting impression and play an important role in shaping your company’s ‘brand attractiveness’, ultimately affecting the candidates’ final ‘take-home’ after the process is completed. Whatever the outcome is, it is important as a company that you make your candidates feel fantastic either way.

The job description

From experience, I would say it all starts with an attractive and enticing job description. To many of us, a job description may seem a less important factor but it is our belief that kickstarting a search for a brand new role and attracting the right kind of candidate all starts with an ‘attention-grabbing’ and well-written job description. Not only does it look professional, it gives the impression that you have thought the role through, have a clear view on your requirements, placed value on the role and the importance of it within the company and are proud of your company and the value and vision it portrays.

The interview 

TalentintheCloud aims to do the 1st digital interview for our clients and as such we aim to kickstart the interview process with as much seamless simplicity, professionalism and innovation as possible while remaining conscious that the candidate experience is well underway and our clients brand attractiveness is in our hands.(See Tiffany-Kelly Fritz’s article on 3 Simple Ways to prepare for a TalentintheCloud Digital Interview) After their initial interview with us, at this stage we are essentially handing the ropes over to you. Although TalentintheCloud remains constantly involved it is at this point that you must remember not to take a candidate’s interest for granted, as much as you are choosing the right candidate for your company the candidate is also choosing their next career move. Grab the interview with both hands and take the time to use it as an opportunity to inspire candidates about your team, company and mission.

It is important to remember that each company has their own unique process and one interview process is not necessarily better than another but there are some inescapable do’s and don’ts that are imperative to maintain a great ‘hiring brand’. 

Have a set interview process and stick to it as much as possible. Whether your process involves 1 interview or 4 and a case study, whatever approach you decide to take, it is important that this is communicated at the beginning stages and is stuck to as much as possible. This allows for the candidate to mentally prepare themselves, plan their diary whilst evoking an image of professionalism and organisation in terms of structure and process. Rescheduling interviews multiple times, last minute changes or not showing up for a confirmed interview as planned can cause a candidate to be unsettled, evoke a feeling of doubt in the company and even spike feelings of a reluctance to continue in the interview process.

Currently we find ourselves with slightly different dynamics, continuing to interview and hire in the midst of COVID 19 has proven rather challenging. Although even prior to COVID 19 we have seen a global trend towards digital interviews we are now in a position where ‘face to face’ interviews are impossible or at least highly discouraged. In these conditions it is important to remember that although the ‘location’ is remote the people involved shouldn’t be. Try as best as you can to meet candidates ‘half way’ – be flexible on the platform used, ensure the interview process is ‘mobile phone’ friendly and  be considerate of different time zones, keeping the process as natural and simple as possible. Do yourself a favour and have a read of this very insightful article written by Stacey Japtha where she talks about ‘How digital interviews can help with the hiring process during and after COVID 19.’

Case studies, assignments and assessments

Case studies, assignments and assessments, although extremely helpful in finding that perfect candidate, need to be handled with care. Asking candidates to complete such a task even before having an interview, is essentially asking them to jump through hoops before they are sure they are interested and willing to use their professional time to complete these tasks. Give them something to buy into first. Have that initial call, have that first interview and then pop a task into the process. Candidates who share your vision, are invested in the opportunity and want nothing more than to join your company, are more likely to give their all on any task put before them. 

With TalentintheCloud, 99% of the candidates we put before our clients are not actively on the market, Therefore,  it becomes inherently more important to gain the trust and interest of the candidate before setting them tasks to complete. Although TalentintheCloud does their utmost best to gain the candidates’ trust and interest on behalf of our clients, nothing can replace a call between the candidate and the company they are looking to join.


Timely feedback is extremely important. Whether it is good or bad, it’s best not to keep the candidate hanging. Taking weeks, even months to provide feedback is damaging to the candidate experience and your company’s reputation. We know that decisions take time and that bringing on the right person into your company is by no means an easy decision. However, some type of feedback is essential even if it is the form of some sort of timeline as to when a candidate can expect to hear from you. 

Lets land you that top talent

There is a lot more that goes into the ‘ultimate candidate experience’, these are just a few pointers to help you along the way. Each company is unique and TalentintheCloud embraces each and every one of client’s unique approach to hiring. Whatever your hiring process may be, remember to rely on industry professionals for guidelines if you are ever unsure. We are here to help. See your company through the candidates perspective, make the process as simple and user friendly as possible and make sure the candidates you are engaging with feel valued as professionals in their own right and remain comfortable and motivated along the way. When dealing with human beings the outcome can never be guaranteed. So to lay a foundation for the most favourable outcome, take control of what you can control from the very start and remember that the acceptance of a job offer is not the end of the candidate experience. 

*Are you looking for FinTech Talent? Learn the secrets of how we’ve helped FinTech’s across EMEA recruit business transforming talent – Book a 30-minute Strategy Session
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