5 Reasons Your Candidate Journey is Broken (and How to Fix It)

In a busy jobseeker market, your candidate journey is likely to be under a microscope. As such, there’s more focus than ever on providing a positive candidate experience.

If you feel like your candidate journey is falling short or you’ve received negative candidate feedback, it’s a good time to reflect on the reasons behind that.

Read on to find out the five most common problems affecting the candidate journey and what steps you can take to fix them:

1. The problem: Your application process isn’t candidate-friendly

You should aim to make it as easy as possible for candidates to apply for roles with your company. Consider the top talent you could miss out on if a candidate decides not to complete your application process because they’re forced to jump through too many hoops.


An unfriendly application process can involve:

  • Too many application questions
  • No mobile optimisation
  • Paper based application forms

What’s the impact of an unfriendly application process?

  • Fewer applications
  • Higher candidate drop-off rate
  • Negative first impression of your business

The solution: Audit your application process

Put yourself in your candidates’ shoes and assess how easy it is to apply for a job with your company. Try completing a test application on both a computer and mobile device to ensure your application process is accessible to all.

Consider any improvements you can make; for example, if you currently require candidates to fill in a PDF application form, can you convert this to an online form that’s optimised for mobile devices?

Alternatively, if you’re already using an online application form, are you asking too many questions and requesting information that you could easily gauge from a candidate’s CV? Try to limit the number of ‘free text’ questions you ask as these are more difficult to complete on mobile devices.

2. The problem: Your candidates are left in the dark

When dealing with high volumes of applications, it can be time consuming for HR and recruitment teams to respond to everyone. However, lack of communication with candidates can lead to confusion, frustration and a high number of incoming calls and queries (which may end up taking up even more of your time!)

The solution: Communicate, communicate, communicate

Clear communication is key! You should start this in your job advert by outlining the exact skills and experience you’re looking for, as well as providing details of how candidates can apply for the job.

Try to communicate the next steps at every stage of your hiring process so candidates know what to expect; this includes outlining timescales in your application confirmation emails, notifying applicants when they’ve been unsuccessful or shortlisted for a vacancy and providing candidates with all the information they need to succeed in their interview.

If time is an issue, take advantage of automated communications that can be generated via recruitment software, such as an applicant tracking system (ATS).

Read more: How to Improve Your Candidate Communications

3. The problem: Your brand isn’t consistent

Applicants are often directed to multiple websites and portals when applying for jobs online and this can cause confusion. They might feel unsure of where their details are being sent to, which doesn’t create a positive first impression of your business.

The solution: Keep your brand front and centre, at each stage of the recruitment process

By ensuring that your brand is prominent throughout the entire candidate journey, it provides applicants with a sense of security. An ATS and careers site can help create a seamless transition from your website, right the way through your application process by keeping your branding consistent.

You can even add your branding to all email communications generated by your software, ensuring that candidates know they’re communicating directly with your business, rather than replying to a generic ‘no-reply’ email address.

4. The problem: You’re still advertising vacancies that aren’t actually available

One of the most common frustrations for jobseekers is taking the time to submit an application for a job that is no longer available. This can create a negative impression of your business and put jobseekers off from applying for a vacancy with your company again.

The solution: Find an easy way of expiring your jobs quickly

Contacting multiple job boards to ask them to pull your vacancy down can be time-consuming, especially if you’re advertising a high number of roles. Equally, constantly asking your IT or Marketing teams to update the Jobs page on your website isn’t the smoothest process.

Posting jobs from your ATS to your careers site puts you in total control of what’s visible to candidates; simply post and expire vacancies with the click of the button, ensuring that candidates are only able to submit applications when the role is available.

5. The problem: You’re not delighting candidates at every touch-point

Your candidate journey shouldn’t just be about preventing dissatisfaction; you should be aiming to delight your candidates and create a brilliant impression of your company.

The solution: Find out what your candidates really want

When auditing your application process (see solution one), try to obtain real candidate feedback to find out what’s good and what needs improving in your application process. Send out surveys to candidates and find out what you’ve done well and what you need to improve on.


Need to improve your candidate journey? Download our eBook, Improving the Candidate Experience.


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