It’s All About the Candidate Experience






The last two weeks have been all about the candidate experience for me. On Friday, September 19th, I had the pleasure of attending the first-ever Candidate Experience Symposium, organized by the Talent Board, with sponsors from the talent acquisition solution provider industry. They announced the 62 US winners of the North American Candidate Experience Awards (or CandEs)—for the full listing, see this link. And a special congratulations to those twelve organizations that won with distinction, designated by an asterisk.


During the symposium, we heard from many of the winners and here were some of the ways their candidate experiences stood out:

·        Declining all rejected candidates with a phone call

·        Sending responses to candidate applications with recruiters’ desk phone numbers to encourage a personal touch

·        Capturing college applicants as hotel loyalty members so they'll be customers for life

·        Determining if each step in the application process is really required

·        Remembering that the candidate experience is a life-long relationship with your employment brand; it’s not just about the application process


Some wise pieces of advice were shared (check out #TheCandEs on Twitter for more):

·        Treat candidates the way you’d like to be treated

·        Try to apply for a job at your organization to see what candidates are going through

·        Measure both the candidate and the hiring manager experiences

·        Don’t forget an amazing onboarding experience to match an awesome candidate experience

·        Remember the negative revenue impact of a poor experience for candidates who might be future consumers

·        Treat departing employees as well as new hires since they continue to be brand ambassadors when they leave and someday you may want to hire them back

·        Focus on making sure your employees are excited to come to work, as the more engaged your employees, the more engaged your candidates will be

·        Stop thinking about "jobs" and create "experiences;" it's not about employee loyalty anymore


Then last Thursday, September 25th, I had the honor of presenting at the World Talent Forum in Munich, organized by IntraWorlds with Bersin by Deloitte as one of its sponsors. I shared some of the recently published High-Impact Talent Acquisition data related to the candidate experience, such as:

·        Developing active and passive talent pools is the second most influential talent acquisition performance driver

·        Implementing an effective social media campaign is the third most influential talent acquisition performance driver

·        An effective employment brand drives talent acquisition performance outcomes and helps attract candidates and retain existing employees


Some good advice about the candidate experience was shared at the World Talent Forum as well (check out #WoTaFo on Twitter for more):

·        To avoid firefighting, be clear on your critical target groups—those roles that are critical to your business and those roles that are hard to fill

·        Use Talent Scouts to proactively identify & reach out to external candidates to create a pool of "ready-now" candidates for critical roles

·        Talent scouts representing a company are more authentic than recruitment agencies

·        Source from professional networks, referrals, regretted losses, silver medalists (the #2 candidate who isn’t hired), restructuring companies

·        When you stay in touch with potential candidates, find out about their aspirations (e.g., what would they really like to do) and their lives (e.g., does their family situation allow them to move)


Finally, if you’d like to hear more on the candidate experience, join me and Stephan Herrlich, the Founder and President of IntraWorlds, Inc. on Tuesday, September 30th at 1:00 pm ET for a complimentary webinar, The Long and Winding Candidate Journey: A Roadmap for Success


As always, I’d love to hear from you. Feel free to add a comment below, connect with me on Twitter @RAEricksonPhD, or by email at








This publication contains general information only and Deloitte is not, by means of this publication, rendering accounting, business, financial, investment, legal, tax, or other professional advice or services. This publication is not a substitute for such professional advice or services, nor should it be used as a basis for any decision or action that may affect your business. Before making any decision or taking any action that may affect your business, you should consult a qualified professional advisor.


Deloitte shall not be responsible for any loss sustained by any person who relies on this publication.



Robin Erickson

Vice President, Talent Acquisition Research Leader / Bersin, Deloitte Consulting LLP

Robin leads talent acquisition, engagement, and retention research for Bersin, Deloitte Consulting LLP. Recognized as a thought leader in her areas of expertise, Robin offers more than 20 years of experience, including prior experience in talent strategies consulting and research for Deloitte’s Human Capital practice. Robin led Deloitte’s global Talent 2020 longitudinal survey series and her work has appeared in several issues of Deloitte Review and in Deloitte’s Global Human Capital Trends reports. She holds a doctoral degree in organizational communication and change, as well as a master’s in communication, from Northwestern University. Robin also has a master’s degree in theology from Northern Seminary and a bachelor of arts from the University of Chicago.

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