7 Top Tips for a Great Candidate Experience

It’s frustrating when you’ve found an awesome candidate only for them to pull out before being interviewed or even more irritatingly, after being offered! Why has this happened? The last thing you want is to find out that it’s something you’ve done and could have prevented. Minimise the chances of this happening to you with my top 7 tips for holding onto your candidates:

Happyhappysad.fwClear job advert

Your job advert should attract potential applicant’s attention, but you also need it to explain what the job is. The expectations should be clear. If you get all the need to know info from your client from the start, you’ll be able to write an amazing advert, which will attract great candidates with little to question other than “When can I start?”.

Make them feel at ease

It’s in your best interest – and the candidates – to make them feel comfortable during the initial interview so they open up. Explain the process so they know exactly what to expect, and so they don’t think they’re going to walk out an introduction interview with their dream job starting tomorrow. Being the friendly recruiter who cares about their career will definitely win you brownie points! Scaring them will send them running into the arms of a competitor.

Be passionate

Being happy and passionate helps candidates to believe you’re the right recruiter for them. There are many reasons why candidates might be looking for a new job and if you show enthusiasm and passion in their career, it might just help instil the confidence in them that they need to secure both their next move and your next commission figure.


Why is your candidate looking for a new position? Are they fed up of the industry or the type of company? Don’t just look at their current job title and then try to match them to the same type of job or organisation. If you come at them with the type of role they want to move away from, you’re going to find yourself down a potential fee because you’ve been too eager to get what you want rather than what the candidate wants.

ID-100297282Honesty is the best policy

You know the when you see the rubbish ones on Xfactor who genuinely believe they are great? Chances are, someone has told them they are good enough to be a professional and put them in the firing line! Don’t do this to your candidates! If they’re aiming too high, bring them back down to earth – gently. Give alternatives and advice on what steps to take in order to reach their goal rather than setting them up for a fail. If you’re honest, they’ll respect you. Otherwise, they’ll only blame you – and bad mouth you – if they don’t get their way.

Keep in touch

We all know that hiring managers can often slow the process down by wanting to hang on and see what else is out there. The best thing to do in this situation if you can’t speed up the client, is to keep in regular contact with your candidate. Be truthful with your candidate, tell them why there’s a delay. Give them the feedback so far, you’ll usually know if it’s a possibility of them being offered...just don’t promise the jobs theirs.

Constructive Feedback

Nobody particularly likes telling someone they didn’t get the job. But the worst feedback in my opinion is, “There was just someone better than you”. This is not constructive and won’t help them to improve on even the minor things that stopped them from being successful. What did the other candidate have that they didn’t, what could they have improved on? I know I’d be annoyed if a candidate had said to me: I chose to go with another recruiter because they were just better than you. Remember the phrase “treat others as you’d like to be treated”.

And remember, there’s always a chance that your candidate could be a new client down the line – even the office junior could surprise you - so you should always aim to please and impress! The simple things help you keep a hold of great candidates (and commission).

Credit: Images from Stuart Miles via freedigitalphotos.net


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Louise Cunningham

Louise is the Associate Director of Customer here at Firefish. She loves on-boarding new customers, cups of tea and dancing like no one is watching.

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