A whopping 83% of job-seekers say that a negative interview experience can change their opinion of a role or company they rated highly. An equally strong 87% say that a positive one can change their mind about one they doubted.

It’s evident that for companies that value people and what they bring to the table, candidate experience can no longer be an afterthought.

Strong first impressions

In the war for talent, nothing makes a statement quite like delivering a candidate experience worthy of the recruiting gods. Candidate experience refers to the reaction a job seeker has to a company’s job application and interview process.

However, creating a positive atmosphere and candidate experience isn’t something recruiters can do alone. As well as getting the buy-in of hiring managers and interviewers, it’s important to deploy the right technology.

At My Ally, we’re continuing to improve on our AI-powered recruiting coordination solution, which focuses on helping companies deliver a first-rate candidate experience that’s pleasant and error-free.

Since the vast majority of the active US workforce has had or will have a candidate experience that they would rate as poor, negative or unprofessional, companies stand to gain tremendously by delivering one that goes above and beyond to make candidates feel welcome and valued.

Win friends & influence people

Just like how a swing vote can turn a decision on its head, the right candidate experience can make or break your hiring process. Ghosting candidates, failing to deliver bad news professionally, double-booking interview slots and other hiring process flaws can work strongly against even the most glamorous companies.

While there are plenty of recruiters who give the business a bad name, it means that a positive experience only helps you stand out more. And if you need further evidence that a strong candidate experience is vital, consider that 69% of job seekers would not accept an offer from a company that had a negative reputation in the market, even if they were unemployed at the time.

Recruiters talk to each other about difficult, unpleasant and unprofessional candidates. The talent in your industry is doing the same thing with you. Word of mouth is one of the quickest ways for a company’s hiring processes to become wildly popular or widely derided. But with a positive candidate experience, you can use those conversations to your company’s advantage.

The good news is that job seekers don’t take the process lightly. On average, they tend to read at least six reviews of your company before forming an opinion, whether positive or negative. That means a solid candidate experience becomes one of the most potent weapons in your employer branding arsenal. The more consistent you are about it, the better your results will be.

Stand out and soar

Recruiters are people, too. So it’s no surprise that there are few bad eggs across the business, both in-house and at staffing agencies. From misleading conversations to discouragement of compensation queries, there’s no dearth of goof-ups made by recruiters with more than a modicum of unprofessionalism. But that doesn’t mean the whole industry is rotten.

In fact, people-focused recruiters can take advantage of this by creating a candidate experience that goes above and beyond. Be welcoming. Respond to emails honestly and on time. Don’t oversell roles. Keep candidates moving through the pipeline. If you want to hire people with your drive and enthusiasm, create the environment their talent deserves.