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Candidate Experience Budget

How to Offer an Exceptional Candidate Experience on a Budget

May 5th, 2021 1 minute read
Louise Donadieu
Louise Donadieu
Strategic Marketing Consultant
There might be more candidates in the market right now, but you still need to hire the best of them.

Precise messaging, an investment in core content, and the right use of automation enables you to deliver a stand-out candidate experience at scale.

Free up time by only attracting the right candidates in the first place

By this stage of the guide, you should have a well-differentiated value proposition tailored to each type of role you’re recruiting for, and you should know how to identify which channels are delivering you the best quality candidates.

Getting this right is as much about putting off the wrong applicants as it’s about attracting the right ones. Less of the wrong candidates means more time to spend with the right ones.

If you think about all of the touchpoints candidates have with your organization before they even work for you, you have plenty of opportunities to help them figure out whether you’ll be a fit for them.

Every touchpoint should help the candidate learn something about the hiring process or your organization.

Invest in core content, then automate as much as you can

By ensuring that you have helpful and engaging content for every phase of your candidate journey you’ll keep the best candidates engaged, improve your offer acceptance rate, and improve employee retention.

Where emails or text messages are involved, much of this communication can be automated or templated.

Job Ad

  • Why would I apply for this role?
  • What’s the next step if I want to apply?

Job Description

  • What type of person will do well in the role?
  • What’s the team going to be like?
  • What’s the manager going to be like?
  • What will the day-to-day look like?
  • What does success look like?
  • What does the application and selection process entail?

Careers Site

  • What’s it like to work in the organization?
  • What are the values and purpose of the organization?
  • What’s the working environment like?
  • What are the biggest benefits of working here for people like me?
  • What are the downsides of working here?
  • Do other people like me work here?
  • Are other people like me successful here?
  • Who can I speak to learn more about the organization?

Application Form

  • Is this going to be an incredibly painful process, or do you care about my experience?
  • What are the next steps now that I’ve applied? When can I expect to hear from you?

Initial Screen

  • Do you keep me informed if there are delays in the process?

Invitation to Interview

  • Do you give me all the information I need to know what to expect from the interview?
  • Can I choose a time that suits me using an online portal, or do I have 20 emails back and forth with a recruiter to try and find a mutually convenient time?
  • If I didn’t see your first email, did you drop me a text message or follow up email to confirm whether I still want to take things forward?

Interview Confirmation

  • Do you help me prepare effectively?
  • Do you answer most of my questions before I have to ask them?
  • Do I have enough information to feel at ease or am I spending the night before stressing about what to wear?


  • Am I given the opportunity to get to know some of my potential future colleagues?
  • Is this treated as a 2-way discussion where I get to learn about the organization as much as they get to learn about me?
  • Am I sold to, or am I given an honest appraisal of the good and the bad of working for the organization?
  • Am I given clear next steps with a timeline?


  • If I’m rejected, am I told as soon as possible or just ignored?
  • Do I get the opportunity to receive feedback (especially if I’ve got to the interview stage)?


  • Do I have multiple 50 page documents to print, sign, scan, and return, or is everything streamlined in a digital portal that enables me to e-sign documents?
  • Am I given a chance to ask questions, and grasp some of the basics in advance of my first day?
  • Is everything ready and organized when I arrive, or do I spend the first week trying to set up a computer and figure out who’s who?

As a candidate, would you rather receive nothing for three days or an automated email confirming your application’s been received and outlining next steps?

Automation in recruitment gets a bad rep but communication is one area that automation is a no-brainer. It’s about making sure you’ve prepared helpful content that covers every stage of the recruitment process, and setting your applicant tracking system up in the right way to ensure the right candidates get the right information at the right time, automatically.

A stand-out candidate experience starts with exceptional communication and, as with all areas of business, the more automation you can adopt into your processes, the more efficient you’ll become.

Identify gaps in your candidate experience with this checklist

About the author
Louise Donadieu
Louise Donadieu
Louise has delivered employer brand design projects and ongoing recruitment marketing for a whole range of companies, primarily in the financial services industry. By getting under the skin of audiences, she builds tailored and uncomplicated marketing strategies that have a huge impact.

Further reading

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