March 28, 2024

Cracking the Career Code: Creating a Positive Candidate Experience


Episode Highlights

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Creating a positive candidate experience is crucial in the hiring process. Regardless of whether a company ends up making an offer, candidates should leave the interview process hoping they receive one. In this episode, Matt and Kierra share how companies can effectively position their brand during the selection process and offer suggestions to other talent acquisition professionals looking to foster long-term relationships with candidates.

Episode Transcript

Welcome back everyone to Cracking the Career Code with Matt and Kierra, where we provide candidates the keys to success in their job search. Last week we were talking about why it’s important to have a clearly defined interview process and that got us thinking about why it’s just important that you create a positive candidate experience.

So today we’re going to talk a little bit about how we do that as recruiters and then how we help our clients create a positive candidate experience. So Kierra, why don’t you start us off?

Yeah, I think first off it’s having the right information before you’re about to pitch a job. So that’s being informative about the company. Sure. With us for an agency, so we work with a lot of different companies. So knowing the company, the background, what they do, what they stand for, the landscape of the role and what that looks like. And then the responsibilities are going to be far most important so that you are able to relay that to the candidate to make sure that it’s a good fit on both ends.

And then the culture, understanding the company culture and what’s important to them, what they look for in candidates to make sure that they’re a good culture addition, and that they’re going to align well with their values, but also that goes with a clear understanding of your candidate. I think that’s also important in making sure that we’re creating a positive candidate experience.

So what are some of the things that we’re going to do to make sure the candidate is a good fit?

Yeah, I would say, you know, most of the candidates that we’re initially reaching out to, it’s usually for a specific role, a specific company. So, one of the first things that we’re doing on calls with people that we maybe haven’t built a great relationship with yet over the course of time, is pitching a specific role and company.

So, we as recruiters need to be well versed and given a two to three minute elevator pitch on what they do, what their products are, the industry that they’re in, why the role is open, what the team looks like, the culture of that team, maybe some upcoming, exciting projects, that kind of stuff. So that’s really all important to kind of land the candidate and make them realize like, “Hey, they do have some cool companies that they work with. And I might want to build a relationship with Hirewell and explore this one or potentially roles in the future.” And it’s also important that after we get that candidate interested that we learn more about them.

What roles might they be a good fit for and what they’re actually looking for? What skills do they have? What types of projects have they worked on? What is most motivating for them in their job search? Is it the industry or the company size? Or are they really mission or value driven? And they want an organization that’s doing good in the world.

And it’s really important to be transparent about this all upfront. If I talk to someone who really loves the environment, I’m not going to submit them to a company in the oil industry. Not that we really have any of that. But, you know, you got to read the room with what your candidates looking for and, maybe you float them just kind of any type of role. But as you learn more about what makes them tick, you can be more strategic in the type of roles that you present to them.

Yeah. And sometimes when we present roles to candidates, they get more clarity on what the role looks like and it’s not a good fit on their end, and it’s not something that they’re interested in pursuing and that’s okay. But that’s why we ask what is it that you are looking for or what do you not like about this role? So that helps us in the future when we do get roles in to see if it would be a good fit if we had already had that conversation. Sure. I’m going to know when I get a new role and if it’s going to be of interest or align with your career goals.

Yeah, one thing to add to that and something I always say to candidates when they’re going into maybe an initial interview where it’s really exploratory, learning more about the company, learning more about the candidates. I tell them they should be interviewing the company, as much as they’re getting interviewed. You know, ask thoughtful questions to learn more about the organization, how it runs, what they’d be doing, how this specific team works, what technologies they use, and almost like the culture about technology. Are they open to trying new ideas and trying new things that might be more cutting edge and they learn more about what they want from talking with companies. And then we as the recruiters learn more when we debrief with them after interviews, and then we can be more strategic moving forward.

Yeah. And the debrief after the interview does help a lot too. And sometimes we have a candidate go through an interview and they’re like, yeah, I learned a lot more about the company and I feel a lot more confident in this opportunity than I did initially, or


They’ll go through it and they’ll say, I don’t feel like this is the right fit after learning more and that’s when we explore other options, but that’s why we always do followups afterwards too, to just make sure are you still interested? Did you get all the questions answered? Do you have any unanswered questions? Were there any red flags that you want to get answered? Those are all things that we’re going to ask and check for just to make sure that like Matt and I have been saying, like, we’re never going to force or want you to take something that you’re not extremely excited about or think it’s a good career move for you. Yeah.

So that’s why we also, after those followups, we’re going to follow up with the company and let them know, like if the candidate is interested in moving forward or not, and if they’re excited about the opportunity, we’re going to push that forward as well so that we can get feedback in a timely manner.

So that we’re able to deliver that to the candidate and then also set up additional interviews if needed. So, both of those things are crucial in the post interview process.

Yeah, and you know sometimes you know, we might leave a candidate hanging a little bit longer than we would like, but-


You know, trust us. We want to know the feedback from our clients.

Yeah we’re more curious.

Yeah, just as much. A recruiter is probably not ghosting you if you haven’t followed up with them. Even when I have no updates for a candidate, like sometimes I’ll still reach out and give them a non update. I think as a job seeker, you probably still want to know, are other people interviewing for the role? Is the hiring manager out on PTO or other decision makers, and is that why it’s taking longer? Rather than just kind of being in the dark.

So we say this a lot, but, to create a positive candidate experience, really just, you know, be as transparent as possible. You know, realize that sometimes companies have weird policies where they don’t offer feedback or something like that, but you can be respectful and still be transparent about whatever you can.

Yeah, and with those follow ups we’re going to ask just to make sure that none of your other opportunities are moving along to further stages or in the offer stages just so we can try to push our process along with you as well. We don’t want you to miss out on an opportunity because another interview or opportunity is moving at a faster pace.

So that’s why we’re always checking in, making sure that we’re on the same page with those things, that way that you are able to weigh more than one option at the end of the day. We want you to make the decision that’s best for you. And if you’re able to have those options ahead of time or around the same time, that will help with your decision making. And just the overall process to make sure that it’s the right fit out of all the opportunities that you have the option between.

Yeah. And once we do help someone find a job that they’re super excited about, they accept an offer. Another thing that we help our candidates with is putting in their two weeks notice and resigning from their current company. No one looks forward to having that kind of conversation with their manager, no matter how good or bad their relationship was with that manager.


We’ve seen pretty much every scenario that can come across when people transition jobs. So, we offer a lot of strategies and talking points and how to effectively have those conversations. How to flip the manager from being mad at you and ruining their day and worrying about how they’re going to replace you to being really excited about where you’re going next in your career.

And also just, you know, kind of give you the tools that you need to navigate what that might look like. We tell everyone that’s resigning that they should expect a counteroffer and they should probably also turn it down as well. The data says that most people that end up accepting a counteroffer probably leave within six months, anyways. A lot of empty promises that might not be filled or a band aid put on something with more money, but you know, you’ve got one foot out the door. So, we help candidates navigate all of that. And I think that really provides a positive candidate experience.

Yeah, absolutely. Well, thank you so much for joining us today on Cracking the Career Code. Go check out for more content and follow us on LinkedIn if you are not already.



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