The global pandemic created unprecedented upheaval in the hiring market. Today, candidates are clearer than ever about what they want – and what they won’t tolerate from the job search process.

Employers who continue to use old methods of attracting, sorting, and hiring candidates will find themselves falling even further behind. Here’s why a focus on candidate experience matters more than ever.

Candidates’ expectations have changed.

The “Great Resignation” got its name from employers’ point of view, as workers left their jobs in droves. For workers, however, the process is more aptly seen as a “Great Reshuffling.” Workers resigned not to go jobless, but to find jobs and employers that better fit their work styles, skill sets, and career aspirations.

As always, a job posting shapes a candidate’s first impression of a company. Today, that impression must speak to what candidates are looking for – or the candidate will simply click away.



Candidates do their homework.

At least 70 percent of candidates research potential employers before applying to a job opening, according to one SHRM study.

This research isn’t passive, nor is it cursory. Candidates are invested in the research process. Most candidates are already working. They’re not looking for just any job; they’re looking for a job and an employer that offers a better fit than what they have. Evidence that the employer doesn’t care about the candidate’s experience is a red flag – and applicants heed it by applying elsewhere.


Candidates are starved for personal, direct connections.

Over the past decade, employer use of social media has exploded. Social media was touted as a great way to build an employment brand and attract qualified applicants.

The data is in, however, and social media isn’t living up to expectations. The impersonal nature of social media posts and communication leaves job applicants feeling anonymous. They know that a company’s posts aren’t aimed at them personally, when what they want is a job that fits their personal and professional goals.

Employers can leverage digital communications more effectively by focusing on direct communication channels. Personalized emails, for example, can feel more focused than social media posts. Chatbots offer another way to build a one-to-one connection early.


Do you need to improve your candidate experience?

More than ever, job candidates are focused on their personal and professional goals. They’re looking for the right job fit for those goals. Companies that step into candidates’ shoes gain insight into the candidate experience – and the ability to shape it for the better. An experienced consultant like the team at Odell Studner can help.