We all know how easily we get annoyed when a web store or service isn’t working well. We are quick to click through to another site. Marketers and web designers are highly alert to what they need to do to get happy customers. What recruiters need to do is to apply this web-marketing know-how to attracting potential job candidates.

Customer and candidate experiences matter and they have a lot in common.

Most of us are familiar with the concept of customer experience. And we understand intuitively what is being discussed because we’re all consumers and, these days, much of our consumer experience takes place online: buying things and accessing services through websites and online stores, being served by a person or chat-bot, is a norm.

We are drawn to e-commerce sites that are attuned to our tastes, and many of us prefer to buy from companies whose values reflect our own.  With the whole web to choose from we can buy where we want and poor customer experience makes is far less likely we’ll return to a particular web store. We need to think about interactions with potential job candidates in much the same way. What recruiters need to do is to apply this web-marketing know-how to attracting potential job candidates.

As an employer one needs to be asking what makes them stay and engage further?

The candidate experience can be broken down into a number of stages.

The very first step of the experience is shaped by the web site the potential candidate lands on.

We live in an impatient age. People expect to be able to find information easily and intuitively. You should lay out your Employer Value Proposition and what you offer.

Meanwhile your site should convey your values visually as well; whether you’re traditional, modern, avant-garde, ultra-efficient, warm and human, goals orientated – as with the rest of your online presence it should be communicated through the design.

The second step is to craft a job ad that arouses interest.

What should recruiters bear in mind when writing an ad? Be honest and real; keep your external and internal communications in sync with one another. There’s no point pretending to be what you’re not. One cannot be all things to all people. If a candidate doesn’t like what you are there’s no point trying to recruit them. Obviously if you can’t attract any decent candidates you might need to take a long, hard look at your proposition as an employer.

And don’t forget to let candidates know who the contact person is. It will be appreciated.

Step three: make the process easy.

As shoppers, we are easily put off. If we are asked to send an email explaining what we want to buy or to fill in a long form with irrelevant information we may well decide to shop somewhere else.

Keep the application process easy and make sure your career site and application site are mobile-friendly. Increasingly the majority of applications are coming from mobile devices.

The process should be smooth and easy from any device.

Lastly: Nurture your relationship

Now, you have made a connection with a candidate. Like any relationship it needs nurturing! Make sure she or he knows you have received their application and tell them how soon they can expect to hear from you. This is simple politeness and the least anyone might reasonably expect.

It is essential you take care of all the candidates at whatever stage in the process they are. And this is most important: Never forget the unsuccessful candidates. Send them a proper, honest and considerate thank you letter within a reasonable period of time.

Luckily today’s modern recruitment software helps make personal communication easy and effective.

70% of jobseekers share their candidate experience – candidates are your brand builders on the job market.

If you want to develop your brand, and not just as an employer but as an organisation, a fabulous candidate experience is essential.

That’s why candidate experience matters.