Redefining Recruitment to Retention

AAPPR Board Corner: Candidate Experience

BY: Marjorie Alexander, MBA, CPRP, RMSR


Have you ever wondered how our candidates experience their interactions with us? How do we compare? We think we provide them with a WOW experience, but do we really? In general (not clinical specific), 49% of job applicants decline a job offer due to poor candidate experience. As we all know, a job search can be one of the most stressful things in life.

How does our job seeker feel about our organization as a potential employer, based on their interactions with us throughout the entire recruitment process? There are many touchpoints during the Talent Lifecycle, from job boards and conferences to conversations with sourcers, recruiters, coordinators, hiring managers, credentialers, onboarders, and trainers.

It is a good idea to review your recruitment process from beginning to end to determine if it meets your and your organization’s expectations—a good review can expose gaps that need addressing. Measuring candidate experience can be tricky. However, you can learn much through surveys, application abandonment rates, decline reasons, and referral rates.

Some best practice tips for a positive candidate experience process include:

  • Setting expectations upfront: Be honest and transparent on what to expect.
  • Prioritize communication: Stay connected and never “ghost” your candidate.
  • Include the family: Know their names and what is important to them.
  • Seek candidate feedback: Conduct surveys and act on candidate feedback

A poor candidate experience can risk losing top talent and might harm your organization’s reputation.   Poor reviews might dissuade other candidates from considering your organization.

A better candidate experience will lead to better outcomes. We all want to hire and retain top talent, but losing someone because of a poor candidate experience would be a real miss in today’s recruitment climate.