7 Stats that Highlight the Importance of Candidate Experience

Like most parts of recruiting, an outstanding candidate experience can’t be run by recruiters alone. Hiring managers, interviewers, and every employee play an integral role in helping candidates make the decision to join a company.

Every interaction matters. Recruiters know that, but it’s not always as easy to get buy in from the rest of the team. If you’re having trouble getting the support and tools you need to run a process that impresses candidates, here are seven stats that can help you turn things around.

Candidate experience can change minds – for better or for worse

1. 83% of talent say a negative interview experience can change their mind about a role or company they once liked, while 87% of talent say a positive interview experience can change their mind about a role or company they once doubted. 

Candidate experience has the power to win or lose you great talent. To the small brands, don’t ever count yourself out with top-tier talent. And to the larger ones, make sure you don’t get complacent and forgo a good candidate experience; you can easily lose candidates.

A majority of candidates will abandon a poor application experience

2. 60% of job seekers have quit an application in the middle due to its length or complexity.

As conventional logic would have it, a lengthy application process weeds out the candidates who aren’t as invested in or committed to working at your company. But top candidates have plenty of choices, and they won’t jump through hoops just to apply.

Do you know what your application process is like? Try going through it as if you’re a candidate. See how long it takes, and if you’re asking questions that you could easily find out later. It could be time to overhaul your process, starting with your applicant tracking system. Your ATS plays a large role in shaping your application experience. At Lever, we designed the application process to be quick and painless, and we frequently hear feedback like this:

Most candidates think job descriptions are unclear

3. 72% of hiring managers say they provide clear job descriptions, while only 36% of candidates say the same.

There’s a large discrepancy between how employers and candidates perceive job descriptions. If you’re an employer, it might be time to reconsider whether your job descriptions are working for or against you.

One way to do a quick quality check on your job descriptions is to ask yourself, “Could these apply to any company?” If they could, you’re probably focusing on a generic list of skills, which may deter top candidates while inviting unqualified ones. Instead, try writing job descriptions that focus on results. Highlight what a candidate would be expected to achieve during their first month, three months, six months, and a year into the job. The enhanced clarity will provide candidates with a strong experience before anyone from your company even speaks to them.

Failure to close the loop with candidates hurts your future chances with them

4. 80% of job seekers say they would be discouraged to consider other relevant job openings at a company that failed to notify them of their application status. Yet, they would be 3.5 times more likely to re-apply to a company if they were notified.

A lot of interview processes can feel like a black hole, and the data shows that candidates don’t like that one bit. They’re often unsure if their resume has been read by a human, and the rest of the process can hold similar uncertainty. When will they hear back from the recruiter? What will the next step be?

Even if a candidate isn’t a fit immediately, you may have an opening for them in the future. Make sure you’re well-positioned to re-open candidate conversations with communication that shows your respect for them – whether you hire them or not.

Candidates value your feedback

5. Talent is 4 times more likely to consider your company for a future opportunity when you offer them constructive feedback. 

Equally as important as closing the loop, is giving interview feedback. Candidates will remember that you valued them enough to not only circle back with a yes or no answer, but to provide insight into your decision, as well.

Online reviews are a big part of the candidate journey

6. The majority of job seekers read at least six reviews before forming an opinion of a company. 

7. Nearly 60% of job seekers report having had a poor candidate experience and 72% of them have shared their experience on an online employer review site such as 

If you neglect your candidate experience, future candidates are bound to find out through online review sites like Glassdoor. And given how many candidates these days do their research online before they apply, bad reviews, in turn, are bound to hurt your ability to recruit top talent.


A whole host of factors contribute to your company’s ability to attract and hire top talent, and in today’s candidate-driven market, candidate experience is high on that list. The best candidate experiences are team-wide efforts, so take these statistics to your execs and hiring managers to win the support you need.