Candidate experience is a booming business. Anyone with the ability to create a more positive experience for a company’s job applicants is in a great position right now, and that won’t change any time soon. In the last ten years, interest in the candidate experience has grown exponentially, as evidenced by Google Trends data.




On top of that, we’re seeing more evidence that the candidate experience is more than just a “nice to have” for businesses serious about profitability. One HR Open Source case study of Virgin Media highlighted the company’s transformation, detailing just how the firm was able to attribute more than $7 million in revenue to its improved treatment of candidates during the hiring process. This combination of factors is most likely why “candidate experience” was one of the top three priorities for recruiting leaders in the latest Lighthouse Research Talent Acquisition Sentiment Study.


In 2019 and beyond, we expect to see some specific ways this part of the talent acquisition world continues to evolve.


Video is integral to hiring processes

Video is huge, both for businesses and consumers. YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world (with greater traffic than AOL, Bing, and Yahoo combined!). Netflix and other video streaming services now account for the majority of internet traffic worldwide. We have come to expect and appreciate video on many levels, but it hasn’t yet made its way deep into the hiring process.


In one 2017 study, our team at Lighthouse Research found that candidates most want to see hiring managers in videos, not the stuffy “company overview” content that the majority of companies share. Additionally, with greater competition for talent, some companies are now offering video tours of workspaces to help attract the interest of potential candidates. Video is a powerful substitute for in-person experiences, and it’s infinitely more scalable, as well.


Video is going to be increasingly woven throughout the hiring process, creating a more personalized and seamless experience for all candidates.


Assessments are appreciated, but…

We’ve long been told that candidates hate assessments in the hiring process. They slow things down, they muddy the waters, and they don’t add any perceivable value to the overall experience.


The truth is, though, candidates actually do like assessments, but only if they actually give them a chance to show how qualified they are for the job. In other words, don’t throw them a generic personality test and expect them to be happy. Instead, look for ways to allow them to demonstrate their job-related skills and knowledge.


For instance, don’t ask software engineers to answer fifty questions about their motivations and work styles; instead, ask them to create or examine a short snippet of code to perform a specific function. Not surprisingly, employers in our study also said they think these assessments are the best for selecting the most qualified candidates as well.


Additionally, we’ve found that even candidates that aren’t ultimately chosen are still happier because they feel like they got a fair chance in these types of experiences.


We expect to see more businesses deploying these types of “try before you buy” assessments to appeal to candidates and make better selection decisions.


Scheduling and interviewing delays are weak points

Between recruitment marketing, employer branding, and onboarding, employers have shored up many of the gaps in the candidate experience in recent years. However, scheduling and interviewing are still weak points in the process. Scheduling takes time, and for high-quality candidates in a hot job market, every hour of delay is another hour they are open to communications from the competition.


More and more employers are looking at scheduling automation tools to help speed up the conversation between initial candidate intake and the actual interviewing phase. In the 2017 Talent Board Candidate Experience Report, the number one planned area of investment for employers was scheduling technology.


In the big picture, scheduling might seem like a minor point compared to some other aspects of the candidate experience. However, it’s often the first true interaction with the employer, and we all know the importance of first impressions. If that impression is not a good one, it may taint the rest of the experience and cause candidates to move on to employers that are easier to work with.


More employers will utilize scheduling technology so support their candidate experience and create a more seamless workflow from beginning to end.


Taken as a whole, these trends are about creating a more seamless and responsive candidate experience that treats every individual as a valuable part of the hiring process. Ideally, even those that aren’t ultimately selected for the job will still be interested in the employer for future opportunities because they were treated so well. Candidate experience still has a long way to go, but progress and innovation continue to happen on a regular basis, creating a powerful, positive experience for all applicants.