The Mindset of the Modern Recruiter: Creating a Positive Candidate Experience

When a person loves what they do, they are naturally better at doing it. Recruiting is a job that requires��passion, good communication skills, and the ability to handle rejection. Recruiters don't always have the best reputation, and only we can change that. Our goal should be��to minimize rejection, and creating��a positive candidate experience can definitely help with that.

Candidates can tell if you love your job ��� and, by extension, the company you're recruiting for. I remember interviewing for a job where��the recruiter told me flat out, "They'll hate you here. You really have to have thick skin, and even that��isn't always��enough. It's awful."

If you want to sell a candidate on your company's culture, tone can do a lot. Candidates like hearing your��enthusiasm and excitement when you talk about a��company and the opportunity.

Candidates have changed. Recruiting has changed. And recruiters have to adapt to these��changes to recruit and retain the best talent. This holds for both agency and corporate recruiters.

So, the ultimate question is: How do we create positive candidate experiences?

1. Start With the Job Description

Create a job description that speaks to the candidate. Instead of "Sell our products to our customers," write "You'll be engaging with our clients and presenting exciting new products."

This slight change in verbiage��not only allows the��candidate to��envision themselves in the role, but it also increases candidate engagement.

You only have one chance to make a first impression, and it starts with your job description. You expect a candidate to present a resume that tells you why you should hire them;��you��should do the same for them. You should give them job descriptions that show them why they should want to work for you. This can be a major differentiator in the talent market.

2. Treat Them Like They're Human ...

... because, after all, they are!

A��lot of recruiters and HR professionals think they have some sort of power over candidates. Yes, you may��have a job that they want ��� but if they've gotten to the phone interview, it's likely that you may��want them, too.

Of course, you'll have to ask some tough questions to assess whether or not the candidate is right for the role, but candidates will be much more relaxed and comfortable if you treat them like you'd treat a trusted coworker ��� because that candidate might soon be one!

3. Don't Keep Them Guessing or Waiting

When you're recruiting, you're representing a brand ��� the company or client you work for. Glassdoor is a really powerful tool that candidates are taking advantage of to both share their own feedback and read the feedback of others. What gets written on Glassdoor can really affect your company's reputation, so don't give candidates any reason to��paint your company in a negative light.

One of the best ways you can keep candidates happy is by staying in touch. If the process is taking a long time, keep the candidate updated about what is happening. Let them know you are still interested. If you aren't interested in pursuing a candidate further, send them a polite rejection message and wish them the best. Let them know you'll keep their resume on file. They spent time applying to your job and speaking to you, so they at least deserve that much. Don't let your brand or your client's brand suffer.


If a candidate has a bad interview experience, they'll share it��with their connections, and this will hurt your standing in the talent market. Furthermore, if a candidate has a bad experience and takes the job anyway, their morale will be low from the get-go. That never makes for a good start ��� and bad hires are costly mistakes.

You have nothing to lose and everything to gain from creating positive candidate experiences. The best candidates will be more receptive to you, and you'll generally end up with much better and more motivated employees. Give candidates��a reason to be excited about the opportunity and really want the job. Show them that they'll be working with great people.

Marissa Letendre is the owner of Right Recruit.