The Candidate Experience Journey: An Easy-To-Follow Guide (GRAPHIC)

August 29, 2018

Candidate experience is a job candidate’s perception of all of the steps they go through as they’re applying to your company, from the point they discover your company, through the application and interview process, and all the way up to and after the offer acceptance stage.

It includes things that your company actively shapes and impacts, such how you interact with job candidates and what types of helpful information you offer on your career page, and also things that your company indirectly impacts, such as your online reputation (which relates closely to your employer brand) and word-of-mouth opinions about your company.

The candidate experience is also looked at as a journey, a journey that some experts would say begins the moment a candidate becomes aware of your company and ends once onboarding begins. That’s a reasonable way to look at it, because by that end point they’re no longer a job candidate, but rather a current employee partaking in the beginnings of the employee experience.

That’s all great foundational information to know about candidate experience, but isn’t there more? We think so. Since the topic of candidate experience is becoming increasingly more popular in recent years due to things like new HR technology coming into the market, changes in recruiting standards and processes, and of course the ever-growing impact of employer branding on the job search process, we thought it would be useful to breakdown the candidate experience journey as it looks like today in a straightforward, visual way.

Here is a graphic we made to succinctly summarize the candidate experience journey for your (and our own!) reference:

If you find it useful, feel free to bookmark, save and share this image as you like!:

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And just so you have all of the pieces of the journey shown above in text form, here are the steps to the candidate experience journey:

The Candidate Experience Journey

Job candidate starts their job search, and then…

1. Discovers your company through:

  • Job listings
  • Career page
  • Google search results
  • Social media
  • Conference or event
  • Word-of-mouth

2. Considers whether to apply

3. Researches your company’s:

  • Career page
  • Reputation (online and offline)
  • Employee reviews
  • Perks and benefits
  • Culture and values

4. Submits job application

5. Take a phone screen

6. Does additional research via:

  • Your career page
  • Your employee reviews
  • Your online reputationv
  • Social media
  • Word-of-mouth

7. In-person interview

8. Additional screening steps (if applicable. i.e. background checks, reference checks, assessments)

9. Receives job offer

10. Evaluates opportunity based on:

  • Role and culture fit
  • Communication and fairness in the application process
  • Perks, benefits and compensation
  • Whether you met expectations
  • Third-party perspective

11. Makes decision

12. Final communication / onboarding



For more best practices on employer branding and attracting talent into your organization, check out our free resources that we’ve made specifically for company leaders, HR and talent acquisition teams.

Linda Le Phan
Senior Content Marketing Manager at kununu.

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