Why Candidate Experience Matters: Tips for Engaging Top Talent in a Candidate-Centric Market 

Why Candidate Experience Matters: Tips for Engaging Top Talent in a Candidate-Centric Market 

A company’s success can often be associated with the quality of its employees.¹ Without their employees’ dedication and hard work, the company would not be able to provide its products and services. 

Once you have a team of skilled workers, all that’s left to do is to retain their employment, right? Well, not exactly. 

Aside from keeping your people happy in the workplace, you also need to attract new talented candidates to your business. A potential candidate can bring fresh skills, ideas, and capabilities that can help your company grow and improve. 

Market Direction: Where Is It Heading? 

Considering the scarcity of applicants within the global labor market, engaging top talent can be difficult to do at the moment. Although the rates of labor participation have slowly increased, there are still millions of job openings that are left unfilled each month in different industries. 

According to Forbes, this might be because of the recent demographic shift. Many employees from the baby boomer generation have already retired, while the millennial generation has moved on to higher-paying roles. Rarely do they take on entry-level jobs anymore.² 

Labor economists predict that this shortage that started in 2016 will remain until 2030 and beyond. As an employer or a hiring manager, it might be a challenging time for you, but there’s still a lot of top talent in today’s candidate-centric market. 

How exactly can you attract them? 

Employer-Centric Market 

Before, employers had the luxury of choosing employees from a wide database of talented candidates. Companies could set specific pay, benefits, and working conditions. Some would even accept a job without asking for a relocation package. 

Job seekers often have no chance to negotiate because others were also willing to accept the offer without hesitation. The thought of losing an offer over a fellow candidate was always present. 

This is what an employer-centric market looks like. 

Candidate-Centric Market 

Meanwhile, in a candidate-centric market, job applicants have the deciding power. They have more options and leverage to use as a bargaining chip for what they want.³ 

Today, employers need to work twice as hard to attract potential employees to fill the gaps. This can be done through different recruitment strategies that fall under a candidate-centric approach. 

Benefits of a Candidate-Centric Approach 

To meet the current market’s demand, you need to adjust your recruitment strategies and adopt a candidate-centric approach. Simply opening a position and providing descriptions and a list of requirements is no longer enough to stay competitive. 

This approach requires you to put your potential employees at the center of your recruitment process by prioritizing their preferences and necessities and adjusting to their needs—a personalized and positive candidate experience all throughout. 

  • Offer online interviews instead of the traditional face-to-face if your candidates live far away. 
  • Be authentic and share the truth if they ask how your company reacts to crises. 

The more you practice this approach, the more it can benefit you. 

1. You gain a wider talent Pool. 

Giving candidates positive experiences helps attract more potential employees to your company. This immediately spreads among job hunters about how you treat candidates. What’s a better marketing method than word of mouth? 

With a bigger candidate database, there’s a higher chance of you finding the right person for the role. 

2. You inspire them to work with you. 

More candidates will aspire to work for you because of how you approach them—all because you gave a positive experience.  

If you already have a candidate in mind, you can bet that they are now more encouraged to join your team. 

3. You can improve your own reputation. 

Your company can improve its reputation with the help of your candidates since good experiences are often shared with family, friends, and colleagues. 

Using a candidate-centric approach for talent acquisition involves showing transparency throughout the hiring process, effectively communicating with potential employees, and considering them every step of the way. 

Strategies and Tips for Engaging Top Talent in a Candidate-Centric Market 

Suddenly shifting from one recruitment strategy to another can be a daunting task. To help you get started, here are some steps you can take to begin attracting top talent and improving your candidates’ overall experience. 

1. Clearly explain their role. 

Do you prefer circling around a topic or getting straight to the point? The same goes for job descriptions. 

  • Include the responsibilities candidates will manage once hired 
  • Be mindful of language and tone you use in your ad posts 

In a survey conducted by LinkedIn, around 75 percent of candidates respond better to generic language. Avoid being too casual or too formal in your captions. 

  • Too many hashtags and slang words make you seem unprofessional 
  • Too much jargon can make you seem robotic or mechanical 

Find the right balance between professional and approachable. This can be done by being straightforward and using simple language. 

2. Include the compensation. 

Applicants appreciate it when they can see the compensation for a role. It’s one of the key deciding factors they consider, so it should be included in the job post.  

Having the compensation clearly in sight can attract candidates and avoid frustrations or backlash caused by wasted time and effort. It also goes without saying that you need to offer competitive salaries to satisfy the needs of your future employees. 

3. Work on your website and social media. 

When you want to know more about a candidate, you usually check their resume. When candidates want more information about you, they can check your website and social media platforms. This is why you need to invest in your online presence.  

Use the internet to reel in top candidates 

  • Improve your branding by adding your company’s goals and values 
  • Align your job postings with the working environment and company culture you offer 

4. Create an employee referral program. 

Ask for the help of your trusted employees. You can add a recruitment strategy that urges your employees to look for candidates out there. They receive compensation for successful employee referrals, and you’re introduced to a potential candidate.  

Even if the candidate is unsuccessful in securing the role, they can still be part of your pool of candidates for future job opportunities. 

5. Provide clear questions and instructions. 

Keep your application process simplified by providing precise and understandable instructions.  

Keep the language simple, just like in your job descriptions. There is no need for complex sentences or riddles. The best way to know if a candidate is qualified is through their qualifications, so ask for them directly. 

6. Make sure your website is mobile-friendly! 

Since you’re operating in a fast-paced society, you need to play by the rules of the game. 

An Appcast analysis in 2021 shows that 61 percent of people use their cell phones when applying.⁴  

By making your recruiting links, forms, or websites accessible to everyone, you make it easier for candidates to reach you and to efficiently accomplish the recruiting process. 

7. Take advantage of automation. 

People don’t want to spend hours of their day creating essays to apply for one job. Long-form applications can delay your candidates and might push them away from completing the process. Instead, keep it simple.  

Use automation to gather only the necessary information. You can also use automation when sending scheduled interviews and feedback emails.  

According to research, 48 percent respond positively to receiving interview information, while 52 percent appreciate feedback and keep in touch with the company even if they weren’t hired.⁵ 


As one of the top staffing firms in the United States, Focus People is committed to helping you improve your hiring process and increase your chances of hiring the most talented candidates for your open positions.  

Want to know where else to start? Contact us today to find out! 


  1. Hobson, Karolina. “Five Reasons Employees Are Your Company’s No. 1 Asset” Forbes, 12 Dec. 2019, https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesbusinessdevelopmentcouncil/2019/12/12/five-reasons-employees-are-your-companys-no-1-asset/?sh=3e1ada632563 
  2. Bremen, John. “Why Talent Shortages Persist: Moving Beyond The Great Resignation And Quiet Quitting.” Forbes, 30 Jan. 2023, https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnbremen/2023/01/30/why-talent-shortages-persist-moving-beyond-the-great-resignation-and-quiet-quitting/ 
  3. Pulse. “How to find and retain top talent in a candidate short market.” 29 Sept. 2021, https://resources.pulsesoftware.com/how-to-find-retain-top-talent-in-a-candidate-short-market 
  4. Golden, Ryan. “Mobile job applications surpassed desktop in 2020, report says” HRDrive, 1 March 2021, https://www.hrdive.com/news/mobile-job-applications-surpassed-desktop-in-2020-report-says/595891/ 
  5. Raposo, Devin. “9 Telling Candidate Experience Statistics That Can Help Refine Your Hiring Process.” LinkedIn, 21 Oct. 2021, https://www.linkedin.com/business/talent/blog/talent-acquisition/stats-key-to-providing-great-candidate-experience 

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