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  • Writer's pictureNicola Crocco

“Even If It Stops Here, This Experience Has Been Incredible”

Updated: Aug 5, 2021

…came these glorious words from the mouth of a candidate I am working with who has now had two interviews with a potential employer. These interviews took place on either side of the last VIC lockdown, for a newly created role.

“Why don’t I hear this sentiment more often?”

This question really got me thinking about candidate experience; how easy it is to offer an incredible candidate experience and how infrequently candidates walk away from a process feeling grateful and happy to have invested their time in it.

Why aren’t great candidate experiences the norm?

There is a lot of lip service paid to employee value proposition (EVP) or candidate experience (CX) but not enough employers walking the talk. In my experience, businesses can have all the EVP strategies and plans in the world, but if the leaders interviewing the candidates and offering them jobs don’t approach the whole process with decency, genuine care, and collaboration with the candidate, those plans remain words on a page. The fallout is that most candidates will walk away feeling disappointed, possibly negative and resentful. I would hope that no-one wants that.


The reasons that any business would want a candidate to walk away from a recruitment process saying, “even if it stops here, this experience has been incredible” are:

  • The candidate feels respected and cared for. Human decency: Tick.

  • The candidate feels their time was well spent and they took some value from the process. Value: Tick.

  • The candidate tells their friends, family and anyone who will listen about their positive experience of the people, leadership and culture and how behaviours seem to align with values in this organisation. This place is the “real deal;” their behaviours match the words on their website. Employer branding: Tick.

  • The candidate and their friends and family will be more likely to become or remain loyal customers. Consumer branding: Tick.


If you can lay these foundations to your candidate experience, you'll be off to a good start:

  • Make the interview process a two-way conversation. Make it a collaboration between the candidate and potential employer based on the information that counts. What does the hiring manager need? Can the candidate give them what they need? When I asked the candidate who inspired this whole blog about why she felt her candidate experience was so positive, one of her comments was that the hiring manager “didn’t ask her any ridiculous, meaningless questions”. The days of a candidate kowtowing to the superiority and power of the hiring manager are gone. Most candidates have more than one option in this market.

  • Be transparent. Share the challenges, quirks, and mechanics of the job. Roll this into the two-way conversation of the interview process. What does the candidate think about some of the challenges and how they might be tackled? The other part to transparency is around timeframes and steps to the recruitment process, so there are no surprises.

  • Make decisions. After the candidate has gone through the process, the hiring manager will know whether they are the right fit or not. Don’t keep a candidate hanging for the sake of interviewing comparisons. An employer is better to have a candidate walk away feeling good about their experience despite being unsuccessful rather than being roped along on the off chance that the hiring manager might find someone better.


The attributes of the hiring manager and organisation that elicited this fabulous comment from the candidate can be distilled into one thing: They care about people. Whether these people are current employees, potential employees, customers, or suppliers; this business is renowned for their genuine care. The hiring manager is an extension of that care in the way he speaks with candidates and the integrity he demonstrates in his management of their experience. The irony is that this organisation doesn’t have a formalised HR team and they don’t have a formalised EVP strategy. They simply live their values. And they consistently deliver the best candidate experience of any of my clients.

Providing a great candidate experience isn’t hard if the hiring managers care about people.

If you would like to talk more about candidate experience or anything recruitment-related, please get in touch:

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