The 6 Important Stages of the Candidate Journey


In our previous blog, we dived further into how to improve your candidate experience by focusing on the candidate journey. The candidate journey has six important stages before the onboarding starts; awareness, consideration, interest, application, selection, and hiring. Below, we elaborate on each stage and share a few tips to help you get started with your candidate journey mapping.

The first time a candidate finds out about your organisation or your open vacancy is called the 'awareness' stage. According to CustomerThink, if you want to attract and engage people, you will need to deliver the right content to the right audiences. Therefore, always keep in mind that the first impression is vital. Your candidates will form an opinion based on the content you produce, and will only become aware of your brand if you target them.

The second stage is consideration. Your candidate is now aware of your organisation, and during this stage, candidates will consider potential employers and job vacancies to apply for. They will assess if your values suit their values and if they feel attracted to your (online) appearance. Your employer branding is vital during this stage, so if you are unsure if your employer branding is up to scratch, read on how Vaqancies can help you with your employer branding here, or our tips and tricks here.

When a candidate is in the interest stage, they will start wondering whether or not they fit in at your organisation. They will investigate what benefits you offer, what your company culture is like, and see if they can find online reviews. Having an excellent branded career page works like a talent magnet, and is vital during this stage, as most of your candidates' questions should be answered here. For more tips on how to improve your career page, click here.

During the application stage, the candidate has decided that they want to work at your organisation. However, if your application process is too difficult, contains bugs, or is too lengthy, 60% of candidates admit they will likely still quit halfway through the process. Always ensure your application process is quick and works properly, and, as an additional tip, always thank your candidates for applying for your organisation, rather than your competitors.

Congratulations! Your candidates have applied to your organisation. This is the most uncertain period for a candidate, as they are now eager to start at your organisation, but they might still get rejected. According to Indeed, the best practices are always to treat candidates like customers, be respectful, hospitable, and to make yourself available for questions. Besides, always give your candidate feedback, even if they are not hired for the job. If your candidates have had a pleasant candidate experience, they might remember you and return either as customer or candidate.

Last but not least, the hiring stage. During the hiring process, candidates will evaluate all the previous stages, your process, and all previous communication. If the candidates are disappointed in this stage, they will most likely not accept your offer. After all, the entire process is a reflection of your company culture, your employer brand, whether your organisation is respectful and professional, or in short, whether it is an attractive place to work.

By stepping into the candidates' shoes during their application process at your organisation, you will be able to improve your candidate experience and ensure that even rejected candidates still have a positive experience. Keep in mind that either way, the overall experience never ends at a successful hire. The onboarding process and the way you continue to treat your employee are equally as essential to attract and retain quality talent.

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