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What is and How to Create a Fantastic Candidate Experience?

October 27, 2022

The recruitment space has progressively transformed in the past decade. We have seen numerous strategies, methods, trends and driving factors related to hiring shaping up the talent market to the way it is today. Employers are not the centre of recruitment anymore – the current landscape prioritizes candidate experience and it is expected to only grow in that direction. Especially with the difference in talent demand and supply widening continuously, it’s safe to say – delivering a great candidate experience has become a necessity.

Almost three-fourths of the entire workforce (73%) consists of passive talent - who are not looking for jobs actively but would be open to hearing about new opportunities. This leaves recruiters with a very tricky task - engaging passive candidates effectively. Right from sourcing candidates to recruitment, onboarding and post-hiring experience – everything is critical for your relationship with candidates regardless of the results for both parties.

With social media and popular professional platforms scaling up, the community of job seekers is closely connected now, which can be both good and bad for employers. Not to forget – recruitment processes for a large number of companies have always been questioned by the masses. Here’s where efforts to boost candidate experience arrive.

So what drives candidate experience? How is it relevant to different stages of your recruitment cycle? How do you ensure a prolific experience for all your candidates? We answer all of these and more in this blog and discuss actionable steps that you can take to create a stellar candidate experience.

What is Candidate Experience?

At its core, candidate experience refers to the way job seekers perceive and feel about an organization’s recruitment cycle including all the stages: outreach, sourcing, engaging, recruiting, interviewing, onboarding and post-hiring. 

Over 80% of candidates say interview experience can primarily drive their decision about joining a company or not. The huge impact of candidate experience is clearly evident. A positive candidate experience leaves talent with the feeling that the organization values its people and that their time has been treated with complete respect. Moreover, the basic factors related to recruitment like communication, transparency and clarity in decision making are the primary drivers of candidate experience. No matter if a candidate was hired or not – the question about how they feel after being involved in the recruitment process with you, needs to be taken care of.  

A major contributor to your candidate experience is how the non-hires find your recruitment process. That further also affects your employer brand. As the candidates share their experiences within their networks, the quality of talent your brand will attract is directly connected. 

How to Define a Good Candidate Experience?

Quality candidate experience involves all the touchpoints that a candidate interacts with while in the recruitment cycle and how the candidate feels after interacting. For instance, it can be something as small as a pleasant phone call with the hiring manager to ease the application form on the website. 

As we move forward to a completely digital landscape and scale up the utilization of technology and tools in recruiting, the room for continuously improving the candidate experience is always open. With the right blend of technology and quality candidate experience creation strategies, any organization can boost their hiring.

Why Delivering a Great Candidate Experience Vital for Recruitment Today?

From a high-level view, a positive candidate experience helps recruiters attract quality talent, significantly boosts the conversion rate, amplifies referrals, increases word of mouth for recruitment campaigns and enhances the employer brand. Around 68% of candidates think that an organization’s recruitment process tells how it treats its human resources. 

Here are the top four reasons why you should focus on delivering an efficient, positive experience in your recruitment cycle:

  • Strengthen Brand Reputation: The rapid growth of social media and digital platforms for candidates and existing employees to review their recruitment experiences helps you boost brand reach as well as reputation. As a result, more people in the workforce want to work with your company and you can source better talent.
  • Engage positively from the beginning: One of the most important parts of sourcing and recruiting top talent is to effectively engage them. A positive candidate experience ensures candidates are equally active in engagement interactions. Doing that helps in getting the best out of candidates’ potential in the assessment stages. 
  • Cuts down drop-off rate: If you have been in the recruitment space for quite some time, you would probably know that candidate drop-off and ghosting are two of the biggest problems recruiters are facing today. While a positive candidate experience is driven by efficient hiring processes – the drop-off rate going down is imperative.
  • Boosts conversions: As more candidates move through the recruitment process till the end, the conversion rate increases and fewer job roles are left open in your organization. Candidates consider positive recruitment experience to be in sync with a strong business and they feel highly confident about joining – hence minimal or no last-moment denials are observed.

Candidate Experience in Different Stages of Recruitment Process

A candidate’s journey is driven by the recruitment funnel and at each stage of the process, the experience at different touchpoints needs to be tailored to the requirements of relevant touchpoints. Remember - the aim is to persuade candidates and push them down the recruitment funnel. Let’s find out the various stages of the recruitment process and discuss them in brief.

  1. Candidate Sourcing

The very first time a candidate interacts with the organization can be through social media, job boards, website careers page or through outbound sourcing campaigns. The ease of finding your open roles, the detailed job description and ideal candidate expectations will define the number of candidates applying to your open roles and will save them time and effort. This is the first stage of creating a promising candidate experience. 

  1. Application

Once a candidate finds you on any platform, the next activity in an ideal case is them filling out your application. This is a tricky part - your job application form should not be too long or complex for potential candidates to get easily overwhelmed with the application process. 60% of job seekers quit an application in case it’s too complicated. You don’t want to be another addition to the dropped-off organizations’ list. So ensure that your job application process both in the case of inbound and outbound talent sourcing is simplified. Add instructions in your website and job advertisement pages to further make it really easy for candidates.

  1. Engagement

Consistent communication is the most crucial factor of candidate experience and the engagement stage is the deciding phase of whether or not a candidate will look forward to participating actively in your recruiting. As a majority of recruiters miss out on timely communication about updates and some even don’t inform candidates, this is the biggest source of frustration for job seekers. 63% of candidates are dissatisfied with communication from most employers. It’s ironic how the most basic requirement stays unresolved when recruiters are busy finding new ways to engage and retain candidates in their pipeline. Recruiters need to maintain consistent and clear communication updating candidates about each phase of recruitment, guiding them, nurturing them and resolving their queries. The method of communication can either be automated or through call – the objective is to inform candidates as soon as the shortlisting results are out - regardless of the respondent’s outcome.

  1. Interview

While an interview is primarily aimed at knowing if a candidate is the right fit for your company or not, it’s also an opportunity for the candidate to deeply analyze if they would want to work with your organization. A positive candidate experience is the biggest action trigger for candidates and can easily persuade them to get convinced promptly. A pre-defined and organized interview process will ensure each candidate gets judged on the same parameters and recruitment is completely fair. On the other hand, multiple interview rounds around the same topic with the same interviewer leave candidates confused and adversely affect the candidate experience. 

Once the interview is done, feedback and results should be soon shared, and the candidates should be clearly conveyed what can they expect now.

  1. Onboarding

The qualified candidates move to onboard and it’s finally the time to fulfil all your promises done to hire them. From paperwork to focus on team interactions and easy instructions on onboarding are some of the primary onboarding stage expectations for acquired talent. Sticking to a simple plan will boost your onboarding candidate experience.

Top Challenges Faced in Delivering Effective Candidate Experience

A staggering 58% of job seekers declined a job offer over poor recruitment experience. Here are the top challenges faced in delivering prominent candidate experience. 

#1 Missing Awareness Around Candidate Experience

A large number of employers don’t even consider the impact of negative candidate experience on brand reputation. They are still recruiting with the traditional approach, and miss out on updating candidates, especially the unqualified ones. Although this is changing steadily with the proactive usage of social media and more reviews being published on job boards.

#2 Heavy Lifting by Recruiters

Modern recruiters have a lot on their plate at any given time. Sourcing candidates is a tricky job and with most organizations growing at a fast pace, the requirements are scaled up. Recruiters have a lot to do with numerous openings, and hence miss out on consistent and timely communication with candidates.

#3 Complex Recruitment Processes

A long and complicated recruitment cycle means recruiters take more time to screen, respond and finalize candidates to be hired. This makes things hectic even for candidates as they are interviewing in multiple companies at any given time – hence employers miss out on top talent due to the requirements and expectations not being supported by processes.

How to Improve Candidate Experience: Top 7 Strategies to Follow

We saw how important candidate experience is, and what are the major challenges faced by recruiters in the path of creating positive candidate experiences. Let’s now find out the top strategies for improving candidate experience with actionable steps that you can instantly follow.

  1. Automate Your Candidate Engagement

The biggest challenge for recruiters is keeping up the consistency of engagement and informing candidates about recruitment updates. If you relate to this, it’s not your fault at all – with so many important tasks on your plate daily as a recruiter or hiring manager, candidate engagement is something that needs to be taken care of with the help of a candidate engagement automation tool. This allows not only improving candidate experience by consistent engagement but also scale your outbound sourcing approach and hiring the top talent. You don’t need to invest any time in reaching out or engaging with talent currently in your pipeline, just add candidates to engagement campaigns and you’re good to go. 

  1. Maintain Applicant Tracking System

Keeping track of your sourcing and engagement can be too overwhelming when done manually in Excel spreadsheets. An Applicant Tracking System (ATS) can be a game-changer in streamlining and scaling up your recruitment process quickly. You can integrate ATS with career sites, social media platforms, job boards and your website careers page. The idea is to have a complete overview of your candidate engagement status in one place. So that you stay error-free and never miss out on important updates/engagement with candidates. 

  1. Leverage Candidate Relationship Management Tools

For your inbound candidates or applicants to job posts, you can use CRM automation tools for consistent communication and query resolution if your candidates. Similar to a lead management system, a CRM integrates with your ATS allowing you to respond to applicants about further updates. You can also guide or nurture your candidates around the recruitment process, role expectations etc.

  1. Use Asynchronous Video Interview Tools

These tools recently became popular after remote hiring and remote work became a norm. Asynchronous video interview tools allow recruiters and candidates to save a lot of time by avoiding live calls (no doubt they still top the chart). Recruiters can share their organizational overview as well as conduct interviews with candidates who can further attempt the interview assessment asynchronously with their submissions. Not to forget –  these tools immensely help in scaling up recruitment as hiring managers and SMEs can share the same assessments with other candidates too. 

  1. Add Recruiting Chatbot

What if a candidate arrives at your website with doubts about an open role, and the support team isn’t available? What if hundreds of such candidates ask you doubts about job roles through emails, application forms or any other medium? The priority for job seekers is effective communication and it should be the same for talent hunters or employers. Modern candidates seek instant responses and they prefer dropping a text over discussing on call. The best way to cater to this is through a recruitment chatbot on your website. Not just because chatbots are almost everywhere – but they act as virtual assistants to candidates who are clueless at times. You can tailor your chatbot to answer FAQs about your company and even conduct a quick pre-screen assessment for candidates.

  1. Onboarding Strategies in Place

Even after you conduct interviews and candidates are shortlisted, your recruitment cycle doesn’t end there. Once selected, a candidate goes through background verification and feedback before finally getting onboarded. Without a sound onboarding strategy in place, it becomes difficult to accelerate the process and make it easy for candidates. Cloud-based HR onboarding tools help in error-free and quick AI-based verification of documents. Leveraging these types of tools will ensure you serve great candidate experience consistently.

  1. Induction Training 

Often organizations, especially startups skip induction engagements these days. While some might call it a very basic introduction to the company, these sessions play a crucial role in setting up their mindset as your company’s permanent employees. The much-needed initial momentum for productivity comes from the induction training. Every organization has different sets of rules, regulations, communication standards, and internal tech stack for collaborations – so the induction programmes cover generic introductions as well as departmental guidance for setting up the working standards.

Contrary to popular opinion, delivering quality candidate experience doesn’t necessarily need to be cost-heavy or require tons of effort. You just need to make some tweaks to your strategy and use some automation tools. Be consistent at it and you will be surprised to check the impact of positive candidate experience through recruitment metrics.

Level Up Your Candidate Experience with Engagement Automation

Among all the challenges faced by recruiters today, missing out on engagement with passive talent costs them the most. The competition for acquiring quality talent is already heated up like anything. If recruiters can focus only on one thing - it should be interacting with candidates face-to-face. But before that, the engagement needs to be taken care of at scale. And you don’t need to do it manually. Nurturebox helps you automate candidate sourcing and engagement so that you can scale up your recruitment campaigns. The platform makes seamless integration possible with your existing tech stack and ATS  – so that you don’t need to do the hard work of maintaining your talent pipeline and tracking engagement by yourself. Nurturebox’s Chrome extension ties up with your LinkedIn and allows you to engage candidates through email, Linkedin and WhatsApp. You can now focus on the human side of recruiting as Nurturebox solves the candidate experience equation for you.

Amidst today’s noisy digital world, brands find it challenging to create meaningful connections with their customer base and target audience. Getting the target consumer’s attention and persuading them to buy from you gets even trickier. Hence, content marketing has become more crucial than ever for brands to attract, educate, and retain customers.

Content creation is a top priority for 80% of marketers, and there is no reason it shouldn’t be. Consistent, high-quality, and engaging content impacts your audience’s decisions through education and persuasion.

Depending on your business goals and requirements, the role of Content Marketers you hire will vary. The primary responsibilities revolve around forming consistent brand messaging and deciding upon a unique and identifiable voice, style, and pitch across various distribution channels.

From raising brand awareness to attracting a relevant audience to your website, boosting social media presence and engagement, generating leads, and building brand loyalty – content marketing drives all the growth efforts for your brand. When done effectively, it can help you:

  • Build positive brand awareness
  • Make your audience stick around for longer
  • Get better traction on social media
  • Gain more trust of your audience than ever
  • Generate qualified leads
  • Improve conversion rates
  • Boost business visibility with SEO
  • Position your brand as an authority
  • Cultivate loyal brand fans

While content marketing is a broad role with numerous areas of expertise involved, it’s vital to thoroughly understand your company’s current marketing goals and the related requirements. In this blog, we will dive deep into the step-by-step approach to hiring a Content Marketer.

What is The Role of a Content Marketer?

A Content Marketer must be deeply passionate about telling your brand’s story to the world. The objective is to educate and nurture the target audience to establish brand authority using thought-leadership and drive more people to buy from you.

As a candidate is expected to be a mediator between the brand and the target audience, they are primarily responsible for planning, creating, and sharing valuable content to grow their company’s awareness and engagement to bring more business.

To be more specific, the role of a Content Marketer requires a perfect blend of creativity and attention to detail in an individual. It’s a balancing role, as they need to ensure creating content that resonates and strengthens business relationships, using strategies that position your business as authentic and problem-solving.

Take a look at the core responsibilities of a Content Marketer that most businesses expect them to take over:

  • Research and Competitor Analysis: The first and foremost step to creating a content marketing strategy is effective initial research. It not only helps a Content Marketer understand the nuances of the industry through competitor analysis but also study and understand the target audience thoroughly.
  • Building Content Marketing Plans: Once the competitor research and target audience analysis is done, a Content Marketer needs to work on the different plans for all the business objectives, targeted channels, segments of the audience, and the bigger marketing strategy. A content marketing plan typically consists of:
  • Specific goals along with a pre-decided timeline
  • Various channels to be targeted for content distribution
  • Types of content to be created
  • Budget for the entire staff, outsourced services, and paid promotion (Collabs and Ads)
  • Creating Editorial Calendar: Creating, managing, and maintaining a content calendar is one of the most crucial responsibilities of a Content Marketer. It is a centralized visual document that enables effective collaboration among the marketing team and helps Content Marketers ensure on-time production and delivery.
  • Content Creation: Once the strategy and calendar have been approved by relevant stakeholders, Content Marketers need to do the on-ground work. This task usually depends on the scale of your company and content marketing strategy. Suppose an organization already has a set of writers, then the Content Marketer doesn’t need to create content by themselves.
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Producing quality content that educates your target audience and resonates with them, isn’t enough. You need to optimize your content creation to make it search engine-friendly. While most companies need a dedicated SEO specialist for keyword research and planning, Content Marketers need to closely collaborate with them and should be well-versed in the basics of SEO.

While the practices discussed above are primary responsibilities of a Content Marketer, they also need to be proactive with

  • Content editing and ensuring adherence to a certain style guide    
  • Continous publishing and distributing content
  • Measuring and analyzing performance

How to Hire a Content Marketer: Step-By-Step?

Content marketing has become the key to driving growth for businesses. Unlike a few years ago, it’s not possible now to get away with a one-person team for content marketing. You need deeply trained individuals for specialist roles.

Let’s now dive into the step-by-step approach of hiring a Content Marketer. But before you even source your first candidate, you should have a clear expectation of the skillset and experience to look out for top content marketing candidates.

Top Must-Have Skills in a Content Marketer

Apart from having relevant industry experience, a good Content Marketer must possess the following skills.

  1. Excellent Writing Skills

A Content Marketer’s prior skillset should be writing excellent attention-grabbing content. From long-form blog posts to website copy, ad copies, social media content, video scripts, emails, newsletters, e-books, whitepapers, and more – a Content Marketer should be able to adapt to the business’s specific requirements and create quality content.

  1. Audience Research

Identifying user behavior is vital for framing the story in the right direction. So a Content Marketer must know how to identify and analyze the needs and pain points to develop a buyer persona. User research can be performed through social listening, relevant communities, in-person calls with customers, analyzing sales call recordings, and more.

  1. Keyword Research

Creating valuable thought-leadership content isn’t enough. Researching the right set of keywords is an essential skill to further educate your target audience on the Whys, Hows and Whats of your business, and have your website rank on Google.

  1. Data-oriented Content

Content that’s not backed by relevant data points does not build enough trust. Experienced content marketing professionals would always prefer data over hollow claims. No doubt that only data doesn’t help a content piece succeed, but it’s essential..

  1. Project Management, Planning, and Publishing –

A Content Marketer is also expected to break down and analyze the pain points to turn keyword research into content ideas. So a professional must be able to identify and solve content gaps.

Further, they must know how to create a content calendar, decide the different types of content, and choose relevant platforms to publish and schedule marketing campaigns.

  1. Content Promotion

Creating a valuable content piece, for example - an ebook, isn’t enough. Your content marketing team needs to promote it proactively for bringing enough attention and engagement.

  1. Performance Analysis

Setting up goals and plans is one thing, but continuously executing, measuring, and analyzing content performance is another. A Content Marketer should always be monitoring key performance parameters to figure out the upcoming plans with the necessary updates required.

Not to forget - stakeholders and marketing heads need the performance reports regularly. So Content Marketers must be able to collect and comprehend all the data to make it worth presenting.

Step 1: Create a Candidate Persona

Let’s sort out the priorities first, and decide the type of content marketing candidates you want to recruit. From exceptional research skills to storytelling, communication skills, relationship building, audience engagement, and more capabilities must be comprehensively considered. Identify and break down the skill requirements for Content Marketers:

  • What are the educational qualification criteria for the role?
  • How many years and what type of work experience do you want in candidates?
  • What are the specific skill sets you’re looking for?
  • Which industry experience would you primarily prefer?
  • Are there any tools your candidates should be hands-on with?
  • What are some personality traits that will fit your company?
  • Where do they look for a new job?
  • What are their career and life goals?

Forming a candidate persona by answering all these questions would ensure you are not shooting in the dark while sourcing candidates. Further, it helps you determine the traits of the ideal candidate, and plan your sourcing and recruitment strategy further.

Step 2: Document the Role Requirements and Decide on Your Recruiting Process

Next step is determining your role requirements suiting primarily to organizational needs and business goals. A content marketing professional is expected to own the entire content strategy, creation, and distribution. But what about your business’s unique requirements?

You might need someone comfortable with frequently creating long-form content pieces like blogs, ebooks, or whitepapers, or creating engaging video content based on your industry trends.

Talk to various relevant stakeholders for seeking the complete detailed company requirements for the role.

Before you enter the recruitment funnel, outline your talent acquisition process. Identify various strategies, channels, and other informational insights you would need – and maintain a collaborative document.

As you update the tactics and tweak your recruitment process for meeting hiring requirements optimally – keep your document up to date.

Step 3: Prepare a Content Marketing Job Description

Once you have finalized the role requirements with respect to your current content marketing goals and team, you can start sourcing candidates. Preparing the job description is the first task you’ll need to do.

Here are the necessary components you must have in your job description:

  • Job Title: The position you’re looking to fill. For example - Content Marketing Specialist or Content Marketing Manager.
  • Roles & Responsibilities: An outline of the candidate’s day-to-day activities. From ideation to implementation and the impact on the organization, everything should be covered.  
  • Skill Requirements: Skills and abilities a candidate must have to perform the job successfully.
  • Perks and Benefits: The compensation details, perks of the job, and any other benefits.
  • About the Company: Why should a candidate consider working with your company?

Content Marketer Job Description Template


The job of a Content Marketer is to perform competitor research, create user persona, and write plagiarism-free content for blog articles, social media, and the company website. They need to stay updated on the latest SEO techniques.


  • Develop, write and deliver persuasive copy for the website, email marketing campaigns, sales collateral, videos, and blogs
  • Build and manage an editorial calendar; coordinate with other content crafters to ensure standards
  • Measure impact and perform analysis to improve KPIs
  • Include and optimize all content for SEO
  • Contribute to the localization of processes and content to ensure consistency across regions
  • Review and implement process changes to drive operational excellence


  • Proven content marketing, copywriting, or SEO experience
  • Working knowledge of content management systems like WordPress
  • A well-maintained portfolio of published articles, blogs, copy, etc
  • Proven experience of working under pressure to deliver high quality output in a short span of time
  • Proficiency in all Microsoft Office applications, Google Suite
  • Fluency in English or any other required language

Soft Skills

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Excellent writing and editing skills
  • The ability to work in a fast-paced environment
  • The ability to handle multiple projects concurrently
  • Strong attention to detail and the ability to multi-task projects and deliverables

Step 4: Source Candidates

Once you have the tailored job description in hand, it’s now time to do the groundwork and source candidates. Create an attractive job post to promote your job across job boards and social channels.

  • Begin with what to expect from the role at your company?
  • Why should candidates apply for the position?
  • Highlight the growth opportunities
  • State the company vision and mission
  • Briefly describe the recruitment process

Prepare an impactful job post and also execute paid job ad campaigns if required. The next step would be promoting your jobs on various job boards and hiring platforms. You can leverage the following platforms for hiring Content Marketers:

  • LinkedIn
  • Indeed
  • Instahyre
  • ZipRecruiter
  • Monster
  • GlassDoor
  • CareerBuilder

Not to forget - almost 3/4th of the workforce includes passive candidates, so you cannot miss out on passive talent sourcing as well. Reach out to qualified candidates on communities, LinkedIn, Twitter, and even Facebook to offer them suitable opportunities.

Step 5: Evaluate Candidates and Interview Shortlisted Ones

Once you have filtered candidates based on their experience and skills listed on their profile, it’s time to evaluate them deeply. Ask them to create a content strategy for your website, along with a value-adding content piece like a small blog. The topic of the article must fall within the scope of the strategy.

Interview the candidates whose profiles got shortlisted. Keep in mind the parameters covering skills, relevant experience, and personality traits of candidates.

Step 5: Make the Hire

Reach out to selected Content Marketers and communicate about the compensation.

Further, extend your offer letter to all the candidates who have been selected. In the case of passive sourcing, extend to only those who were aligned with you on the compensation and are willing to move forward.

Ensure having a deadline for the joining date and mention the necessary documents required by your recruiting team.

  • Get the required documents and set up the offer agreements with candidates
  • Organize an orientation session for the onboarded candidates
  • Introduce them to the entire team and the marketing teams they will be working with
  • Guide the new candidates about your company management tools and communication channels
  • Provide candidates with forms for benefits and perks like Health Insurance.

Supercharge Your Hiring for Content Marketer with Nurturebox

Inbound candidate sourcing doesn’t work effectively anymore. Do you also find challenges in closing quality candidates through job posts even after spending on ads?

Don’t worry, passive candidate sourcing can be an optimal solution for hiring top content marketing candidates.

Nurturebox is a one-stop talent sourcing and engagement platform which is powered by automation. Here’s how you can source product managers from LinkedIn using Nurturebox:

  • Install the Nurturebox Chrome plugin and sign up.
  • On your LinkedIn profile, start sourcing Content Marketers with boolean searches stating the required experience from targeted locations and including other criteria
  • Add the qualified candidates to your sourcing campaign pipeline with just a click
  • Automate the candidate engagement through email, Whatsapp and LinkedIn direct messages for reaching out and nurturing candidates at scale.

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