Rhona Barnett-Pierce


How to Create an Equitable Candidate Experience Through Small Touchpoints

Small touchpoints can have a big impact on the candidate experience. Learn how to create an equitable candidate experience by not overlooking these hidden gems.

Candidate experience is the sum of all interactions a candidate has with your company throughout the hiring process. It starts when they first learn about your company and ends when they either accept or decline your job offer.

Candidate experience is important for a number of reasons. First, it can impact your ability to attract and hire qualified talent. Candidates who have a positive experience are more likely to apply to your jobs, accept your offers, and stay with your company for the long term.

Second, candidate experience has a direct impact on your employer brand. Candidates talk to their networks about their job search experiences, and their feedback can influence other people’s perceptions of your company. This influence doesn’t only extend to other candidates but to potential customers as well.

Finally, candidate experience can have legal implications. In most places, it is illegal to discriminate against candidates based on their race, gender, religion, age, or other protected characteristics. By creating an equitable candidate experience, you can help to reduce your risk of legal liability.

But candidate Experience is not just about the big moments; the small touchpoints matter too.

What are small touchpoints?

Small touchpoints are the brief interactions that candidates have with your company throughout the hiring process. They may seem insignificant, but they can significantly impact the overall candidate experience. They can include things like:

  • The email they receive when they submit their application.
  • The automated response they get when they send a follow-up email.
  • The thank-you note they receive after their interview.

Even though these interactions may seem small, they can make a big difference in how a candidate feels about your company. For example, a candidate who receives a personalized email after submitting their application may feel more excited about the opportunity than a candidate who gets a generic email.

Commonly Overlooked Touchpoints

These small touchpoints are important for equity because they can help to reduce bias in the hiring process. When done correctly, small touchpoints can help to create a more inclusive and welcoming environment for all candidates.

Here are a few tips on how to create an equitable candidate experience through small touchpoints:

1. Streamline the Application Process

The simplicity of your application is one of the most critical factors when a candidate decides if they will apply to your company.

According to Smart Recruiters, 47% of candidates have not applied for a job because the employer’s process was “too lengthy or complicated.”

Some of the things you can do to simplify the process are:

  • Remove unnecessary questions from your application form and reduce the steps required to apply. Do you really need to know my favorite flavor of ice cream or what my high school classmates would say about me today? These are all real examples shared with me on LinkedIn. You can check out the post here. Less is more when it comes to application forms. Ask only what’s necessary.
  • Make your application mobile-friendly. These days, most website traffic comes from phones or tablets. Additionally, some candidates only have a smartphone or tablet. You’re excluding these candidates if your application doesn’t work on mobile devices.

2. Personalize your communications

Take the time to personalize your communications with candidates, from the initial application email to the thank-you note after the interview. This shows candidates that you’re interested in them and value their time.

Here are some things you can do to personalize your process:

  • Stop using no-reply email addresses. No-reply email addresses send a message that you don’t want to engage with candidates. It gives them the impression that you’re not open to feedback or communication.
  • Use the candidate’s name & pronouns in all communication. Candidates are more likely to engage with recruiters and the hiring process when they feel acknowledged as individuals. Using their name and pronouns helps build rapport and trust. It shows them that you respect them.
  • Don’t send rejection emails on Fridays or weekends. Rejection can be emotionally challenging, and for some candidates, it may be harder to cope with this news on a weekend when they have more free time to dwell on it. Plus, you won’t be around if they have questions, and that’s just rude!
  • Use inclusive language. Avoid using any language that could be construed as discriminatory or offensive. For example, instead of saying “manpower,” say “workforce.”

3. Be accommodating

If a candidate has any special needs, such as a disability or a religious requirement, be sure to accommodate them. This shows candidates that you’re committed to creating an inclusive workplace. You can do simple things like including a field on your self-scheduling or availability form that asks candidates if they require accommodations for interviews.

You should, of course, then follow up by actually honoring their accommodation request. For example, you could provide a sign language interpreter for an interview or allow a candidate to reschedule an interview if it conflicts with a religious holiday.


4. Set Clear Expectations

81% of job seekers say employers communicating continuous status updates would greatly improve the candidate experience. (Career Builder)

Clarity is one of the best gifts you can give candidates. They will return the favor. Plus, you’ll save a lot of time if everyone knows what to expect.

Here are some of the ways you can set clear expectations with candidates:

  • Send an email outlining the process & timeline. Sharing a detailed overview of the hiring process sets a candidate’s expectations right from the start. Candidates who understand the timeline are more likely to respond promptly to interview invitations, provide required documentation, and make decisions about job offers.
  • Share the interviewer’s profile & interview theme/topic. Help candidates prep for interviews by letting them know who they will speak with and what will be covered during the interview. Armed with this knowledge, candidates can formulate more relevant questions. This leads to a more meaningful and engaging interview, benefiting both the candidate and the interviewer.

5. Share Feedback with Candidates

52% of candidates say they get frustrated most by the lack of response from potential employers during the job search process. (Career Builder)

Candidates who receive helpful feedback are more likely to speak positively about your company, both online and offline. This will elevate your employer brand and attract more qualified talent. Plus, you owe it to them! A candidate who has spent time interviewing with you deserves to know why you’re not moving forward with them. Not sharing feedback with candidates is a sign that you don’t value transparency.

6. Get feedback from candidates

After the interview process, ask candidates for feedback on their experience. This will help you to identify areas where you can improve. For example, you could ask candidates if they felt welcome and included during the interview process and if they had any suggestions for how you could make it better.

The data from Candidate Experience Surveys will give you insights into candidate behavior, preferences, and satisfaction levels. You can use the data to make informed decisions on where to allocate resources and efforts for the most significant impact.


You can create a more equitable candidate experience by focusing on the small touchpoints. Focus on these, and you’ll attract and retain more qualified talent.

DISCLAIMER: Links included on this page might be affiliate links. If you purchase a product or service with the links that I provide I may receive a small commission. There is no additional charge to you!

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