Candidate Experience? One Company Is Thinking About the Applicant Experience

Close followers of the talent-acquisition field know that there has been a lot talk of the candidate experience; some folks have thought about redefining the term to include people browsing around a company’s website before they’re even a candidate … passive candidate experience, anyone?

Now, one startup is quietly working on a different take on all this: the part of the experience after someone’s a candidate: when they are an applicant.

Alan Walker is a UK long-timer in the recruiting field, including a stint as a talent-acquisition director at the learning company Pearson. He now has a year-old company The TalentFinders.

Walker and The TalentFinders started thinking six months ago about the candidate experience, where of course a long list of technology companies offer systems to manage applicants, and another long list are doing “candidate relationship management”: Beamery, SmashFly, CareerBuilder, getTalent, Avature, Candidate.ID, and TalentCircles, to name a few. (Not to mention that some companies are now offering both applicant tracking and CRM.)

Anyhow, for five months Walker researched what is viable to add into that space between the ATS and the CRM.

Development of TalentPulse, as the applicant-experience tool is called at the moment, has been going on for just weeks. The goal is to help companies push content to candidates, particularly after they apply for a job. Upon application, an applicant might get something like a “thanks for applying” type of email. But as they progress further through interviews, the content would get more custom: a video by the hiring manager, for example. Maybe a video featuring people they’d work with at a specific job.

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Walker says this isn’t about keeping people informed about where they are in the hiring process, though that’s a part of it. Instead, it’s about encouraging and motivating candidates, providing information and a sense of excitement and interest about the job. It’s likely to include silver and bronze medalists for a job, too.

A university CHRO and three talent-acquisition leaders at large, well-known companies are advising Walker on TalentPulse. He says that when he put up a short LinkedIn post asking people if they want to get involved in this in any way, 500 people signed up in 24 hours. About half of those were job candidates wanting an improved candidate experience, he says; about 10 percent were investors, and the rest recruiters of various sorts.

He’s aiming for a launch in roughly the first quarter of 2018.


6 Comments on “Candidate Experience? One Company Is Thinking About the Applicant Experience

  1. ISTM:

    1) Much of this could be handled by AI/chatbot. (Perhaps that’s what TalentFinders uses…)
    2) If you need to keep a candidate encouraged/motivated/etc. as described here, you’re taking too long. “Faster, Hiring Manager! Hire, hire!”


    Keith Halperin +1.415.672.7326 c,

  2. I like the idea of a video from the hiring manager! This is an exciting advancement to the applicant experience in terms of closeness and engagement. Your careers site and application form should also be easy to navigate and not redundant (see: Thanks for sharing!

  3. I guess you could call this pre-onboarding. A way to keep the momentum and engagement going while the company fumbles about trying to wrangle hiring manager schedules and arrange interviews. In terms of videos from hiring managers, that’s great if they are good in front of a camera and are compelling. Otherwise, it could seriously backfire…another reason why companies need to realize that hiring great people requires you to have your best, brightest and most compelling staff be involved in recruiting. One way I have found to help hiring managers and staff with the personality of a lug wrench sell themselves is by talking through one of their team’s proud moments (delivering a product, fixing a major customer issue, volunteering at a local animal shelter…whatever). Rather than talking about themselves, most would rather talk about the problems and exciting strategic challenges they work on. That creates a sense of authenticity that resonates with candidates/applicants.

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