A candidate journey is like a cocktail

Create a mix of suprising flavors

When we speak of the candidate journey, we actually mean: the complete cocktail of exposure and experience that a person has as a candidate, job seeker or even a referrer. And exactly that last element is one we easily forget. Most of the time, we consider the journey ended when the decision to hire the candidate has been made. But, nothing is less true. Every job seeker or candidate is a potential ambassador for your company. If you want to benefit from this fact, then it’s time to start improving your branding.

Don’t underestimate your cocktail

Yes, you read it right, I compared the candidate journey with a cocktail. Why? A candidate journey contains different elements and steps. Each one of them needs to be revised, thought through and adjusted accordingly. A good cocktail consists of different ingredients, each in a certain dose.

Only a good balance of every single ingredient, along with conducting each step of the recipe will result in the perfect cocktail. You will be rewarded with that magnificent feeling as soon as you take the first sip. That feeling will make you decide whether you will recommend it to your friends or not.

Common facts:

Fact is and remains, the candidate journey can be painfulfrustrating and exhausting. A few examples from daily life:

  • A candidate doesn’t receive any feedback after an application/interview;
  • the feedback isn’t constructive, especially when the candidate is rejected;
  • standard emails;
  • stalling time towards a candidate when you want to wait out other candidates;
  • the process time between steps takes long;
  • the process is too long, “Really, a fourth interview?”.


It is important to take a closer look at the recruitment process, not from an HR point of view, but from a candidate’s point of view. Often when designing a recruitment process, the main focus is to make it efficient and effective for the company.

But how does the candidate actually experience this process? And, more specifically, what is the candidate experience like when exceptions or stalled processes occur?


Remember the time that you’ve applied for a job but never received a response? Well, now is the time to make this stop. Communication is a two-way street, not a one-way. Rejecting a candidate is never an easy job and nobody likes to do it. Does this mean that you can’t help the candidate? By giving constructive feedback you show that you considered  a candidate as an individual and not just an applicant for the job.

“Treat each other the way you would want to be treated.”

Not just the recruiter

Even though recruiters usually are the key contact person for your candidates, they’re not the only ones involved in the candidate journey. Every interviewer is an ambassador for your company. So, you need to make sure they’re on track as well. Every single person involved in the candidate journey adds their ingredients to the cocktail, from the receptionist to even the external consultant who’s responsible for the assessment.

Mutual investment

I think we can all agree that everyone wants to be treated with respect and in a personal way. Nobody wants to have the feeling of being ‘just another fish in the tank’. Of course, every candidate is aware of the fact that they aren’t the only one who applied for the job. And, most of the time, they understand that HR has a busy schedule. But, on the other hand: this also isn’t their only application. The candidate is investing time in your company when applying, just as much as you are in them.

“Treat each other the way you would want to be treated.”

Now I’m ready?

There are many pressure points in the candidate journey but there is an extra tip that I can give you: We don’t learn by doing; we learn by reflecting on what we’ve done. Remember to reflect and adapt the journey on a frequent basis, because new trends, such as digitalization, will continuously influence this journey.

At Talent Peaks we believe in the optimization of the candidate journey and are always ready to help and guide our customers. Feel free to contact us for more information.

Vincent Boots

Vincent Boots

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