Candidate Experience: 65 Inspiring Quotes to Transform Your Hiring Process

Background to the ‘thought experiment’ on Candidate Experience

Search for “Candidate Experience” on Google and you will get in the region of 2.3M results. “Wow, that’s a lot!”

Yet do the same search for “Customer Experience” and you will 56x that amount – with a whopping 132,000,000 results delivered to you. Also, have a look at Google Search trends over the past 10 years and, this is what you will see. Overall, there is very little interest in “Candidate Experience” when compared to “Customer Experience”.

The same trend exists in books. Search Amazon for “Customer Experience” and there are over 1000 books written. However, if you do the same search for “Candidate Experience” and theres a pithy 20 books.

To borrow from our recent blog on The Two Big Reasons To Prioritise Improving Candidates’ Experience In 2020: Candidate experience is defined as the perception of a job seeker about an organisation and their brand based on their interactions during the recruiting process. Customer experience is the impression your customers have of your brand as a whole throughout all aspects of the buyer’s journey. Is there a difference?

It’s all about how the human feels when interacting with your brand. Thus, it’s all about the human and candidate experience. 

Let’s take the best famous quotes on “customer experience” and change them to “candidate experience”.

What could we learn from that ‘thought experiment”? We borrowed Blake Morgan’s article in Forbes as a source. Some of these quotes should be read as if your full-time role is in Talent Acquisition.

These could provide a source of inspiration for your next retrospective or “Lessons Learnt” on Candidate Experience.

  • Is there anything we’re doing well when it comes to candidate experience?
  • Can we be doing anything better?
  • What are we not doing that needs to start?
  • Is there anything we’re doing that must be stopped?

Candidate Experience Thinking

“We see our candidates as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the candidate experience a little bit better.” – Jeff Bezos

“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.” – Warren Buffett

“Candidate experience isn’t an expense. Managing candidate experience bolsters your brand.” – Stan Phelps

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou

“The biggest risk is not taking any risk. In a world that is changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.” – Mark Zuckerberg

“Make the candidate the hero of your story.” – Ann Handley

“Whatever you do, do it well. Do it so well that when people see you do it, they will want to come back and see you do it again, and they will want to bring others and show them how well you do what you do.” – Walt Disney

“If you don’t care, your candidate never will.” – Marlene Blaszczyk

“Loyal candidates, they don’t just come back, they don’t simply recommend you, they insist that their friends do business with you.” – Chip Bell

“Candidate experience better be at the top of your list when it comes to priorities in your organization. Candidate experience is the new marketing.” – Steve Cannon

“Building a good candidate experience does not happen by accident. It happens by design.” – Clare Muscutt

“Exceptional candidate experiences are the only sustainable platform for competitive differentiation.” – Kerry Bodine

Candidate-Focused Culture

“Innovation needs to be part of your culture. Candidates are transforming faster than we are, and if we don’t catch up, we’re in trouble.” – Ian Schafer

“Our attitude towards others determines their attitude towards us.” – Earl Nightingale

“Your mission statement may be on the wall, but your core values are displayed in the attitudes of your employees.” – Elle Clarke

“So, get to know your candidates. Humanize them. Humanize yourself. It’s worth it.” – Kristin Smaby

“Treat each candidate as if they are the only one!” – Laurice Leitao

“The key is to set realistic candidate expectations, and then not to just meet them, but to exceed them—preferably in unexpected and helpful ways.” – Richard Branson

“Revolve your world around the candidate and more candidates will revolve around you.” – Heather Williams

“To earn the respect (and eventually love) of your candidates, you first have to respect those candidates.” – Colleen Barrett

“How you think about your candidate influences how you respond to them.” – Marilyn Suttle

“If people believe they share values with a company, they will stay loyal to the brand” – Howard Schultz

“You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.” – Zig Ziglar

“Ease your candidates’ pain.” – Hazel Edwards

Candidate Service

“Your most unhappy candidates are your greatest source of learning.” – Bill Gates

“Courteous treatment will make a candidate a walking advertisement.” – J.C. Penney

“Good candidate service costs less than bad candidate service.” – Sally Gronow

“Candidate service is an opportunity to exceed your candidate’s expectations.” – John Jantsch

“It is so much easier to be nice, to be respectful, to put yourself in your candidate’s’ shoes and try to understand how you might help them before they ask for help, than it is to try to mend a broken candidate relationship.” – Mark Cuban

“Only once candidate service has become habitual will a company realize its true potential.” — Than Merrill

“Candidates don’t care about your policies. Find and engage the need. Tell the candidate what you can” – Alice Sesay Pope

“Here is a powerful yet simple rule. Always give people more than they expect to get.” – Nelson Boswell

“A lot of people have fancy things to say about candidates service, but it’s just a day-in, day-out, ongoing, never-ending, persevering, compassionate kind of activity.” – Christopher McCormick

“We have entered the era of the candidates. Today, providing candidates with outstanding candidate service is essential to building loyal candidates and a long-lasting brand.” – Jerry Gregoire

“Great candidate service doesn’t mean that the candidate is always right, it means that the candidate is always honoured.” – Chris LoCurto


Candidate Focused Marketing

“The first step in exceeding your candidate’s expectations is to know those expectations.” – Roy H. Williams

“Satisfied candidate is the best source of advertisement” – G.S. Alag

“Making candidate evangelists is about creating experiences worth talking about.” – Valeria Maltoni

“No amount of advertising can repair the damage done by failing to properly address a candidate’s concern.” – Albert Schindler

“Candidates who love you will market for you more powerfully than you can possibly market yourself.” – Jeanne Bliss

“If you want to be a good brand and have a value exchange with the candidate… you’ve got to have the listening mechanisms that can catch up to the candidate as well.” – Kelly Soligon

“People don’t just buy your products that they can see; they buy your attitude that they can sense” – Roxanne Emmerich

“Just having satisfied candidates isn’t good enough anymore. If you really want a booming business, you have to create raving fans.” – Ken Blanchard

“Happy candidates are your biggest advocates and can become your most successful sales team.” – Lisa Masiello

Candidate-Focused Leadership

“Service, in short, is not what you do, but who you are. It is a way of living that you need to bring to everything you do, if you are to bring it to your candidate interactions.” – Betsy Sanders

“Successful people are always looking for opportunities to help others. Unsuccessful people are always asking, ‘What’s in it for me?’ – Brian Tracy

“Your candidate doesn’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” – Damon Richards

“When you serve the candidate better, they always return on your investment.” – Kara Parlin

“People do not care how much you know until they know how much you care.” – Teddy Roosevelt

“If you work just for money, you’ll never make it, but if you love what you’re doing and you always put the candidate first, success will be yours.” – Ray Kroc

“Being in a curiosity mindset means being fascinated by your candidates and their reactions.” – Jake Knapp

“Treat the candidate like you would want to be treated. Period!” – Brad Schweig

“Never lose sight of candidates. Always be focusing on meeting their needs and expectations.” – Sue Duris

Candidate Experience Playbook 2020: Hire with Heart

The good news is that for those organisations who genuinely want to improve candidate experience, it has become much easier to do so. It is now straightforward to give great experiences at scale while also driving down costs and improving efficiencies.

Alas, the win-win is easily attainable. In the Sapia Candidate Experience Playbook, read how organisations are hiring with heart. All done by creating positive experiences for candidates while also decreasing the workload for the hiring team.

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