Recruiting Leaders – Have You Built a Candidate Journey Map Yet?


With no dearth of choices, the best candidates today are no different from your best customers. They discover new opportunities through personal and social networks, expect personalized experiences and respond to brands whose values resonate with them.

That’s why leading HR and business leaders have recently looked to their marketing team to understand how to scale and deliver experiences that delight candidates. From employer branding and the power of personalization, to using social media and email as channels to engage with their audience, some of the most powerful recruitment tactics have been borrowed from marketing.

That’s why it makes sense that recruitment should also look at creating candidate journeys on the same lines as customer journeys.

But first...what is a Customer Journey Map?

In order to help customers make a purchase, marketing teams put themselves in their customer’s shoes, curate the ideal experience they want customers to go through, and then align all sales and marketing efforts to create a communication strategy that ensures customers have a delightful, and singular experience.  

When creating this strategy, it is critical to first understand their potential customer - Why would they buy the product or service? What would stop them from making the purchase? How long does it take them to make a decision, and what questions would they have?

That’s exactly what a customer journey map does.

According to Salesforce, a customer journey map is a visual representation of all the touchpoints a customer has with your company. The map helps you understand how your customer interacts with your brand at every stage of the sales funnel — and how you can improve those interactions and make them more efficient.

Why Should Talent Leaders Create Candidate Journeys?

Marketing Research from the Aberdeen Group reveals that organizations that use a mapping program to manage buyer and customer journeys average a 79% increase in cross-sell and upsell revenue.

With candidate drop-off rates increasing at an alarming rate, it makes sense to look to marketing once again to address this challenge.

A candidate journey map is a visual representation of the different stages your candidate goes through as part of your recruiting funnel and is designed to help recruiters understand the emotional journey that the candidate is going through.



For example, when ecommerce giant Myntra’s Talent Acquisition team wanted to improve their offer-to-join ratio, they knew they had to build a relationship with candidates through the entire recruitment process: 

“We analyzed all touch points and tried to see how these touch-points can be made very impactful irrespective of whatever the end outcome is. We didn’t want to just hard sell Myntra, we wanted people to know about what Myntra stands for in terms of culture, values, our mission and vision

- Mithun K, Talent Acquisition at Myntra

Candidate journey maps can help with:

Building an Emotional Connection with your Candidates

In his book Descartes Error, Antonio Damasio, Professor of Neuroscience at the University of Southern California, argues that emotion is a necessary ingredient to almost all decisions. When we are confronted with a decision, emotions from previous, related experiences affix values to the options we are considering. These emotions create preferences which lead to our decisions. 

Similarly, in recruiting, candidates go through a range of emotions from excited to being anxious to feeling curious to feeling skeptical or satisfied. The way a recruiter engages with candidates during the different stages of the hiring funnel can often make or break an offer.

Creating an Empathetic Candidate Experience

Candidate Journeys help recruiters understand what a candidate is going through at each stage of the hiring process. On the other hand, candidate experience designs what recruiters want candidates to feel. Candidate experience is essentially the solution to all the potential challenges in a candidate journey.

For example, if your employer brand does not incite excitement, you need to create a candidate experience that will encourage more candidates to consider your company.

We wanted to deliver a unique experience while interacting with Myntra. We want to get to a point where when someone sees the email they know it’s from Myntra and that distinguishes it from the rest, it could be in terms of the design, the quirkiness of content used or anything else that talks about how the culture is and how we value our candidates.”

Mithun K, Talent Acquisition at Myntra

Optimizing Processes at Every Stage

Candidate journeys also give you the ability to anticipate how candidates may react under different circumstances, identify operational inefficiencies and make quick changes to improve candidate experience.

We’ve found that when hiring managers engage with candidates in the post offer stage, the drop-off ratios reduce and candidate conversion ratios increase.

Predicting Recruiting Success

By creating a scalable and repeatable process, candidate journeys offer a dynamic feedback loop. As mentioned above, insights like - knowing that a Hiring Manager’s involvement decreases candidate drop-off, or that a long application process increases candidate drop-off at the top of the funnel, give recruiters a holistic perspective into the different stages of the pipeline and therefore enable predictability in hiring cycles.

Outbound All Stars Recruiter Webinar Series

We first explored Candidate Journeys as part of The Outbound All Stars Recruiter series - a five-part webinar program designed to help recruiters master the art and science of Outbound Hiring. From designing business-aligned hiring processes to leveraging talent market insights, and from optimizing your sourcing strategies to unlocking the power of your employer brand, join us as we uncover the processes that are at the heart of a successful Outbound Hiring program.

Outbound All Stars

Recruiting Outbound Hiring
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