candidate experience

Are You Driving Candidates Away? A Positive Candidate Experience Can Make All the Difference!

In this booming economy and hot job market, providing a great “candidate experience” is more important than ever.  In fact, according to CareerBuilder, 68% of candidates think the way they are treated during the hiring process is a direct reflection of the organization and influences their decision on whether to stay or go.  For that reason, the candidate experience is currently one of the most highly regarded talent acquisition topics in senior living and other major industries.

But what exactly is the candidate experience?  Basically, the candidate experience is how job seekers perceive you as an employer and react to your sourcing, recruiting, interviewing, hiring, and on-boarding processes. It’s usually the deciding factor whether or not your candidate takes the job.

What’s aggravating senior living candidates most these days?

-Not hearing back from the hiring manager before or after the interview

-Inaccurate job description

-Rude interruptions during interview such as taking call or texting

-Lengthy interview process

-Conflicting information about the job or company

What are the ingredients to creating a great candidate experience? Here are 7 essential ones:

  1. Write Clear Job Description. Attract the right candidates by knowing what you’re hiring for and what duties, experience, and education are essential in order to be successful in the role.  Also, separate your ‘wish list’ from the ‘must-haves’ when it comes to traits since there’s no candidate who can meet every single requirement.
  2. Make Your Career Page Prominent & Easy.   Careers pages are often buried in obscure sections of company websites. Make yours as easy to find as possible. Also, provide clear instructions on how to apply and submit resumes. Be sure to have an automated reply that acknowledges receipt of resume once submitted.
  3. Use Mobile & Modern Ways to Reach Candidates:  Communicate with job candidates the way they like to be in touch. Today, there’s a number of ways besides a phone call including emails, texts, chat boxes and video chat such as Skype.
  4. Shorten Interview Process:  Taking too long in scheduling interviews or stretching interviews out and involving too many people, can cause you to lose your ideal candidate.  Instead, consider conducting first interviews over the phone or video chat, then decide on your best candidates and immediacalltoy schedule face-to-face interviews. Once completed, narrow down your final selection of candidates and schedule next steps.
  5. Have Friendly and Warm Reception Waiting.  A warm greeting when candidates arrive for their interview, can go a long way. A friendly smile, offer of water or coffee, ushering them to a seat, etc. Some organizations even have a lobby pedestal stand where they post the candidate’s name with a welcome message.
  6. Provide a Look Inside Organization: Provide good insight into the role and organizational culture so you attract only candidates that are more likely to succeed in the position. Show them what it’s actually like inside your doors and how best to perform the job in your organization.
  7. Communicate with Candidates. Promptly advise candidates of your thoughts and ask for their thoughts after the first interview. Be sure to notify them if they are no longer considered and always provide feedback as to why.

Since the senior living job market and job market as a whole has shifted focus from employers to job candidates, it’s becoming increasingly important to concentrate on the candidate experience in your hiring process.  In fact, candidates now expect better treatment if an organization wants them on board.




Julie Rupenski is the Founder, President & CEO of MedBest, opening the doors in 2001. Since that time, Julie has gained national recognition for providing top talent solutions exclusively for the Senior Living Industry. Her specialties include filling C-Suite, Vice President, Regional, and Property level positions.

Julie has an in-depth knowledge of the Senior Living Industry since she previously worked in operations for both Senior Housing and Senior Living. Today, Julie makes it her personal and professional mission to place qualified people in health care positions where they have the greatest impact.

Julie earned her degree in Gerontology at the University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida and continues to cultivate her career through senior living conferences, forums, trade shows, and expos.

Julie’s industry articles and interviews have been published in Provider Magazine, Argentum Quarterly, LeadingAge Magazine, Florida Health Care Association, Florida Assisted Living Association, Florida Senior Living Association, LeadingAge Florida, LeadingAge Indiana, Pennsylvania Health Care AssociationOregon Health Care Association, and Virginia Assisted Living Association.

Contact Julie Rupenski at / 727-526-1294.



MedBest is a national Executive Search Firm exclusive to the Senior Living Industry established in 2001.  We recruit and acquire quality executive talent for all types of Senior Living facilities across the US including Assisted Living, Continuing Care Retirement Communities, Independent Living, Memory Care, and Skilled Nursing Homes.

For top talent or to find your next position, contact MedBest at or 727 526-1294.

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