6 Ways to Improve Your Next Developer’s Candidate Experience

Enjoy the candidate experience ride: helicopter experience

With so many recruiters reaching out to IT candidates, it is becoming harder to hire and retain talented individuals.

According to Recruiting Brief, over 80% of talent say that a positive or negative candidate experience can change their minds about a role or a company. Every stepping stone counts: companies have realized that the hiring process itself can have a significant impact on recruitment and employee retention.

What even is candidate experience?

“Candidate experience” refers to how candidates feel about a company’s hiring process: from the very first moment they come across an organization to the moment at which their application is accepted or rejected.

Almost every other professional suggests that your overall candidate experience is an indicator of how good your organization is. Hence, to make a strong and positive impact on the market, you need to ensure candidates are in for a pleasant ride (no bumps!).

Candidate experience: the recruitment roller coaster ride
Make sure your candidates enjoy the ride

Why is candidate experience important?

Smoothing out your candidate experience will have a positive knock-on effect on your recruitment efforts. Candidates who rate their experience positively, even if things don’t actually work out for them, are more likely to refer their friends and family. Also, they won’t shy away from reaching out to you again in the future, should another position open up.

Happy candidates won’t just tell their friends and family, they might just turn to their cyber network too. A positive online review (on social media, your career site, review websites, etc.) can convince others to apply – as much as a negative review can hamper your reputation as an employer. In fact, 64% of job seekers say they would share their negative candidate experiences and 27% say they would go as far as to actively discourage others from applying.

Best practices to improve candidate experience

Here are our top tips for improving your next developer’s candidate experience:

1. Be prepared

It is important that you get to know your candidate beforehand. If you have done your homework, you will have a fair idea about their qualifications and experience before meeting them. According to our International Developer Survey, nothing annoys developers more than “irrelevant interview questions and exercises”. If you know what programming languages the potential candidate has worked with and understand their past projects, you can ask questions that are pertinent to their area of expertise.

2. Be bold while talking about company benefits

Software developers today need to know more about their future job than just routine tasks. Computer programming (like any career!) has its ups and downs. Developing a new and exciting program is one thing but debugging a piece of haphazard code is another entirely. Hence, developers need to know if they’ll benefit from the best possible environment to perform at an optimum level. Don’t shy away from talking to them about company perks like state-of-the-art technology, annual leave, a games room (the tech team here at CodinGame are particularly fond of Super Smash Bros., for example!), etc.

3. Build trust from the start

The field of software and hardware technology evolves and warps so fast, employees tend to worry about maintaining their job. They want to work for an organization where trust is a major priority. Encourage problem-solving and team building rather than a “blame game” culture.

4. Be open to remote working

Some programmers work best in their own comfort zone. With so much advancement in network technology, it is not impossible to work from home a couple of days a week. When Stack Overflow asked developers what they valued most when considering a new job, 53.3% said remote working options were a top priority. What’s more, a majority of developers (63.9%) reported working remotely at least one day a month.

Island: developers can work from almost anywhere
Developers can work from anywhere – well, almost anywhere

Most of the time, a software developer would only need a top-notch personal computer and a great internet connection to work from home. If a candidate suggests working from home a couple of times a month, you should be open to the suggestion.

5. Bring in the boss

Software developers are trained to be experts in gathering system requirements, which is an essential part of any programming life cycle. Hence, they need to be interviewed by a person who can answer all of their questions and tell them everything about their job. One of the best ways to make this happen is to arrange a meeting with their potential boss. Meeting in a casual environment can clear any doubts they might have.

6. Don’t drag it out

Companies should always consider that a candidate is not interviewing for their role only. Indeed, many candidates want to increase their chances of landing a job by applying to multiple places at once. Applicants lose interest in organizations that fail to communicate and relay their application status. Take too much time reviewing each candidate’s case, and you risk losing them to your competitors.

Improving the quality of candidate experience should be a top priority for any organization looking to hire and retain valuable employees. Provide an excellent candidate experience to your future employees and convert every single candidate into an employer brand ambassador!


There’s a better way to test coding skills.

Picture of Nathalie Figuière

Nathalie Figuière

Nathalie is Content Manager at CodinGame. When she's not busy creating quality #techrecruitment content, chances are she’s watching Friends or snuggling her little grey cat, Moon.