Backlash Blues: Navigating the Fallout When Candidates Experience Turn Sour 

Backlash Blues: Navigating the Fallout When Candidates Experience Turn Sour 

Table of Contents

  • Ayah
  • February 7, 2024

The job market’s turning into a real battleground where every company’s fighting tooth and nail for the best talent. And in this wild, wild west of hiring, there’s a secret weapon everyone’s talking about: candidate experience—those two simple words that can make or break a business.

With information about companies all over the place and candidates able to hop from one opportunity to the next, it’s a whole new world out there. Every step of the hiring process is under the microscope, and if you want to be the company everyone’s clamoring to work for, you have to ace that candidate experience and position your company as desirable to work for.

The Domino Effect: How Bad Candidate Experiences Affect Your Business

Learn about the consequences of bad candidate experiences on your business and see how these negative encounters can impact your company’s future.


Damaged Reputation

A negative candidate experience can significantly affect your employer brand. Today’s technology and social media platforms make it simpler to publicly criticize companies, share unfavorable experiences online, and damage employer brands because of inadequate treatment.

With 72 percent of candidates sharing their negative experiences online¹ and 86 percent checking Glassdoor ratings before applying,² it’s clear that a damaged employer brand can seriously impact your company.

Candidates actively seek out this information before considering job opportunities. This also shows how a bad candidate experience can quickly spread and discourage others from applying to work at a company.

Related Reading: Iconic Illusions: Navigating Brand Reputation and the Reality of Customer Experience  


Losing Top Candidates

As we’ve seen, a bad candidate experience can drive away qualified candidates who are put off by negative reviews on sites like Glassdoor, LinkedIn, or other social media platforms.

But that’s not the end of it, candidate experience also affects how likely candidates are to recommend your company to others. When 72 percent of candidates have a negative experience with an employer, they’ll share it with friends, colleagues, and family.³ This is particularly troublesome because many companies consider referrals to be an invaluable source of potential talent.

So, losing both your reputation and candidates is like being blacklisted. A bad candidate experience doesn’t just mean missing out on talent – it damages your company’s image and makes it harder to attract new candidates in the future.


Elevating the Candidate Experience: Anticipating and Resolving Key Concerns 

Recognizing the common concerns candidates often express during the hiring process is important. In addressing these issues, you’ll turn the hiring journey into a breeze and make your company the ultimate pick for top talent.


Unclear descriptions of company culture and job requirements.

Candidates are like detectives, trying to understand the company they’re applying to and what’s expected of them in the job. To lure in the best talent, it’s vital to team up with department heads to clearly map out the role and daily tasks.

And don’t forget those job descriptions—they’re like the first chapter of a mystery novel. Writing inclusive job descriptions is also key to showing that everyone is welcome to apply and gives candidates a preview of the company culture.

But if these details are vague or inaccurate, it’s like a story with a confusing plot twist. Candidates might feel tricked, and that’s not a storyline anyone wants. It could even lead to them leaving soon after starting the job. So, do away with descriptions like

  • Fast-paced environment, must wear many hats!
  • Looking for a rockstar!
  • Responsibilities include various tasks.
  • A team player.

These tell the applicant nothing about the actual responsibilities and don’t provide insight into the specific skills or experience needed.


A complicated application process.

Another frustration for candidates arises when the job application process is excessively complicated. Given the fierce competition for top talent, having a process that’s too tricky or time-consuming is a big no-no.

Imagine being stuck on a computer or having to repeat your information such as work history– it’s a hassle! If it’s too much of a headache, a candidate might throw in the towel, abandon the effort and seek opportunities elsewhere.

With the candidate drop-off rate at 92 percent for those who click “Apply” but never complete an application,⁴ it’s clear that simplifying applications to be mobile-friendly and leveraging tech tools can ease the burden and prevent talented individuals from withdrawing their applications.

You can also utilize an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to streamline the process by automatically importing resume details from your career page to job boards and social media platforms like LinkedIn.


Interview failures.

Once a candidate hits “send” on their application, another potential area where candidates may face a negative experience is during the interview process.

These initial interactions are important as they shape candidates’ perceptions of your organization. That’s why it’s essential to ensure that the process is efficient and that candidates are regularly updated about their status.

If your interview software feels like it’s from the Stone Age, it’s time for an upgrade – nobody wants to navigate a digital labyrinth. Make sure that it’s user-friendly for candidates and that interviewers receive proper training. Maintaining consistency throughout the interview process can also minimize the chances of a negative candidate experience.

This includes thorough interviewer training and incorporating standardized interview questions.

Read More: Get Creative with Hiring Interviews: 5 Ways You Can Boost Candidate Experience 


Feeling like a number in a crowd.

Imagine being treated like just another digit in a sea of numbers during the hiring process—it’s like being stuck in a crowd with no one noticing you. Well, candidates who feel this way often end up feeling disheartened and disengaged. They might perceive the company as indifferent and uninterested in their individuality and may also be less inclined to accept a job offer.

But hey, there’s a silver lining! There are several strategies to prevent candidates from feeling like they’re lost in the shuffle:

  • Focus on quality rather than quantity in recruiting. It’s more beneficial to have a smaller but highly qualified pool of candidates than a larger group of unqualified ones.
  • Maintain open communication channels throughout the process. Candidates should never feel left in the dark about where they stand.
  • Be upfront about your company’s values and culture so candidates can self-select and assess if they align with the organization.


Irregular or unreliable communication.

The last thing that leaves a bad experience for candidates is communication. After they’ve invested time applying and interviewing for a job, it’s important to keep them in the loop about the process, gather their thoughts, and let them know if they haven’t been chosen for a role or if hiring has been put on hold.

When a company ghosts a candidate – basically, ignoring them without explanation – it reflects badly on the organization and can sour the candidate’s experience.

And despite the competitive job market, research indicates that ghosting by employers has surged. A remarkable 77 percent of job seekers claim they’ve experienced being ghosted by a potential employer since the beginning of the pandemic and 10 percent of them report being ghosted even after receiving a verbal job offer.⁵

This trend is particularly alarming when considering the experiences of job seekers. While it’s understandable that increased workloads in HR departments may contribute to this issue, it’s important to recognize that it’s no excuse.

Leaving candidates hanging risks damaging your employer brand and missing out on top talent. When it comes to interviews, transparency is key – give candidates the scoop if they’re not moving forward. So, how do you dodge this mess? Training and emphasizing the importance of communication in hiring processes are essential.

When recruiters prioritize regular communication and timely responses to inquiries, candidates are more likely to have a positive experience, even if they’re not selected for the role. Recruitment tools like ATS can also help recruiters by automating updates throughout the hiring process.

This ensures that candidates aren’t overlooked and allows recruiters to build strong relationships. Even if a candidate receives a rejection, a positive impression of the company may encourage them to apply for future opportunities within the organization.

Read More: Your 2023 Guide to Creating a Candidate Experience That Makes Your Competitors Jealous 



As a full-stack marketing agency, Allied Insight has the expertise and resources to transform your candidate experience from ordinary to extraordinary. From creating engaging content to implementing cutting-edge digital strategies, we’ll work tirelessly to create an approach that resonates with your target audience. Don’t settle for mediocre candidate experiences – reach out to us today to learn more!



1 Hobbib, Bill. “Why a Bad Candidate Experience Is Bad for Business.” LinkedIn,

2 Team, Glassdoor. “40+ Stats for Companies to Keep in Mind for 2021 – Glassdoor for Employers.” US | Glassdoor for Employers, 1 July 2021,

‌3 “Have You or Your Hiring Managers Ever Lived Your Company’s Candidate Experience?”,

‌4 “Most People—92%—Never Finish Online Job Applications.”,

‌5 Kelly, Jack. “A New Study by Indeed Confirms That Ghosting during the Hiring Process Has Hit Crisis Levels.” Forbes,


Two hands holding a gold bar in front of a green background.

Spinning Gold from Words: Can Testimonials Become Your Next Power Story?

A man sitting at a table writing on a piece of paper.

Is Your Staffing Firm Stuck in the Stone Age? Here’s How PPC Ignites Growth

Three-tier pedestal with star, automation chip, and green clock symbolizing staffing industry's blend of temporary work, AI innovations, and top performers.

Staffing Industry Insights: Temporary Work, AI Innovations, and Top Performers