The Psychology of Candidate Decision-Making: What Makes Them Say Yes? 

The Psychology of Candidate Decision-Making: What Makes Them Say Yes?

Table of Contents

  • Hannah
  • May 26, 2023

You can influence a candidate’s final decision to accept a job offer in ways that resonate with them. These may include having their values align with that of the company, the benefits employees receive, the opportunities you provide to upskill, and more. All of these they can realize even before meeting with a recruiter or hiring manager for the company they are eyeing.

By understanding what a candidate is looking for, recruiters can hasten their decision-making process and make them say “yes” to fill the vacancies in their companies. Let’s look at the psychological factors that influence candidate decision-making.

Aspects That Impact a Candidate’s Decision 

To understand your candidates and help you cater to them better, let’s have a look at the channels they go through to get to know you before, during, and after interviews. These factors are what pushes a person to click that “apply” button or to send you an email with their resume attached to it.


1. Discovering Your Brand

Before connecting with your candidates, they must first find you. This could be through social networks, hiring ads, or word of mouth.

Ask yourself what they should see or hear first about you and how they would feel seeing or hearing it. Should they be inspired or intrigued? Would a posting make them want to click a link or read through an entire page? This is how you’ll understand your applicants: by giving them a window to view you first.


2. Researching More About Your Brand and Work Environment

Once you have caught their attention, an applicant will start scouring the internet for more information about you. They can visit your website, career pages, or your social platforms. They might even go through company reviews to see what your previous employers have to say about you. What do you think would they see on those pages?

It would be best for you to look through these sites and find out what is displayed about your brand because this can impact their decision to apply for a position at your business or not.


3. Deciding to Apply

Get your applicants excited to apply. This is one of the most important phases of their decision-making.

Be as fast as you can in contacting them and starting their unique candidate experience with you. You wouldn’t want to miss out on the opportunity to hire the best candidate. Remember that applicants are always applying for multiple roles just to be safe.

If there are a few applicants that you think are great but won’t fit the role you are hiring for, add them to your talent pool. Through this, you can always reach out to them in the future for roles they would fit better.


4. Your Communication Strategies

Candidates may lose interest if you don’t communicate with them regularly. Keep them excited through the interview process by updating them promptly.

Don’t leave them hanging if they don’t pass your qualifications. Hiring managers should provide them with immediate and meaningful feedback. They will appreciate that you didn’t keep them waiting and this will help them move on to their next application. ¹


Recruitment Strategies that Work 


1. Make your candidates your online targets.

Since candidates love online spaces, why don’t you treat them as your target audience? Attract new applicants through boosted ads online and through online groups.

Highlight your advocacies and charity work to build a connection with their values. Post about your charity work, if you have any, and emphasize how your products and services can improve specific lifestyles.

You can also include postings of your company events. Show them that there are real people genuinely enjoying your work environment. If you have recent training programs to share, those should be posted about as well.


2. Improve your online presence.

People usually look for well-known companies when considering where to submit their resumes and portfolios. Define your corporate brand by improving your online presence.

If your company isn’t as known as others, make sure that your website is updated. Your “About Us” page is the most important part. Make sure that it includes your values, mission, vision, and an overview of your products or services.

Include the reasons why people may want to work with you. Ask yourself what your brand does best for your customers and clients.

On your social media pages, make sure that the links to your website and other pages are active.


3. Respect your candidates the way you do customers.

Demonstrate professionalism that reflects your brand through a comfortable recruitment process. You can do this by limiting how long you will be interviewing each candidate. Let them know about the duration of the interview and follow it through.

If you’re having an on-site interview, you can give them brochures about the company’s products and services, and even some refreshments. Show them where the toilets are and ask if they would like to go first.

For online interviews, you may provide video resources or PDF files they can read through.

Create a structured interview full of open-ended interview questions that can help them show their soft skills. This can make your decision-making easier by letting you know if the applicant can fit in with the current teams on board.


4. Encourage past applicants to reapply.

Always keep the details of your past applicants. There may come a time when you would need to reach out to them for new positions in your company.

You may notice that some of them have worked in different industries or have flexible skill sets. These are the candidates you can consider for other roles they may be interested in. Try reaching out to them and see if they are willing to be interviewed again. ²


5. Take advantage of niche groups.

Posting on niche Facebook groups, forums, and hiring boards can help you get to the right talent network fast. Through them, you are more guaranteed to get in touch with the people who have the right skill sets you are looking for.

For example, if you’re looking for a layout artist, you may join an art and design group where you can post about your vacancy. If you’re looking for tech talent, you may post on websites that feature tech work. For healthcare, post on groups for healthcare-related groups or sites. ³


6. Gather negative feedback online and learn from them as well.

There may be a few people that may have been upset about your previous interviews and they’ve gladly let you know about it. They probably sent you an email, post about it online, or even reported your careers page. If you find any of these, learn from them. Understand what made them upset and correct those through your new strategies.

It could be that you were taking too long to reply, or that you never got back to them about their application results. Irate and disappointed applicants are like customers. They have a lot to say that may help you improve your hiring process.


Increase your chances of hiring top talent through effective hiring decisions. 

Your hiring procedures that are based on how your potential candidates think can help you elevate your brand by showing you what attracts them. Always be mindful of your communication and interview channels to keep them connected.



Make your brand stand out in online spaces with the help of Allied Insight, a Full Stack Marketing Agency. The team can help your brand be more relevant and noticeable to your candidates through Brand Continuity & Design Assessment, Complete Competitive Analysis, and more.

Talk to us!



1 Webster, Jason. “Psychology of the Candidate Experience.” Indeed, 22 Jan. 2015,

2 Leonard, Kimberlee. “10 Effective Recruitment Strategies In 2023.” Forbes, 17 Mar. 2023,

3 Shweta. “Where To Post Jobs In 2023.” Forbes, 30 Dec. 2022,


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