7 Ways To Personalize Your Recruitment: The Candidate Experience

The Candidate experience is often something neglected in our weekly schedule. Yet the candidate’s recruitment experience can play an important role in attracting purple squirrels to your team. Many organizations can go years without revitalizing their candidate experience, but today there is good news. I would like to share with you seven ways to revitalize and personalize the candidate experience at your organization.

Room Service

Hours before your candidate arrives in town, take a personalized “welcome packet” to their hotel. You may include items such as a company t-shirt, welcome card, printed directions to the office and a gift card for a pre-interview coffee. It is also a nice touch to have the receptionist note on their computer system to have the receptionist that will check-in your candidate wish them “good luck”.


All of us realize that candidates are already nervous, so why add the pressure of finding a parking spot? This simple idea involves ordering a “Spot reserved for: ” sign which can be written on with dry-erase markers. When the candidate pulls into the lot, they will immediately see a parking spot in the first row reserved with their name on it. Talk about VIP treatment!

The Waiting Game

Instead of having your candidate awkwardly wait for you, take this time to ease their anxiety. I developed a one-page info sheet which informs candidates of the basics of our interviews. This included what free beverages they can order before their interview and where the restrooms are located should nature call. That 15-minute pre-interview window of awkwardly waiting is an excellent opportunity to put your candidate at ease and remind them we are all human.

Local Pride

In addition to our info sheet, we also set out a “Welcome to Seattle” tourism booklet.  The booklet is an excellent way to highlight what the town has to offer. You can take a free stack of these booklets at airports, hotels, and local visitor centers. Tomorrow look in your lobby, are the magazines there describing how great the other parts of the world are or showing your candidate how great your area is?

On Display

The lobby is an excellent opportunity to highlight your organization’s achievements. Just as universities proudly display awards and trophies in their lobbies, your organization should highlight their achievements. If your organization has won an industry award, is that plaque in the lobby?  Your candidate should immediately feel a culture of recognition and growth the moment they step foot in the door.

The QA Rule

Interviews are as much of an opportunity for the candidate to learn about your company as it is for you to learn the candidate.  The simple rule is at least 25% of every interview should be set aside to let the candidate run the show. Their questions will not only give them more insight into your company but will also give you insight into their motivation to join your team.

Grand Tour

A candidate’s first time seeing the office should not be on their first day. I was once given a Skype tour of an employer in Washington State while I was working in Japan. Be creative and show your candidates the atmosphere of the office. These tours allow your candidates to determine if your workplace will be a good fit for them.

Ultimately you want to personalize the candidate experience by showing all that your organization can offer. A little bit of effort can go a long way in attracting the coveted purple squirrels to your team. Share the ways you are personalizing the candidate experience at your company by tweeting @T2bradley & @TheHRGazette.

By Taylor Bradley

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Author: Taylor Bradley

Taylor Bradley SHRM-CP is a global HR Business Partner for the mid-sized Seattle startup. Taylor’s career has taken him to approximately forty countries where he has encountered a wide range of approaches to talent management and employee engagement. Taylor draws upon his international experience to provide innovative solutions to workplace challenges while actively advocating for the HR industry. You can connect with Taylor on LinkedIn or Twitter @T2Bradley

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