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Focus:  Quality candidate experience and hiring process.

The candidate experience is one of the most important parts of the hiring process. From c-suite executives to cyber security team leaders, the candidate experience can’t be overlooked. The implications of hiring less than best candidates has a significant impact on the effectiveness of a team. Leaders can have the best strategic plan in place to defend their organization. If they do not have the right talent on their team, their efforts can fall short. With the talent shortage of experienced cyber security professionals and a large number of unfilled roles, it is important to have an excellent candidate experience.

What is so important about the candidate experience? I’m glad you asked:

78% of employers think they do a good job of communicating with candidates. But only 48% of candidates feel that way. Often, cyber security leaders rely on their internal talent acquisition teams to communicate with candidates and keep them informed of the interview process. However, internal teams are often overwhelmed by having to work on many roles at the same time. On average, corporate recruiters are tasked with 30-40 open requisitions at one time. If they have 5-10 candidates per role, they could be working with up to 400 candidates. It becomes challenging to manage every candidate’s expectations, impacting the candidate experience.

Cyber security professionals are a tight-knit group. The regularly share the latest industry techniques and trends. Similarly, they share their interviewing experiences within their network. They ask peers what they know about an organization they are considering. A majority of candidates (over 60 percent) talk about their experiences with friends and family. If they have a poor candidate experience, they will share that feedback with their network. A negative experience will drastically reduce the potential talent pool for your open position.

Given the shortage of experienced cyber security professionals, the best candidates have many choices. Applying for a position and interviewing is a very personal experience. If they do not have a positive first impression they will focus on other opportunities. A negative candidate experience not only has an immediate impact on the current role but future roles as well. A bad experience will increase the likelihood of them not considering your organization in the future.

Now that we have an understanding of the importance of the candidate experience, we need to learn how to improve it.

Let’s take a look at the benefits of excellent candidate experience. Here are a few reasons to get obsessed with your candidate experience:

  • Benefits for Your Current Team
  • Organized Process
  • Future Hiring Potential

Benefits for Your Current Team

Aligning your team with your expectations and goals is essential. Like rolling out any strategic plan, you must get your teams to buy-in. Share with them the reasons why the role is important and the benefits to them. Improving the candidate experience will help you hire better talent, lightening their workload.

Set a targeted start date to hold your hiring decision-makers accountable. Commit them to create availability to conduct the interviews and provide timely feedback. Doing this on the front end will improve your time to hire.

Organized Process

Follow up with your candidates to let them know where you’re at in the process. Make sure to manage their expectations. Take on a limited number of searches at any one given time to ensure you’re providing an excellent candidate experience. Make weekly status update calls keeps the process manageable.

Make sure you personally email or call each candidate that you reject to thank them for their time and consideration. This small step can be the difference in having them consider a role in the future with the organization or not. Often a candidate might not be a direct fit for the role they are interviewing on but might be a better fit for another. Again, if you do not provide a quality candidate experience the door is likely closed in the future.

Future Hiring Potential:

Candidates that have a positive experience are more than twice as likely to recommend the hiring organization to others, compared to those who do not. As a result, you increase the odds of getting referred to qualified professionals within their network. Referrals tend to result in higher performers and professionals who stay longer with the company.

Improving your candidate experience paves the way for improved quality of hire in the future. 80 percent of candidates are more likely to apply again if they already had a positive impression of the hiring organization. With 15+ years of experience in recruiting, I have had many clients request I approach a previously interviewed candidate.


By focusing on your candidate experience, your offer to hire ratio will improve. Candidates who are satisfied with their candidate experiences are 38 percent more likely to accept a job offer. These facts and statistics clearly demonstrate the importance of obsessing about your candidate experience.

Be on the lookout for the next couple of posts on strategies to improve your candidate experience. To improve the quality of hire.

If your an executive in cyber security and open to other opportunities here are some helpful tips, tricks, and trends from an executive consultants perspective.  Feel free to reach out directly to discuss your preferences and opportunities that might fit.

As always please share, like, or comment below if you found this beneficial. If you disagree that’s great too! We’re always open to learning and enjoy discussing these topics with others.

Lastly, if you’re ready to secure the talent you need to fill your cyber security positions please set a needs analysis call.  We look forward to serving you!

Be secure, safe and happy!

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