7 Do's for Improving Candidate Experience
in Developer Hiring

Candidate experience means how candidates feel about your company once they experience your hiring process. But wait, there’s more to this. There is an increased focus on delivering great candidate experiences. Especially if you’re looking to hire the top technical talent who is very much in demand, a great candidate experience will be a game-changer. A great candidate experience will make candidates feel good about your company. It’ll make them remember your team’s interactions.

Why should you care about the candidate experience?

According to Kelly Services, 95% of the candidates are more likely to reapply if they had a great candidate experience. This eventually helps you improve your employer brand and opens many more doors for your hiring teams.

A Glassdoor report says that the quality of their hires can improve by up to 70% through a good candidate experience! Better hires mean better talent densities and better culture.

These 7 points advise what you can do as a talent or technology leader looking to deliver a great experience to its candidates.

  1. Have an unambiguous job description
  2. Adapt best remote hiring practices.
  3. Value candidates’ time and share timely updates.
  4. Go the extra mile. Nurture your top candidates.
  5. Share pre-interview preparation material.
  6. Evaluate the micro experiences of candidates in your hiring process.
  7. Use the right technologies and keep it fair.

1. Have an unambiguous job description

Use simple language and keep job descriptions as jargon-free as possible. Segment good-to-haves and must-haves in your job description to avoid candidates from bouncing. Job descriptions with an endless or unreasonable list of must-have requirements turn off candidates. They might deter several competent individuals who might think they do not meet every single requirement.

It’s best to have the essential information first. Mention the location, Visa requirements, salary, or details that are imperative for hiring a candidate. Communicate your company’s values and achievements as that’s the first touchpoint of the candidate experience. 

Ensure that your job title matches the job description and the role. That will directly affect the number of people reading your job descriptions or dropping after seeing misalignment in the expectations conveyed through your company’s job descriptions.

2. Adapt best remote hiring practices.

While the world has transitioned to a remote-first culture, you must set up a process that allows your teams to evaluate candidates from wherever they are. With so much advancement in network technology, it is convenient to do so. You can assess candidates using online end-to-end technical assessment platforms that allow you to screen and interview candidates in technology.

Using such tools would increase the number of candidates in your hiring funnel and improve the candidate experience as they wouldn’t have to travel for on-site hiring processes.

Make sure to use the right tools that help you prevent cheating while you are hiring remotely. Further, your should be available for the developers in case they come across any hurdles. Having a platform that has a simple UX and unambiguous problem statements will help with this.

3. Value candidates’ time and share timely updates.

If you’re on the hunt for a new candidate to fill a job position, do everything to save the candidates’ time. One of the top complaints job seekers have is that employers are disrespectful of their time applying and don’t bother to share the results timely or respond to follow-ups. 

You should address this on priority. Even if you’re an early-stage startup and don’t have a dedicated talent acquisition professional, it applies to you. The least you can do is evaluate candidates on a timely basis. Send out an email as soon as you have the list of rejected candidates. Several tools can help you with this. 

For example, using a powerful technical assessments platform would reduce your time to fill and enable you to rank the candidates as per their hands-on skills. You can easily shortlist candidates for interviews and identify the candidates you won’t consider further. 

Taking the time to let applicants know their status is the first step a company can take to build open communication and goodwill with job seekers, as mentioned in this Forbes article

4. Go the extra mile. Nurture your top candidates.

Automated technical assessments via coding challenges, AI/ML challenges, or project-based assignments are great ways to set up relevant tests. It is advised that you talk to people on the phone before asking them to take a test or an assignment to get maximum value.

This becomes more important when hiring for roles like Ruby-on-Rails or Deep Learning, where top-notch talent is scarce. Each interaction with potential candidates offers an opportunity to leave a lasting positive (or negative) impression. 

In a remote-first world, your hiring teams must be empathetic towards the candidates, as system or network issues can hamper anyone’s test experience. 
Be willing to support them and give them an opportunity if you can. Lastly, you should be ready to give and take feedback. As per this SHRM article, LinkedIn data suggests that 94% of your candidates want to provide you with feedback and receive feedback.

5. Share pre-interview preparation material.

The goal of an interview process should be to figure out how to evaluate the best version
of a candidate. Then you should see if it aligns with your requirements.

A highly structured and consistent hiring process where both interviewers and interviewees are updated about the process helps. It starts with documenting these processes to be communicated further.

Google sends out a bucket list of learning resources and instructions to help the candidate prepare better as a standard practice for developer hiring. This not only acts as a level playing field but sets the expectations right.

Furthermore, suppose the interviews are happening remotely. In that case, companies should strive to make the remote interviewing experience almost identical to what used to be an onsite, in-person interview and use the right tool to make this happen.

6. Evaluate the micro experiences of candidates in your hiring process.

Candidate experience, in reality, is a journey comprised of all the “micro experiences” that they go through from beginning to end. The topic is often viewed as a whole. Experts, however, suggest that it is not the best approach to take.
Recruitment is a process consisting of multiple touchpoints such as sourcing, technical screening, etc. Each one of them affects the overall experience. A candidate cannot have a favorable experience if you only address one part of the process.

We work with several HR leaders at Skillspace.ai and have noticed that many hiring teams dive deeper to understand minute interactions. This includes the IDE, the signup flow, and the overall user experience of the assessment platform. Only then do they adopt our platform.

A startup or enterprise can surprise a candidate with one great experience, but the chances are that your hiring process will not deliver what you want. The hiring teams should set the best end-to-end processes and give the candidates a great experience by ensuring that the communication is timely, empathetic, and personalized.

7. Use the right technologies and keep it fair.

Using a powerful technical assessments platform, you can automate the end-to-end screening process to a considerable extent. Let candidates know if they are shortlisted for the interviews on time.

Further, it’s important to note that developers are highly engaged in online communities. It’s no surprise that you’d find companies being praised or hiring challenges being criticized for poor platform experience or leaked questions that made it unfair—all of these impact the experience and the employer brand.

Select a platform with the right set of proctoring features that you can adjust as per your needs. For example, on Skillspace.ai, we offer the liberty to choose the extent of proctoring in hiring challenges.

Every proctoring feature hampers the test-taker experience to a certain degree. So pick the right balance.


Candidate experience is not something that you do just for goodwill. It directly impacts your employer brand, which has ripple effects. Positive or negative? – It is based on the experiences you’re delivering.
You need to zoom in and analyze the developers’ journey in your hiring pipeline to be good at it. Picking the right tools and processes will go a long way in enabling you to have a fair process and timely communication.

Want a set up a consultative call with Skillspace.ai?

If you’re looking to optimize the experience for your potential engineering and AI hires, we’ll be glad to help. You can request a demo here. Our team of experts will be happy to share case studies, learnings, and about our platform only if you’re interested.