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Hiring Journey: How to Create a Great Candidate Journey

What is a hiring journey? how to include inclusion in hiring and candidate journey? Hiring journey tips.

When companies and their recruiting teams formulate a solid candidate journey, applicants will have a great candidate experience that can help cement their application to your workforce.

There’s a famous quote that goes: “The journey is more important than the destination”; One’s progress means more than your results because how you progress will influence your results. This quote rings true for both real-life situations and company hiring procedures.

A candidate’s hiring journey is full of steps that can make or break their final acceptance of your job offer to their job orientation. Their whole experience can instantly shape their opinion of your brand and may even share these experiences with other aspiring applicants.

Thus, recruiting teams must develop an understanding of how to develop a good candidate journey to provide positive application experiences for all their future job-seekers.

What is a hiring journey?

A hiring journey is the process of a candidate from their first knowledge of your job opening to the actual hiring and onboarding to their new position. It contains a lot of steps an applicant may face even before they apply for the vacancy.

The hiring journey has a massive impact on the candidate’s decision to pursue applying for your company. If the applicant has only experienced negative encounters in their journey, they may not follow through to the hiring and orientation phases.

On the other hand, when a candidate experiences a positive hiring journey with you, they will complete their hiring process and are excited to start working with you. They may even share their experience online, which can also be essential for other aspiring applicants to apply for you.

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The major steps of a good hiring journey

The hiring journey can be broken down into a progression of steps. Contrary to common beliefs, it does not start with a candidate’s application submission. Each step is a critical and crucial role that, when not executed or looked over carefully, could significantly impact the hiring rate of the company or even its branding.


One of the most critical steps of a good hiring journey is letting the public know of your open job positions. How can people apply for a job they were not aware was available?

Therefore, a candidate’s hiring journey begins with their first encounter with your job posting.

It’s ideal to have your job postings reach all corners of the internet to better garner more interested applicants. This can be through job board postings or a company’s social media pages. It can also be through articles written for the company for promotional purposes or even through referrals.

A good job ad is a key to reeling in the attention of possible applicants. Job posting descriptions must be clear and concise enough to provide adequate information about the vacancy. They can contain keywords to help guide candidates tailor their credentials, like resumes, for the job.


Now that the candidate is aware of the job opening, they must be interested enough to check out the available position.

Companies must build a positive employer brand to garner the interest of potential applicants. They can do so through many channels: their social media pages, articles, reviews and feedback, and even through word-of-mouth. Many job seekers will review your brand’s standing through these outlets to get the first impression of your company.

When aspiring candidates only encounter negative anecdotes of other candidates with your company, they may feel discouraged to pursue their application. Corporations must then maintain a positive brand image to retain candidate interest. Recruiting teams and managers can do this by being continually aware of how they associate with each applicant.


This step in the hiring journey requires the applicant to fill out forms and submit required credentials to be inputted into the hiring team’s systems. The use of recruiting software helps narrow down your candidate pool through the use of keyword filters in these applications. Many companies also use supplemental questions to weed out candidates further.


The selection process of the hiring journey continues after the application step. With all the information gathered from the previous step, the hiring team learns more about the candidate through interviews and tests. This step helps the applicant get more of a feel of the company and envision themselves working for the corporation.

Final candidates are selected through interviews or tests, depending on the position sought after.

Being transparent with the candidate will matter in this step. Encourage the candidate to ask questions if they have them, and build rapport with them to encourage good communication.

Pre-boarding and Onboarding

Now that the candidate has passed through the screening, interviewing, and testing phases of the journey, they’re ready to go on with pre-boarding and onboarding.

The applicant’s journey doesn’t stop when they’ve accepted the job offer. It is essential to orient and welcome them to the company to get them excited and energized to work with you. This scenario is also known as pre-boarding, where you build a good relationship with your new employees before they even begin their first day of work.

On the other hand, onboarding is preparing and letting them settle into their new position in the new workplace. This phase includes the official training for the job and learning about different aspects from executive and team introductions, setting up benefits paperwork and new hire paperwork, and so much more.

The best practices for a great hiring and candidate journey

Now that the major steps of a hiring journey have been discussed, improving that step-by-step procedure is next.

Improving the hiring journey to become more candidate-centric and finessing minor details gives a higher chance of attracting and selecting the right persons for the job.

Be candidate-centric

Since you’re looking for job seekers, it’s essential to focus on the potential candidate’s needs and experience.

Making the candidate journey candidate-centric means to refit the application process, the information provided to the candidate, and interview scheduling to the candidate’s needs.

Being candidate-centric does not stop creating a better hiring journey but also builds long-term relationships with active and passive applicants.  This shows that even if they are not hired, they will continue to interact with the company.

The candidate’s needs can be patterned after Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. The physiological needs of food, rest, and water are at the bottom of the pyramid. It is followed by security, friends, and relationships, feeling of accomplishment, and attaining one’s potential at the top.

Many candidates in this modern era are looking for more than just a job to pay for their daily, constant needs. Following the pyramid of needs, candidates are looking for a deeper purpose, flexibility, safety, and healthcare in their job roles. When companies can meet these needs early on, they’re rewarded with a steady and easy-going candidate journey.

Use recruiting technologies

In the digital age with technology-savvy candidates, you may want to consider leveraging the latest recruiting software and platform solutions to improve the candidate journey of the candidates. Here are just some advantages of using recruiting technologies.

  1. It speeds up the screening process
  2. It improves productivity
  3. It expands your database
  4. It creates a pleasant candidate experience
  5. There’s reduced unconscious bias
  6. There’s better communication between teams
  7. Recruiting becomes a tactical talent advisor role

Connect with the candidate

In all aspects of life, communication is important.

There should be a constant correspondence between the employer and the applicant to decrease time to hire gaps. The hiring team must commit to the timeline they’ve set with an applicant, from replying to emails right away or even just sending them feedback throughout their process. Applicants’ interest in applying for the company will deflate when promises aren’t kept.

To better connect with your applicants, communication should work as a two-way street. Letting them ask their questions throughout the process gives you a window of what is important to them. Being honest and transparent with them also builds their vision of envisioning to work in the company.

Companies can ask their candidates for feedback throughout the hiring process for constant improvement. Listening to this feedback and comments give a different perspective for the hiring team to adjust their hiring approach better for future applicants.

Build a strong, positive company branding

In this age where many have the freedom to share their experiences online, about 72% of applicants have shared less-than-ideal experiences with companies. There’s also a great possibility of these posts spreading quickly and even going viral in some social media spaces.

This notion cements the idea that companies should be careful to maintain a positive image on and off the internet.

When an applicant is interested in applying for your company, most do their research first to learn more about the corporation. They may look through your social media pages and even come upon posts that talk of their experience with your corporation. This phenomenon can sway their opinion of your company and factor in their impression of your brand.

One key to building a strong and positive company branding is to have a clear vision of the company’s purpose. These ideas can be the heart of your social media posts. With that clear delineation of the purpose, you can set what you want to achieve and how you will achieve it.

Many applicants also visit the career page of your website after learning about a job vacancy. This page can show off the available job positions and the values your company believes in.

It also lets them visualize themselves as part of your workforce. This page can also show how working for your company can help enrich and enhance their lives.

Finesse the application process

Companies and their hiring teams must grasp what they’re looking for in their potential recruits and reflect that on their job postings. By doing this, it can save both the hiring team and the applicant from wasting time.

Hiring teams should keep this part of the hiring journey straightforward, easily accessible, and hassle-free for the applicant. If the candidate finds it challenging to submit their credentials on your website or through your preferred method, they may feel discouraged to continue the process.

One method to finesse your application process is to have an employee of the company try it out. By doing this, hiring teams can pinpoint the problems your potential candidates can stumble upon and improve them before they can even experience them.

Refining the application process can be done in many ways. Some of these are through removing unnecessary fields to answer, broadening the file formats of resumes your website can accept, or even just being mobile-friendly.

It’s critical to give the candidate some control in their employment process as well. You can have the applicants self-schedule their interviews based on the interviewer’s availability, which can cut back from back-and-forth emails and help save time.

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How to include diversity in the hiring journey

Diversity in the workforce brings better results and even a more innovative and creative crew of workers. While we know diversity is important, people from different backgrounds of race, gender, religion, and even socio-economic levels have different experiences and ways to handle subjects and instances, giving your team much more options to work with and settle over.

Diversity can be found through two categories: inherent and acquired diversity. Inherent diversity is linked to demographic factors like race, age, and gender, while acquired diversity is tied to something people can develop or hone, like diversity training, knowledge, experience, and skills.

Including diversity in your workforce increases cultural and language awareness, more varied candidate pools, and an increased variety of experience and skills in your team. Here are some ways on how to include diversity in the hiring journey:

Write better job postings

Another method to increase your hiring range is to write better job descriptions that are not biased over one group over others.

Many reasons why applicants turn away from job vacancies are from using certain words and phrases on position narratives. For example, a job description that uses more masculine-leaning terms like dominate or ambitious will deter female candidates from applying for the position.

On the other hand, employers should feel free to write job ads that target a specific demographic that’s less sought after. This kind of recruiting strategy can boost the brand’s image of wanting a more diverse cast. These job ads should explain why they’re needed in your company and how they would jive well with your workforce.

Increase your range of hiring in the screening phase

Your screening process must show no intentional or unconscious bias to have a more diverse pool of candidates. The screening procedure must not factor in a specific race, age, religion, or any other personal characteristics and only focus on the skills and expertise of the individual.

If your hiring process utilizes recruitment software to screen submitted applications, only use it to weed out applicants by using keywords of their skills or accomplishments. This software is a tool to help you narrow down your pool of candidates solely based on the criteria the hiring team puts up, so employers must always be mindful of the keywords to input.

Recruiting teams must always double-check the results their software came up with. There are instances of highly-qualified applicants that have not used the correct keywords or even less-qualified applicants that have stuffed the keywords in their applications at first glance.

Showcase diversity in your team

A way to attract diversity to your team is to showcase the current diversity in your team or your aspirations for a more diverse one.

By building a company brand that is inclusive to people from all walks of life and values their employees, these individuals will be interested in a workplace that accepts them with no judgment.

Social media is a powerful tool for this strategy. This action plan can be done by sharing stories or images of your diversified cast of employees on social media pages and how your company culture is unique from other businesses. When companies genuinely value these ideas are portrayed and represented organically, these candidates will seek you out.

The bottom line

A candidate’s hiring journey starts even before they submit their application to you. It starts from acknowledging the vacant job position to learning more about your company, up to their acceptance of your job offer and their official onboarding.

It’s critical for any business to refine and improve the hiring journey of their potential applicants to attain a solid line-up of aspiring recruits. By optimizing the candidate’s journey to be candidate-centric, applicants will be more interested and invigorated in being a part of your workforce.

Having a more diverse workforce is also an excellent way to strengthen the workforce and increase would-be employees. When companies show that they genuinely value workers of different backgrounds, companies can achieve a more creative, innovative, and united team of employees.

Hiring Journey

Tony Kai

What is a Hiring Journey or Candidate Journey?
Tips for creating a good hiring journey

What is a Hiring Journey?

A hiring journey is the process of a candidate from their first knowledge of your job opening to the actual hiring and onboarding to their new position. It contains a lot of steps an applicant may face even before they apply for the vacancy. More on Diversity for Social Impact

What are the components of a good Candidate Hiring Journey?

How to include diversity in the hiring journey

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About the author


Brian is the Managing Diversity & Inclusion Lead (Chief Diversity Officer) at Diversity.Social. Brian has years of experience working at Fortune 500 companies in diverse environments and building diverse teams in Asian, Europe, America, and Canada.

Brian believes that building diverse and inclusive working environments isn't a luxury for resourceful organizations only, it should be leveraged and start from the grassroots.

Brian is a serial entrepreneur and has founded high technology ventures throughout his career. Diversity Leadership Directory