Talent strategist Stephanie Cramer’s 3 quick hits to boost your candidate experience without breaking the bank!

“Throughout my career, I’ve learned that avoiding the hard sell and focusing on understanding the candidate’s needs and goals is essential.”

Stephanie Cramer
Talent Strategist
stephanie cramer



Whether you’re a recruiter or a job seeker, we’ve all experienced the impact of the pandemic and the great resignation. And I can’t stress enough how much the work landscape has changed since!

We’re now living in a job seeker’s market where recruiters either double down to meet the demands of their candidates or fail to attract the talent they need to keep operations running smoothly. Unfortunately, I’ve seen many recruiting teams left scrambling in the wake, relying on inflated compensation packages to seal the deal.

While throwing money at this situation feels like it’s solving the problem, is it really solving the root issue? Are job seekers really anticipating the compensation hike, or are they expecting more from their employers?

Let me break it down for you in this article! So keep reading to learn about my low-cost, quick hits and the golden rule for developing a top-notch candidate experience that attracts talent. 

3 quick-hits to improve your candidate experience

While a comprehensive talent strategy is ideal, it can take time to develop and implement, and the return on investment often isn’t there. But keep in mind that recruiting teams who slow down to build talent strategies are always rewarded with staying power!

In the meantime, if you’re running short on time and resources, I’ve found these low-cost, quick-hit improvements for the candidate experience, which have helped me stand out in this competitive job market.

1. Listen!

Throughout my career, I’ve learned that avoiding the hard sell and focusing on understanding the candidate’s needs and goals is essential.

By actively listening, I can present opportunities that genuinely benefit the candidate and help them achieve their objectives. So, when interacting with potential candidates, make sure to lend them an ear and truly comprehend what they’re looking for.

2. Be honest

A lesson I’ve learned is to be transparent with candidates about whether or not they’re a good fit for a role. 

While it might be difficult to deliver bad news, honesty has helped me establish trust and rapport, improving my employer brand in the long run. So, next time you’re faced with a tough decision, remember that honesty is always the best policy.

3. Always over-communicate

When it comes to following through on expectations, over-communication is key. Establishing trust and rapport with candidates by consistently providing updates and following through on promises made during the recruitment process has been invaluable. 

So, make it a point to keep your candidates in the loop and ensure they’re well-informed throughout the hiring process, and they’ll appreciate the hiring experience so much more. 

To break it down for you, these low-cost, quick hits can be boiled down into one golden rule–practice empathy! 

Remember to use empathy as a guide to develop the candidate experience. Think about how you would want to be treated! 

Practicing empathy for an engaging candidate experience

  1. Personalize your approach: Instead of a one-size-fits-all approach, tailor your communication style and the information you share based on the candidate’s background, interests, and needs. This not only shows that you’ve done your homework but also that you genuinely care about their success.
  2. Foster a sense of belonging: Encourage candidates to envision themselves as part of your team by sharing stories about your company culture, values, and what makes your workplace unique. This can help them feel more connected and increase their desire to join your organization.
  3. Provide constructive feedback: If a candidate isn’t the right fit for a role, don’t just tell them. Instead, offer specific, actionable feedback to help them improve for future opportunities. This demonstrates your investment in their growth and leaves a lasting positive impression.

In today’s competitive job market, candidate experience is more crucial than ever.

Remember that people will always remember how you made them feel, so focus on empathetic, human-centered recruiting practices to set your company apart. 

As someone who’s experienced the benefits of these strategies firsthand, they can make all the difference in your hiring success!

Happy recruiting 🙂


Stephanie Cramer

Steph Cramer has 15 years of talent acquisition experience, holding leadership roles in both agency and in-house recruiting practices. She’s owned her own talent advisory business and is an HR Forbes Council Member.  Currently, she leads talent acquisition strategy for a large tech professional services firm in the Washington, DC area.

She is a massive proponent of a candidate experience rooted in empathy and skills-based hiring.  She has spoken at conferences and published articles on the topics. In her spare time, she’s on a mission to democratize career coaching and posts frequently on job search topics.  She’s ‘The Interview Strategist’ and wants to help those particularly impacted by the pandemic.

Steph lives in DC with her husband and 2 small children. She grew up on a farm in Missouri and is on a constant quest to experience nature with her kids.

901 behavioral questions to secure the best and the brightest!

Land your dream hires today!
Subscribe now to get instant access.
Recruit CRM is committed to your privacy.We use the information you provide to only send curated content and information about the products.