Maximizing the Candidate Experience

Maximizing the Candidate Experience

4 Ways to Maximize Your Organization’s Candidate Experience Today

You’ve likely heard the term “war for talent”. Well, it’s real, and the candidate experience in this talent driven market is crucial for companies to not only understand but embrace. The recruiting process has changed over the years and so have the candidate expectations. Companies have had to adapt to the changing landscape when it comes to attracting talent. Candidates today are keenly focused on the cultural experience, that is, the right fit for them personally and professionally. Your Human Resources and Talent Leaders will set the tone for the candidate experience to ensure you showcase your employee-centric company.

So, what can you do maximize it? Begin by reflecting on your current practices. What do you do now? What is the most important message you want a candidate to remember from his/her experience with your organization? How can you ensure that you have done your best to showcase your company and its team? Consider these tips.

Setting Up Sourcing for Success

  • Company Website:
    • How does it read? Is it a warm welcome? The employee experience should be a priority throughout your page. It should be engaging to potential candidates that are looking for inclusive careers. This should be front and center.
    • Include employee quotes and stories at varying levels. Candidates should be able to identify with your employees and envision what it would be like for them to work there.
    • Are there authentic visuals of employees at your company? Videos of employees speaking about their experience is a great way to make this enticing and interactive. Pictures—and video clips—can speak a thousand words about your culture.
    • Is it easy to navigate? Or does the candidate have to click through many pages to get to insight into who you are and why they should work for you? If there are more than three clicks to the page, the candidate will easily lose interest.
  • Your Applicant Tracking System:
    • Have you conducted a thoughtful review to remove any barriers or biases you may not be aware of?
    • Is it as streamlined as possible? Are you requiring candidates to duplicate their information? This can be frustrating and many times the candidate will not continue with the application.
    • Is your system outdated? You may need to look into a newer, more efficient one that does not require the candidate to be overly burdened throughout the process (such as creating an account, etc.)
    • Test your system quarterly with current employees so you are comfortable that process still makes sense. This is a perfect opportunity to tweak any weaknesses.
  • The Auto-Reply
    • Yes, you need one! Keep it warm, grateful and authentic. Be sure to shout out that you are committed to being an inclusive and equal opportunity employer.
    • Perhaps offer a hotline number that candidates can call to leave a message to follow up on their application. Many already feel removed from the process, often not sure if a “human” has reviewed their application. Candidates refer to it as the “black hole” of resume submission.

Reaching Out

  • The Interview
    • Now that you have gone through your resumes, it is time to reach out to the candidate. This should happen within 48 hours of receiving the resume. A warm, candidate-centric email with specifics on next steps, the screening and the interview itself is important.
    • Personalize the email to the candidate to make them feel a part of the process from the beginning.
      • Be sure to share your company’s address for face to face interviews. While this sounds dated, some companies don’t list their address on their website. If your company has moved in the last year or two, Google doesn’t always have the correct address. Include a map of the area and cross streets. Little things go a long way in those emails to show you are interested in supporting them and want them to have a positive, smooth experience.
      • Let the candidate know who they will be meeting with. Give them an opportunity to look up the person or team on LinkedIn. The better you prepare the candidate, the better the experience will be all around, including for your team!
      • Give the candidate a timeframe for the initial interview. Be mindful that they may be on their lunch hour or an allotted time of PTO. On-time starts and stops during the interview process will show that you respect them and their time as well as present your organization in an organized manner.
    • You should always try to limit the interview process to no more than three meetings. The candidate experience should be fluid, and if you feel that you need more than three meetings, reevaluate. Consider your team and/or a panel rather than individual interviewers. Again, be sure the candidate is aware, so they can be prepared.
    • Feedback should be given in a timely manner to the candidate. If you move forward with the next round of interviews, remember to be mindful of the candidate’s time. Candidates who feel rushed or pressured will interview poorly, and that my impact their interest in your company and your role or, worst-case, cause damage your brand. If you are moving forward to the next round, schedule that meeting within a week. If a candidate is actively interviewing, prolonging the process could cost you that candidate.
    • Open and active communication throughout the interview process is essential to keep the candidate engaged.

Being Responsive

  • Offers
    • Email the candidate and ask if they have time for a quick chat. Always extend the offer live. This makes it more personable and sends a warm and caring message.
    • Send the offer documents within 15 minutes of the call. You’ve now excited your candidate to join, so continue the delight with the written offer right away.
    • Include fun, upbeat facts and tidbits about the company in the offer.
    • Once they have accepted, you now have two weeks to get prepared for their start. Send a welcome email with photos of their team or a postcard or card to their home saying how excited you are that they are joining. All of these little things go a long way with your candidate experience, which then creates the start of the equally important employee experience.

Staying in Touch

One of the most important things to remember as you are actively searching for top talent is that candidates consider the entire process from initial outreach to final interviews as part of their decision-making if an offer is made.

By continuously maximizing your candidate experience, you showcase that the talent process is part of the company brand, mission, vision and values. This will not only help you to attract viable, talented candidates, but will also help you with your employee engagement and retention.

Carrie Goldstein is Joining Cheer Partners

Carrie Goldstein is Joining Cheer Partners

This growth underscores the priority organizations are placing on aligning talent and employee engagement to support the innovation that the future workplace will demand. To meet the growing demand for services, Cheer Partners has made a strategic new hire: Carrie Goldstein!

Carrie Goldstein, is becoming; Managing Director and Team Lead for Employee Communications.

“Our mission is to help our clients create a truly personalized employee experience that generates a sense of belonging,” said Cat Graham, Managing Partner. “Our expertise drives competitive advantage by supporting a culture of inclusion and unifying the employee and customer experiences.”

Before joining Cheer Partners, Carrie Goldstein was a Communications Director at Pfizer. Goldstein says, “The mission of Cheer Partners resonates with my passion for ensuring that organizations have an opportunity to drive progress from within by focusing on communications with their most important advocates: their employees.” In this role, Carrie will lead a team that provides clients with strategies to set a strong foundation for their internal narrative, culture and colleague engagement.

“We are pleased to have such an outstanding addition to our team. She brings tremendous experience, knowledge and commitment to us here at Cheer Partners.”, says Darcie Peck, Managing Partner.

What’s Your Story? An Inside Look At Our Team

What’s Your Story? An Inside Look At Our Team


We all know picking a major in college can be tough, because who really knows what they want to do for the rest of their life? The same goes for finding your way in the working world after graduation.

A Forbes study stated that 62% of college grads get a job requiring a college degree but that only 22.3% get a job actually related to their major. At Cheer Partners, we value our employees’ unique histories, integrity and diverse skill sets enabling us to work with dozens of clients across multiple industries. We are honest and transparent in our methods with both our clients and our employees, and continuously promote a culture of inclusion that always stems from our core values. Read some of our team’s stories and see what attracted them to join our Cheer Partners team.

The path that led Matthew to Cheer Partners was far from planned. After graduating college with a business degree, Matthew–a logical thinker– knew he wanted to apply his skills for writing and creativity to his future work (did you know he has written his first novel?) After a brief stint in real estate, Matthew was introduced to Cheer Partners by a colleague who recognized his aptitude for writing and storytelling. Matthew jumped at the chance, and Cheer recognized the unique value he could offer. For Matthew, this gave him the opportunity to join a team that values personal growth and transparency as much as he did. His enthusiasm is infectious and he loves new challenges.

EMILY MILLER (Associate, Talent Division)
Emily followed a different path to Cheer Partners. After graduation and a brief time in the banking industry, she recognized her relationship skills and passion for helping people achieve their goals. A colleague introduced her to the unique culture of Cheer Partners, and she fell in love with the remotely connected aspects of the team. Emily transitioned into her role in Talent with the support of a new hire buddy, her manager and one on one training. Emily says, “Working with the team at Cheer is so rewarding. We proactively support each other, share weekly educational learnings and live our core values of gratitude and diversity every day. I love my work and see myself growing and learning here for quite a while.” Emily embodies the Cheer Partners client-focused mindset.

VIJAY MANSUKHANI (Project Specialist, Financial Operations)
Vijay is our first boomerang! He started at Cheer Partners as a Financial Administrator after graduating college with an economics degree. When the time came, Cheer supported Vijay’s move to another company to gain broader finance experience, one of his passions. While he gained valuable experience, he desperately missed the Cheer culture, and we were so happy to welcome him back to the team. Vijay hit the ground running in our atmosphere of integrity and appreciates having an honest say in how things operate, rather than just being another cog in the works. Welcome back Vijay!

OLIVIA GRAHAM (Senior Associate, Marketing Lead)
After graduation, Olivia took a job as an Assistant Account Executive in the public relations industry because she was passionate about storytelling and working in a team environment. Olivia quickly mastered the brand creative, diversity and inclusion and internal communications work, allowing her natural talents to shine. Olivia then joined Cheer Partners as a Senior Associate and Cheer’s Marketing Lead to continue her personal and career growth. She is thriving in our inclusive culture and works directly with clients continuing to build her expertise in employee communications.

ALI FRISCHMAN (Senior Associate)
Ali’s path to Cheer was exceptionally unique. She began her career as a teacher to students in underserved communities. After a few years in education, she could no longer ignore her ultimate goal of moving to NYC and heard about opportunities in public relations from a colleague. She gained invaluable experience working with a Fortune 50 company. A born educator, Ali discovered her true passion was actually a combination of corporate communications and education: corporate training. She joined Cheer Partners as Senior Associate of Learning and Development. Now, Ali demonstrates her training prowess by helping clients with management, interviewing, coaching and numerous other disciplines, delighting them every day. Ali loves having found the opportunity to be genuinely passionate about her career and a team that supports her education and growth. Cheers to you Ali!

JENNI FORD (Consultant, Senior Diversity and Communications)
After switching majors multiple times in college, a brief stay in finance and taking some business classes, Jenni realized that she still didn’t know where she wanted to work. What she did know was that, no matter what, it would involve helping people. She wanted to work in a people-centric environment, one that valued diversity and empowered people to be more inclusive– traits that attracted her to consult with Cheer Partners. She loves speaking directly with people and telling stories, but most of all is glad to be doing something she honestly enjoys. We at Cheer are happy to have her!

These stories are only a small part of what makes Cheer Partners so great. We all live our core values of honesty, integrity, transparency, diversity, inclusion and gratitude every day and stay connected within our remote culture. We understand that success is not always driven by what you know, but what you can learn. We are all works in progress. Being able to learn, adapt and being open to new experiences can help you find opportunities that you may have never known existed.