How to give candidates a good experience image

How to give candidates a good experience

Are you treating your candidates like customers? Have you mapped out and tested the candidate journey?

We have put together a simple guide to show you what young people expect to find when they are browsing your job or career web page.

This guidance has been validated by our peer panel who have added their own comments on the topic.


Provide evidence

A website has seconds to engage someone and less than a minute to retain their attention to keep them from bouncing off the site. 

Remember, young people, are born into the digital world and are used to fake news. They expect the employer to be explicit and upfront about what it’s like to work there.

  • Let your customers talk about your values
  • Let your employees talk about your culture

Peer panel comment

“A trait I value most in companies is authenticity. If a company lives and dies by a set of stated values, I would like to see how that has been evidenced within the company.” – Peter

Be clear

The best employers recognise that inexperienced young people need to be supported to make a good application rather than apply the hurdles and obstacles used to test or filter out experienced candidates.

If the process of applying does not meet a young person’s expectations then you could be missing out on the best candidates. 

Even some first-class degree students do not have the work experience that many job adverts suggest you need to work. This could mean a wealth of knowledge and talent is being overlooked. Leaving young people caught in a catch-22; no experience, no job scenario.

  • Be clear on the recruitment processes and timescales

Young people will be expecting a similar candidate experience to their experience of shopping or gaming online. For example, when you shop on Amazon you can browse before registering and see the steps of the buying process. Young people often tell us that it feels like the job application ‘goes into a black hole’.

Peer panel comments


My main message to employers would be ‘please be realistic and just have faith.” – Adil

Show you care

Young people don’t know what they don’t know. This means that when a young person first starts applying for jobs they are full of hope and optimism. But when employers do not state when feedback will be available then a young person’s resilience and mental wellbeing soon starts to wane. 

Avoid causing harm and show you care by;

  • Acknowledge receipt of application
  • State when feedback is available

Peer panel comment

“Please state when feedback is available. I sent a presentation into an employer who said they were going to fast-track me to an interview. But instead, I did not hear anything back and was left feeling disheartened.” – Suraya

Do you know how to meet and match young people’s expectations?

Find out what good looks like by becoming Access Generation Accredited.

This annual assessment will highlight if your attraction and recruitment processes are accessible and supportive for young people. Plus, our peer panel will keep you up-to-date with insights into what young people want from an employer. 

Become accredited today.