Get Instant Access
to This Blueprint

Talent Acquisition icon

Redesign the Candidate Experience

Embrace design thinking to elevate the candidate journey and to build a competitive advantage for your organization.

  • Candidate experience affects not only the employer brand but the consumer brand and overall organizational reputation as well.
  • With more and more organizations recognizing the need to deliver a positive candidate experience, standing out amidst competitors and differentiating the candidate experience is a challenge.
  • What HR and talent acquisition perceive as a positive candidate experience may differ from the lived experience of candidates.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Think about your candidates as consumers. Making the effort to truly understand their needs will attract great talent and build positive brand perceptions.

Impact and Result

  • Design a candidate-centric talent acquisition process that addresses candidate feedback from both unsuccessful and successful candidates and is aligned with your EVP and employer brand.

Redesign the Candidate Experience Research & Tools

1. Determine candidate experience goals

Map the organization’s current state for candidate experience and set high-level objectives and metrics.

3. Redesign the candidate experience

Create action, communications, and training plans to establish the redesigned candidate experience with hiring process stakeholders.

Candidate Experience

An active membership is required to access McLean Academy
HRPA Certification Pre-Approved Logo

This program has been approved for 1 to 1.5 continuing professional development (CPD) hours under Section A of the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Log of the Human Resource Professionals Association (HRPA).

SHRM Certification Logo

McLean & Company is recognized by SHRM and can award Professional Development Credits (PDCs) for the SHRM-CP® or SHRM-SCP®.

HRCI Institute Recognized Provider Logo

HR Certification Institute’s® official seal confirms that McLean & Company meets the criteria for pre-approved recertification credit(s) for any of HRCI’s eight credentials, including SPHR® and PHR®.

How to complete this course:

Use these videos, along with the Project Blueprint deck above, to gain an understanding of the subject. Start with the Introduction, then move through each of the Course Modules. At the end of each Module, you will be required to complete a short test to demonstrate your understanding. You will complete this course when you have completed all of the course tests.

  • Number of Course Modules: 4
  • Estimated Completion Time: 1.5 hours

Learning Outcome

Assess and create an action plan to redesign the candidate experience.

Learning Objectives

By the end of this course, learners will be able to:

  • Assess the candidate experience at each stage of the candidate lifecycle.
  • Align the candidate and customer experiences.
  • Link the organization’s EVP to candidate messaging.
  • Identify candidate pain points.
  • Select actions to improve the candidate experience.

Course Modules

Now playing


Now playing

Module 1

Now playing

Module 2

Now playing

Module 3

Workshop: Redesign the Candidate Experience

Workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn't enough, we offer low-cost onsite delivery of our project workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a roadmap in place to complete your project successfully.

Module 1: Set Project Objectives and Analyze Data

The Purpose

  • Assess the organization’s current state for candidate experience.
  • Set baseline metrics for comparison with new initiatives.
  • Establish goals to strengthen the candidate experience.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Gained understanding of where the organization is currently.
  • Established where the organization would like to be and goals to achieve the new state.




Map current candidate lifecycle

  • Process map

Record and analyze quantitative data

  • Candidate experience data gathered and analyzed

Record and analyze qualitative data

  • Candidate experience data gathered and analyzed

Set organizational objectives and project goals

  • Candidate Experience Project Charter

Set metrics to measure progress on high-level goals

  • Candidate Experience Project Charter

Module 2: Empathize With Candidates and Create a Journey Map

The Purpose

  • Apply design thinking methods to identify pain points in your candidate lifecycle.
  • Assess the competition and analyze results.
  • Empathize with candidates and their journey.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Segments with pain points have been identified.
  • Competitor offering and differentiation has been analyzed.
  • Candidate thoughts and feelings have been synthesized.




Identify extreme users

  • Extreme users identified

Conduct an immersive empathy session or go through the process as if you were a target candidate


Identify talent competitors


Analyze competitive landscape

  • Known and unknown talent competitor’s candidate experience analyzed

Synthesize research findings and create empathy map

  • Empathy map created

Journey map the candidate experience

  • Journey map created

Module 3: Identify Improvement Areas and Improve the Candidate Journey

The Purpose

  • Create a communications and action plan and set metrics to measure success.
  • Set expectations with hiring managers and talent acquisition specialists through a service level agreement.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Action plan created
  • Metrics set to track progress and assess improvement
  • Service level agreement completed and expectations collaboratively set




Assess each stage of the lifecycle

  • Candidate experience lifecycle stages prioritized

Set success metrics for priority lifecycle stages

  • Metrics to measure progress set

Select actions from Candidate Experience Best Practices Action Guide

  • Candidate experience best practices selected

Brainstorm other potential (organization-specific) solutions

  • Candidate Experience Assessment Tool

Set action timeline and assign accountabilities

  • HR Action and Communication Plan Tool

Customize SLA guidelines

  • SLA guidelines

About McLean & Company

McLean & Company is an HR research and advisory firm providing practical solutions to human resources challenges via executable research, tools, diagnostics, and advisory services that have a clear and measurable impact on your business.

What Is a Blueprint?

A blueprint is designed to be a roadmap, containing a methodology and the tools and templates you need to solve your HR problems.

Each blueprint can be accompanied by a Guided Implementation that provides you access to our world-class analysts to help you get through the project.

Need Extra Help?
Speak With An Analyst

Get the help you need in this 3-phase advisory process. You'll receive 10 touchpoints with our researchers, all included in your membership.

Guided Implementation #1 - Determine candidate experience goals
  • Call #1 - Review the organization’s agile talent acquisition strategy
  • Call #2 - Determine target candidate segments
  • Call #3 - Review EVP and determine key candidate experience messaging
  • Call #4 - Set high-level objectives and metrics to measure organizational-level results

Guided Implementation #2 - Assess the candidate experience
  • Call #1 - Analyze quantitative and qualitative data
  • Call #2 - Analyze data collected from discovery interviews and empathy map findings and prepare for candidate journey mapping activity
  • Call #3 - Review results and prioritize lifecycle stage(s) to address
  • Call #4 - Identify success metrics for priority lifecycle stage(s)

Guided Implementation #3 - Redesign the candidate experience
  • Call #1 - Review and select recommendations from the Candidate Experience Best Practices Action Guide
  • Call #2 - Customize McLean & Company’s Candidate Experience Service Level Agreement Template


  • Adam Cooper, HR Director, Aon
  • Amar Grewal, Global Practice Leader, Talent Acquisition, Hatch
  • Alexandra Norris, Talent Specialist, HubDoc
  • Camille Shrouder-Henry, Talent Acquisition & Candidate Experience Manager, Fleet Complete
  • Dorothy Wolentarski, Strategic Talent Acquisition Projects Leader, Intact Insurance
  • Elyse Mayer, Director of Marketing, SmashFly Technologies
  • Lisa Chartier, Global Head of Employer Brand & Marketing, Philips
  • Maura Dyer, Vice President, Talent Acquisition & Employment Brand, Rogers Communications
  • Maureen Carroll, Senior Manager, Talent Attraction, Finastra
  • Peter Cappelli, Professor of Management, University of Pennsylvania & Director of Center for Human Resources, The Wharton School
  • Sara Cooper, Talent Director, Portfolio Companies, OMERS Ventures
  • Sarah Mortimer, AVP HR, SuccessFactors Lead, Great-West Life
  • Sondra Dryer, Global Head of Employer Brand & Experience, Alexander Mann Solutions
  • Tiffanie Witherspoon, Learning & Development Associate, The George Washington University
  • Tim Sackett, Chief Storyteller, Fistful of Talent HR Blog & President, HRU Technical Resources
  • Tracey Wells, Talent Acquisition Manager, HubDoc
  • William Maurer, Global Talent Sourcing Manager, General Motors