How to Create a Great Candidate Experience – the LinkedIn way

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“I got rejected – you guys rock!”

That’s a pretty bold statement from a rejected candidate, but just how did LinkedIn pull off such mastery?

Answer: by creating a fantastic candidate experience.

It sounds simple, but creating a great experience is anything but. So what do LinkedIn do to make sure they always give a great experience?

First, we have to understand what we mean by candidate experience. A candidate is, “A person who applies for a job or is nominated for an election”. An experience can be defined as, “An event or occurrence which leaves an impression on someone”. So, candidate experience is the impression left on a job applicant. Still sounds simple, right?

To make sure they create an experience like no other, LinkedIn have developed a very specific 3 point philosophy.


1.  All of their applicants are members of the platform and users of their product, so a bad experience in an interview process means an unhappy customer, and when you are a social network, that unhappy customer can reach a lot of people.

2.  The ambitious target of achieving a higher NPS from rejected candidates than those who got offered a role. By aiming for this, they can cultivate LinkedIn brand ambassadors, so even if they were unsuccessful, they will still recommend LinkedIn to their connections.

3.  The last part of their philosophy is to be open, honest and constructive. All candidates who complete an interview are entitled to detailed feedback to help them improve. Whilst that takes them time, it is all part of creating a great experience, and generating a positive feeling, regardless of the application outcome.


On top of all of the 3 point philosophy, LinkedIn realise that the candidate experience is not down to the interviewer. It’s not down to HR. Not down to their background screening company. The candidate experience belongs to everyone and anyone that is involved with the candidate. From the person that welcomes them into the building for their interview, right through to the hiring manager. Every one of those touch points is vital, and can impact on the overall experience.

By implementing a culture of joint responsibility and having a philosophy in place LinkedIn are able to create a 6 step candidate journey. You can see the full journey of a LinkedIn candidate and more in our case study.



HireRight is here to help guide you through the biggest screening challenges so you can focus on what’s important to you; attracting top talent. HireRight provides employment background screening services to organisations of any size, in every industry, and nearly anywhere.

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