Candidate Journey Mapping

Candidate Journey Mapping: 4 Steps that can Help you

Published on October 9th, 2022


NVIDIA (4.6 stars), HubSpot (4.6 stars), BCG (4.6 stars), Google (4.5 stars)... Puzzled? Well, these are some of the most top rated companies according to Glassdoor in the USA, as rated by their employees. Is your company not in the list?.. Most of the top companies are not.

What is their strategy to stay on the top of this list all year around? For starters, they delve into the details of what a candidate’s experience looks like at each stage.

How is that helpful?

How a candidate rates your organization can impact your brand image. The better candidate experience they have, the better they rate you.

How does candidate journey mapping come into the picture?

Hold this thought and give this article a read that will answer all your questions right away!

What is Candidate Journey Mapping?

Speaking in layman’s terms, the construction of the experience of a candidate while seeking a job in a visual representation can be understood as the basis of candidate journey mapping..

The visual representation is a compilation of all the touchpoints that a candidate goes through, during different stages of the hiring process.

Requirement of Candidate Journey Mapping

A candidate’s entire journey from applying to getting shortlisted, interviewed, and finally being selected is reflected in candidate journey mapping.

You understand what an applicant goes through while job-hunting. How can this information be useful?

Well, mapping a candidate’s journey is like swapping yourself with the candidate. You get to understand each emotion, dilemma, and hardship that the candidate faces while recruitment.

After gathering this information, you can build upon their experience to improve the future candidate experience and also enhance your employer's brand image.

Another plus is that you can strategize and revise your recruitment marketing strategy so that you attract the best talent pool.

Understanding Candidate Journey Mapping

There are two elements to consider when talking about candidate journey mapping:

  • Candidate journey stages
  • Candidate journey touchpoints

Candidate journey stages and candidate journey touchpoints go hand in hand. At every stage, the applicant “touches” some or the other touchpoint which takes them forward in the hiring process.

Candidate Journey Stage #1 Awareness

At this stage, the candidate gets to know about your company through candidate journey touchpoints such as job ads, visiting your website, or meeting a company representative at a job fair. The candidate at this stage tries to know about your whereabouts in the market and your policies.

Candidate Journey Stage #2 Consideration

In the consideration stage, the applicant starts to consider if they should explore the opportunity of working at your organization. The candidate journey touchpoints here are visiting the company’s website and interacting with an employee of the organization.

Companies often run a referral recruitment drive, where an employee refers applicants and gets rewarded when they are hired.

Candidate Journey Stage #3 Interest

From consideration, an applicant genuinely gains interest in working at a particular organization. The most common candidate journey touchpoints here are questions from job seekers about the job vacancy or clicking on retargeted job ads.

A candidate is 100% going to apply at your organization after this stage unless he gets some other appealing offer or position.

Candidate Journey Stage #4 Application

The application stage sees the candidate as applying for the job position from your careers page. This stage goes on until the candidate is selected or rejected.

The most crucial candidate journey touchpoint at this stage is the physical interview. It is an essential touchpoint that drives the selection of the candidate.

Candidate Journey Stage #5 Selection

The selection stage is where the company evaluates the candidate on the basis of the interview. Now, most companies prefer to let their candidates wait while they are evaluating.

While others choose to create a candidate journey touchpoint by sending them a thank you email or an email posting the candidate about the time they will take to give out their decision.

Candidate Journey Stage #6 Hiring

The stage of hiring is embarked by a candidate journey touchpoint, where the employer either calls or emails the candidate talking about their decision.

You must be wondering, what if the candidate is not selected? Well.. some companies choose to inform the candidates about the rejection as well, this improves the employer’s brand image.

Candidate Journey Stage #7 Onboarding

The candidate journey stages are not limited to hiring only, onboarding is also a key stage in candidate journey mapping. The onboarding process itself is the touchpoint at this stage.


Steps for Candidate Journey Mapping

1. Recognize your candidate's persona: The first and foremost step of candidate journey mapping is to create a persona of the candidate. A candidate persona is a fictional projection where you can describe the skills, goals, and motivation required in the candidate for a perfect fit in the job role.

2. Identify your candidate’s needs at each stage: You need to craft each stage of the candidate mapping journey by keeping yourself in the shoes of the candidate.

3. Determine the candidate’s touchpoints: You need to intricately design the touchpoints that a candidate comes across in a candidate mapping journey.

Ask yourselves the following questions:

  • Where would I hear about this company?
  • How can I know more about the company’s culture and values?
  • What is the procedure to apply for this position?
  • How fast can I get hired?

Answer them and you will be able to design the touchpoints organically.

How to make use of Candidate Journey Mapping?

You created the map - now what?

You can integrate multiple maps together, analyze them and identify common issues such as

  • Do candidates tend to stall the application process after the consideration stage?
  • Do candidates apply for the job role despite not having any matching skill sets?
  • Is there a particular stage at which candidates walk away from the process?

Answers to these questions can help you in optimizing your candidate journey touchpoints so that they do not face difficulties in applying for the position. You can also find out issues such as the struggle of candidates to reach the application portal or problems in the salary compensations.

Pinpointing these errors is the greatest use of constructing candidate journey maps. You can determine bottlenecks, roadblocks, poor information, and negative reviews in the entire process and make candidate hiring more efficient and engaging.


You must have gotten the hang of candidate journey mapping by now. Merging together the maps from different sources can help in identifying your company’s weaknesses and strengths and improve your hiring process from both experiential and operational viewpoints.

Again, there is no correct or wrong way to create the map. You simply need to collect the candidate data and pick up a template from the web (if you do not know how to make it) and put the details.

Some recruiters do it on the whiteboard, some with a pen and paper. You can devise your own method to do so.

These improvements can go on a long way and enrich the candidate’s experience. You in return get a good employer brand, better candidates and an even better conversion rate.

What is your strategy for sketching a candidate’s journey? Do comment and tell.

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Radhika Sarraf

Radhika Sarraf is a content specialist and a woman of many passions who currently works at HireQuotient, a leading recruitment SaaS company. She is a versatile writer with experience in creating compelling articles, blogs, social media posts, and marketing collaterals.

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