Great Candidate Experience Examples

Find out here about great candidate experience examples to make you change your current recruitment strategy.

In a candidate-driven market, companies need to do more to attract the top talent. In this blog post, we’ll give you the inspiration you need to drastically change your recruitment process- perfecting your candidate experience to attract the best people for the role.

Companies with best recruitment practices

Many global companies are doing it right when it comes to their recruitment practices. Apple famously hit the headlines by sneaking hidden coded ads onto their website for only the most keen-eyed- when it was discovered by a journalist who let the cat out of the bag for everyone to know.

While this cryptic style of recruiting didn’t turn out well for Apple on this occasion, there have been many examples in the past of discovering top talent through unique recruitment campaigns.

One of the most successful and now well-known examples of this date back to WW2. Popularized by the Hollywood hit movie, ‘The imitation game’, Bletchley Park placed coded job adverts in the Telegraph's crossword puzzle in a bid to attract a team of crack cryptologists and code breakers. Thus leading to the turn of the tides in the war from cracking the German  'Enigma' code.

But companies are doing more and more out-of-the-box recruitment practices that are enhancing the candidate experience.

Let’s look at a few more recent examples:


One of the most infamous recruitment experiences which really shook up candidate experiences was Heinekens 2013 recruitment campaign dubbed ‘The Candidate’.

With over 1,700 applications, Heineken worked hard to shape a recruitment experience that would test candidates like never before.

From a weird handholding test to a fake faint, then a fire alarm which led to a ‘jumper’ off the roof, they put candidates through their paces to see who would stand up to the mark, testing their confidence, resourcefulness, wit, attitude and responsiveness.

The favourite interviews were secretly filmed, the Heineken marketing community voted on the best three interviews. The winner- he was announced on a huge screen at the Juventus Stadium in Chelsea before a football match!

It sounds crazy- and it is. But so  crazy that the results of this recruitment campaign increased traffic to their HR site by 279%, whilst

A 317% rise in CV submissions. And to show how much impact the candidate experience has on company morale, 91% of Heineken employees watched the video and found it stimulating to their job.

The video is so awesome and is well worth a watch!


While not as memorable as Heineken, we still praise DigitalOcean on their simplistic but transparent candidate experience, which every recruitment strategy should employ.

The company has focused on delivering a positive candidate experience by establishing trust and transparency throughout the recruitment process.

The recruitment team at DigitalOcean is continually communicating with candidates, allowing them easy access to a central hub of candidate resources. These resources allow candidates to prepare properly for the interview with tips on what questions to expect, to learn about company culture, employee experiences in similar roles and if they are unsuccessful in having full feedback, why.

Their reasoning for this is to give the candidate the best experience. This allows the candidates to perform their best so that you can select the best candidate for the role- it makes sense!

And if that’s not all, candidates are even provided with lunch during their interview - fully catered to their dietary requirements. Their reasoning for this is to give the candidate a feel for the day-to-day experience working at DO. And for a good reason, too, candidates who have a better understanding of company culture early on in the recruitment process are less likely to leave the role within the first 12 months of the job.

We’ve talked in previous blog posts about why sourcing the right candidates should happen long before the need for a position to be filled arises.

Achieving this with perfection is

As well as enabling candidates to prepare fully for job interviews by providing a list of interview questions and tips on how to excel in the interview, ensures candidates with the right company fit apply for their roles.

They do this by allowing applicants to be notified of potential positions by creating job alerts. So if a job seeker's dream role isn’t available right now, they can be notified when it does come up. This not only speeds up the recruitment process, but this also turns out a higher quality of candidates who fit the company culture.

On their candidate experience page, they also have an interactive, multimedia experience that allows candidates to meet the team, introduce the company culture, learn how products were made and more through various media across multiple social media platforms. Their content includes videos, blog posts, infographics and photos showcasing their culture to have fun at work ethos.


It’s not only the recruitment processes that need changing, but recruiters themselves need shaking up too!

In a new world where strong candidates have a choice of plenty, there seems to be little change to the recruiting methods- in particular, interview questions and setups.

Companies challenging the traditional forms of interviews are doing better in creating more positive candidate experiences, resulting in fairer hiring processes and unbiased recruitment.

A shining example of this is Slack.

Their recruiters for Slack go through a series of role-playing with coworkers in preparation for conducting interviews. This is to raise awareness of how bias can arise in interviews. Interviewers practice interviewing techniques that ensure candidates are all treated fairly and consistently.

All interview questions are presented around assessing candidate skills and characteristics through a structured interview process.

Airline Eurowings

Is swiping right, right for recruitment? For this recruitment campaign, it was!

Airline Eurowings cleverly tapped into the huge Tinder market of over a 5.7million users to advertise their job postings.

They did this by setting up dating profiles that advertised the available job roles. Tinder users who swiped right interacted with the company through the app, thus putting themselves forward for a role. 

The results showed this recruitment campaign was successful, and candidates enjoyed the experience, with a 40% increase to their careers page, reaching more than 600,000 users in 2 months. The campaign also won 2 awards, 'Best Mobile Campaign' and 'Best Native Campaign' from the Interactive Advertising Bureau Austria. Their demonstration of originality and innovation to recruitment successfully utilised an unlikely dating app for recruitment.


McDonald's isn’t the only company using a social network for its reach to its recruiting demographic.

Reaching over 42,000 applications or ‘Snaplications’ in 24hours utilising the Snapchat social media platform across Saudi Arabia.

McDonald themselves admit that their recruitment campaign on Snapchat had 4 times more than the expected applications.

With millennials being the largest hiring demographic for McDonald's, using the Snapchat platform is a match made in heaven, with 78% of the user base being millennials.

This campaign also ran through Australia, which shared equal success.

The recruitment campaign was a hit not just for attracting candidates to the recruitment experience but also for smashing the perception that McDonald's was seen as an ‘uncool’ place to work for many youths.

McDonald managed to receive 1.5 years’ worth of playtime with the Snapchat lens in 24 hours. Making it the highest brand sentiment score in 5 years for the company—the slogan going viral read, ‘Applications, transforming the face of recruitment in under 10 seconds.

The experience took users through an Augmented Reality Lens, where Snapchatters looked the part in the McDonalds uniform and had just 10 seconds to introduce themselves and say why they were a great fit for the role.

Watch the 'Snaplicatiton' experience here:


In 2004, Google ran a recruiting campaign that is similar to the Bletchley Park coded puzzle. The silicon Valley billboard was targeted to attract the attention of the Valleys smartest minds. Googles’ rendition was a puzzle billboard instead of a newspaper. The puzzle was a complex mathematical equation, and those who could solve it found the equation revealed a website URL ‘’. Once on the website, the solver had one final puzzle to figure out, and if successful, they were presented with this message:

“Nice work. Well done. Mazel tov. You’ve made it to Google Labs, and we’re glad you’re here. We learned while building Google that it’s easier to find what you’re looking for if it comes looking for you. What we’re looking for are the best engineers in the world. And here you are.”

It’s a genius way of getting the smartest and most inquisitive minds to come directly to you.


Ikea is another company example of creating a candidate experience that attracts the right candidates to apply.

They cleverly did this by implementing a simple but incredibly successful strategy. Are you ready for it?

Inside the packaging of their flat-packed furniture was the “assemble your future” instructions that exactly mirrored the IKEA style furniture assembly instructions. This idea is genius because it targets their customers on a personal level. - people who are already their brand ambassadors. Making this candidate experience personal and focused on each applicant.

And the results proved this to be the case too—thousands of customers applied to fill a target of only 100 positions. But in the end, IKEA hired 280 applicants.

Credit Suisse

Credit Suisse try their absolute best to create a candidate experience to remember. Each candidate is given a branded goodie bag when arriving for interviews. That’s because the gifts given are personalised to each candidate's personal interests. A cooking enthusiast may receive a cookbook, or a basketball fan may get tickets to a game. This is an extreme way to implement that personalisation touch, but it leaves candidates with a wow factor and an experience they won’t forget.


Kimberly-Clark takes this concept to a whole new level. For their candidates, they provide a car service with a driver for an in-depth experience in the local area- giving them a sense of what it would be like to live there. Candidates also receive a welcome basket in their free hotel room.

But what makes this introduction to the company stand out from the rest is their personality quiz called the Welcome Original Thinkers to attract the millennial market. The personality test is similar to the Myers-Briggs or the Enneagram but shorter with visuals.

This highlights to the applicants what types of personalities the teams are made up of and which products are developed by them.

How can these great candidate experience examples help you?

Take inspiration from the attitude each of these employers has towards candidates and the candidate experience. 

Each of these examples has one thing in common- the focus is solely on the candidate, reaching them and interacting with them personally. 

Making each applicant and candidate feel in some way special is a key ingredient to starting the candidate experience on the right foot.

Whether making them feel like they were already part of an elite group- like the Google example. Utilising social platforms that connect with candidates intimately and interactively through their smartphones. Or it could be as simple keeping the communication alive between each candidate as we saw in the Digital Ocean example. 

Creating positive candidate experiences are worthwhile, not just for candidates but for you too. IBM found that unsuccessful applicants were 80% more likely to apply to the same company again if they had a positive impression of the hiring process.

We’ve dedicated an entire post on improving the candidate experience in recruitment, which you can read more on the subject and apply to your recruitment policies.

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