Study of the month: Candidate Experience 2023 - Part 2

Georg Salzmann

Georg Salzmann

October 28, 2023 • 4 minutes read

As already stated in our first part about the Candidate Experience study, the job market will remain candidate-oriented in 2023. It is therefore essential for success in recruiting to take the jobseeker's perspective. And this is exactly where Softgarden helps with its latest findings!

Candidate Experience Teil 2

Tthe results of the Candidate Experience Study 2023 by Softgarden are published in two parts. Detailed information about part I can be found in our dedicated post.

In this second part we dive into factors such as emotions, job interviews and the onboarding process. The same 3,811 real applicants were surveyed and we have summarized the main findings for you below.

Emotions in application processes

Job applications can be a nerve-wracking affair. Unsurprisingly, a lot of emotions can be involved. This is also confirmed by the results of the survey: almost two thirds of respondents experience strong emotional connections to their applications. Two thirds of them also experience a connection with positive feelings!

Although this value has fallen slightly compared to an older Softgarden study from 2016, it can be concluded that employers have been able to maintain the overall level of satisfaction despite the market-related increase in job requirements.

Job interviews

The job interview is the key stage at which applications are linked to intense emotions. But which company behaviors can become so-called "showstoppers" for the candidates?

Showstopper Two things emerge across genders: Firstly, job seekers are often disappointed when company representatives are unable to clearly communicate to them what their future role will look like (50.2%). Women (56.0%) are more frequently affected by this disappointment than men (45.3%).

In their last interview, almost a quarter of candidates felt that the company representatives pushed them into a subordinate position. In addition, 29.1% stated that their interviewer was unable to adequately explain exactly what the job entailed. These figures seem surprising, especially in times when employers often complain about a shortage of skilled workers.

Online or in person Covid has changed the labor market and its approaches. Of course, this also includes job interviews. But how do candidates prefer to conduct them? The short answer: Opinions are quite evenly divided.

However, digital interviews as part of the selection process are now generally accepted by a large majority. There is an increased preference for digital job interviews, particularly among applicants under the age of 24, as 19.3% of them would like both interviews to take place in digital form.


The onboarding process is treated particularly intensely. And for good reason: the proportion of so-called "shaky candidates" has more than doubled since 2018.

**Shaky candidates? This generally refers to candidates who resign within the first 100 days - or do not take up the position at all.

In the case of the survey, a remarkable 21% of job seekers left their job within the first 100 days of starting. This percentage has risen again since spring 2022 and has almost doubled since 2018.

In addition, more than one in ten quit a previously accepted job after signing a contract or simply don't take up the job in the first place. In addition, 7.7% had already been on the verge of not taking up a position.

This highlights the fact, that recruiting processes exceed the point in time of signing a contract. This fact is particularly relevant in view of the current situation on the job market. For those who have not started their job despite signing a contract, "a more attractive job offer" is the main reason at 41.3%

The relevance of the onboarding process

Interestingly, 45.0% of those who have already failed to take up or quit a job despite signing a contract are convinced that the employer would have been able to prevent their early termination.

With this in mind, we would like to draw your attention to our article on the subject of onboarding. You can find it here. You can download the entire study here.

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