How can businesses create a positive candidate for experience for candidates?

How can businesses create a positive candidate for experience for candidates?  Image 1

Whether we care to admit it or not, the cyber security industry is still relatively small in Australia. Everyone knows of (almost) everyone, and although there has been a large uptake in the number of people joining the cyber workforce - we're still existing in a candidate short market. It's important therefore that when organisations are looking to expand their cyber capabilities that there is a strong recruitment process in place designed to facilitate a positive experience where talent feels valued.

So where do we start?

Through our extensive experience in the industry and feedback from clients and candidates alike, we've narrowed it down to the following tips that can set businesses up for success with positive candidate experiences. 

  1. A structured hiring process

There's nothing that will deter a candidate and sow doubt more than the feeling that no one has the reins in the hiring process. A clear idea of exactly what skills and requirements are imperative and nice-to-haves for the role, who the stakeholders are and what stages they need to be physically present for, as well as a structured interview to induction schedule - are all very important. While it can differ depending on the role and company, we would usually recommend an approximately 2 week turn around on decisions and 2.5 hours in interviews max. 

An example of an interview - induction structure might be:

Week 1: Preliminary interview (with 1-2 key stakeholders)

Week 2: Secondary Interview (with 1-2 key stakeholders)


24 hours later: Offer in writing

2 days later: Follow up on contract

Weeks 4 - 8: Introduce them to the team.

More on schedules in our article on “How to Procure and Secure the best Cyber Talent”.

  1. Have an EVP (Employee Value Proposition)

An EVP or Employee Value Proposition is an important document to invest time in for your business. It helps to articulate who you are as an organisation, what you stand for values wise, how you're unique and the value and benefits staff receive in return for their skills, capabilities and experience.

An EVP can be a great tool for attracting new talent, it's handy to have on file for HR and marketing purposes, and it gives potential new employees insight into your company culture. If you don't have an EVP and you’re a bit lost for ideas, chatting to current employees about what they value in the business can be a good place to start, or alternatively our team at Decipher Bureau can assist with creating one for you.

  1. Clear communication all the way

Clear and timely communication throughout the whole recruitment process is a big yes for cyber roles. Over the years we've had feedback from candidates who have turned down roles, and/or taken other positions because they felt 'ghosted' or that their time was undervalued - so avoid this by being on the ball with comms.    

It’s important to ask the right questions in interviews as well as be open and upfront about the role, expectations and salary. All of this can help to keep lines open and make sure it’s a good fit for both candidate and the organisation. Apart from anything, when you keep talking to candidates you can get a sense of how they're feeling about the role too and if there's any hesitancy.

  1. Feedback, measure the candidate experience

Feedback both ways can be invaluable for both candidates and your organisation as well.  Any one who has ever applied for and been unsuccessful in a role knows that to receive some constructive information about their application can be really helpful for future interviews. Taking the time to divulge feedback shows that the time a candidate spent interviewing and applying for the job was valued and that their time was appreciated. Although it obviously goes without saying that any feedback needs to be delivered thoughtfully and with kindness so as not to offend. This can create a positive experience despite not landing the job, where the candidate may still apply for future roles down the line, or regale their positive experience with your company to others, and no one is above having a good reputation in the industry!

Similarly, a candidate experience survey or even a quick email can be a handy way to document feedback for an organisation. It can help to restructure processes, be held accountable for any areas that might need work and implement any changes to improve the candidate experience for future hires. 

If you’d like any information about how to create a better candidate experience or create an EVP for your organisation, get in touch with the Decipher Bureau team. With offices across Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra - and an experienced team around the world, we’d love to help you out.

Find out more about current employment and hiring trends within the Australian cyber security industry - Download the 2023/24 Salary Guide here