Candidate Experience Recruitment Marketing

Why You Need A Candidate Journey Map (+Template)

Profile photo of Lori Sylvia
Written by Lori Sylvia
Why You Need A Candidate Journey Map (+Template)
4.9 (97.14%) 7 votes

Let’s take a moment to be fully honest with each other: not all of our content performs the way we want it to.

There are times when I’ve published a piece of content I had high hopes for, only to watch it fall flat. Or maybe people noticed the content, but it didn’t get the click-throughs that I expected. Every marketer I know has experienced the same thing. And that’s ok. It’s part of testing and iterating and learning, and it’s what makes us get better.

Despite that content marketing truth, there are some ways to take control and craft content that will have a much better chance of hitting the mark.

Candidate journey maps are a tool that you can start using right away to create more thoughtful content to grab the attention of your target candidates and drive them to action.

Here’s the scoop on what candidate journey maps are and how they can help you create better Recruitment Marketing content:Candidat persona template and examples

What is candidate journey mapping?

Candidate journey mapping is the process of thinking through the experiences and touchpoints in a candidate’s typical hiring journey with your company and plotting them out visually.

The candidate journey map then works as a visual reference point to use for content creation or for improving your candidate experience from an operational standpoint.

Mapping out your target candidate’s journey and thinking through what their experience looks like can give you a better understanding of what questions, concerns or even barriers they may have throughout your organization’s hiring process – and how you might create content to address those needs and drive them to action.

Here’s what a candidate journey map looks like (you can download our Candidate Journey Map & Content Planner template for free).

Pro tip: Before you build out a candidate journey map, it’s a good idea to spend a bit of time fleshing out who’s journey your tracking first by creating candidate personas. It’s worth doing this because the candidate journey will often look different for a software engineer vs. a sales professional, for instance, as different groups will have different pain points and activities associated with their candidate journey.

>> Need more info on candidate personas? This blog post will walk you How to Create Candidate Personas.

Why create a candidate journey map?

1) You’ll capture candidates’ attention with content that speaks directly to their needs and experiences

Once you’ve mapped out the stages of the candidate’s journey, you can then plan out what content you need at each stage to attract a candidate’s attention and encourage them to engage with your employer brand.

A great way to do this is to use your candidate journey map to uncover the questions that candidates will have at various stages of their candidate journey and then turn those questions into content pieces that directly addresses any concerns or curiosities they might have.

Why does this work so well? People are much more likely to notice and engage with content that addresses questions that are on their mind, rather than content that’s unrelated to what’s important to them.

Examples of this in action:

Question Piece of content
Will I like my new co-workers? A video that introduces a specific team and humanizes your organization, giving candidates the chance to determine if they feel like it’s the right fit.
What kind of career growth could I anticipate with this company? A responsive graphic that spotlights a typical career path in one of the role types at your org (we love the one on the New Home Star careers page!). Or a blog post that spotlights one employee’s career journey with your company.
What kind of work will I do? What technologies will I use? Start an Instagram takeover campaign that shows an employee going through their day-to-day work and describing what they accomplish and how they get things done.

2) You’ll convert more candidates to applicants and new hires

Each stage of the candidate journey is an opportunity to influence talent with engaging recruiting content. The secret is knowing what information candidates need to move them from attraction to new hire.

Providing candidates with information they’re actively seeking will make candidates feel like you fully understand what they’re going through, that your organization cares and that an employment opportunity with your company will be a positive one.

In other words, by providing content that gives candidates the info they value, you’ll improve their perceptions of your employer brand and you’ll have more clout in persuading them to take action (apply to a job, join your talent network, attend a recruiting event, etc.).

Examples of this in action:

Stage & info needed Content you can provide
Apply for jobs – information on what will make their application as successful as possible


Tips from your recruiters and hiring managers on what they’re looking for in new hires or how to craft a great resume. Don’t forget the call to action encouraging candidates to submit their application!
Interview – information on what to expect, where to go, how to be successful


Put together an interview resource guide or video to send to candidates who have been contacted for an interview. The guide could be attached to an email that contains the details of where to go and who they’ll be meeting with.
Consider offer(s) – information on whether the offer is competitive, what they’ll get out of the experience besides compensation (what are the other “what’s in it for me” factors) Send an email at the “offer sent” stage of your process that contains content highlighting your unique culture, or growth opportunities, or whatever other components of your employee value proposition make you stand out, to convince them to pick your offer over any others that might be on the table.

3) You can improve your candidate experience and employer brand

It’s not all about content! (Did I really just say that?!)

But seriously, pulling together a candidate journey map can also help you determine your company’s strengths and weaknesses to improve your process from an operational and experiential standpoint.

These types of changes work towards improving the candidate’s experience with and perception of your employer brand, which will work alongside your content approach to attract and convert candidates in the short and long-term.

Examples of this in action:

Stage & current experience Candidate experience improvement
Research employers – currently our careers site doesn’t share much information about our culture or values


Since we know candidates today expect that kind of information before taking the time to apply or committing to a hiring process, we can enhance their experience (and make them more likely to jump in) by improving our careers site.
Interview – we know from our Glassdoor reviews and candidate surveys that sometimes candidates are left in “a black hole” or may not be contacted for some time in between stages


Consider putting together a candidate experience workshop and delivering it to our full recruitment team to inspire recruiters and empower with them more insights to knock candidate communications out of the park.
Start job – our first day experience varies a ton from team to team! How can we create a more consistent and positive experience for everyone? We could create a new digital employee handbook that showcases the need-to-know info, along with employee quotes, videos, testimonials, etc. from other people’s first days/weeks, in a way that makes the experience accessible and approachable – and aligns with our external brand assets so they have a continuous experience!

Download the Candidate Journey Map Template

So, ready to improve your candidate experience and create even better content to attract the candidates you’re looking for? Grab our Candidate Journey Map & Content Planner Template to get started.

Why You Need A Candidate Journey Map (+Template)
4.9 (97.14%) 7 votes

About the Author

Profile photo of Lori Sylvia

Lori Sylvia

Recruitment Marketing evangelist and community builder. Founder of Rally.

[ Webinar ]
[ Webinar ]
[ FREE Video Class ]
[ FREE Video Class ]