2022 Candidate Experience Report

About the 2022 Report 

The talent landscape in 2022 is one of the most competitive in recent memory. With the Great Resignation in full force and inflation at record highs, organizations have experienced increased turnover and an even greater challenge of filling those empty seats.  

At the heart of this story are the candidates. Job candidates are more than just job seekers. They are the people who become employees, who go on to hire others, and who make up the fabric of every organization. At one time or another, we are all job candidates.  

This report dives into the thoughts, feelings, and desires of job candidates today. The results in the report are based on a survey of 1,967 job candidates from around the globe, representing a wide range of industries and backgrounds.  

Every organization hiring today knows the importance of a positive candidate experience. The results from the report shed light on what candidates want, how they feel about the state of hiring today, and what leaders in HR, recruitment, and talent acquisition can do to win over top talent. 


Key report insights and takeaways 

  1. Flexibility is the #1 priority for job candidates. Candidates ranked work-life balance as more important than compensation, work culture, and benefits. 33% of candidates have turned down a job because it didn’t offer flexible or remote work options. 

  1. 54% of candidates have abandoned a recruitment process because the salary didn’t meet expectations. But that wasn’t the only reason. 53% abandoned a recruitment process because of poor communication, and 32% because the recruiting process took too long. 

  1. 67% of candidates are “very confident” that their next job will be satisfying. And 79% of candidates are confident that they will be paid enough in their next role. 

  1. 28% of candidates feel disadvantaged by the traditional hiring process. And 35% of candidates feel that their job experience holds them back.  


  1. 94% of candidates say assessments demonstrate their potential well. And 74% agree that assessments help them demonstrate their potential beyond their past experience. Asian and Black candidates were more likely to feel this way compared to White candidates. 

  1. 51% of candidates prefer game-based assessments. The Technology and Retail industries were the most likely to prefer them, and Asian and Black candidates were more likely to prefer them compared to White candidates. 

  1. 52% of candidates feel that AI-based hiring can represent them accurately. But the higher their education, the less confident a candidate was about AI.  



Searching for a Job in 2022 

How do candidates really feel about the job search process? 


Key Takeaway  

While there’s no single “right” way to build a positive candidate experience, organizations should stick to the fundamentals by ensuring that the process isn’t overly tedious, stressful, or time-consuming. 

Candidates will abandon a sub-par recruitment process

In the wake of the Great Resignation, 2022 continues to be one of the most competitive talent markets in recent memory. With unemployment now lower than pre-pandemic levels, job candidates have more choice, which means they’re less willing to put up with a negative candidate experience. Over half (54%) of candidates say they’ve abandoned a recruitment process because the salary didn’t meet expectations, and 53% because of poor communication from the employer or recruiter. And more than a third of candidates have given up on a role because it lacked career advancement, the company culture got negative reviews, they received a better offer, or the job didn’t offer enough flexibility.  

What are the reasons you’ve abandoned a recruitment process in the past? 


Candidates prefer up-front salary information.  

Salary transparency is one of the hottest topics of 2022. Candidates overwhelmingly agree that they’d rather see salary information front and center in a job description: 57% strongly agree and 25% somewhat agree. 

Key Takeaway  

With 54% of candidates saying that they’ve abandoned a recruiting process when the salary is misaligned, salary transparency in the job description can save a lot of time, effort, and heartache for both employers and candidates. 


Candidates are confident in their ability to command pay.  

Candidates may be hungrier for salary transparency because they’re confident in their ability to command pay. The majority of candidates feel confident that they will be paid enough in their next role: 48% strongly agree and 31% somewhat agree. Interestingly, the amount of confidence varies widely by the different groups surveyed.  

For example, candidates in the Retail and Transportation & Logistics industries were especially confident, as were Asian and Black candidates. Confidence also seemed to decrease with age, with younger candidates exhibiting higher confidence than older candidates. 



What Candidates Want 

Candidates want better work-life balance. 

Candidates may hold the balance of power in today’s job market, but employers can stand out in the crowd by offering candidates what they actually want in their next role. We asked candidates to rank seven major qualities that an organization can offer, in order of importance. Here’s where they ended up: 


Key Takeaway  

Standing out in one or more of these areas can make your organization more competitive in the talent market. And while pay is very important to candidates, it’s not the only way, or even the most compelling way, to catch their eye. 


The ideal workplace is flexible, friendly, and fair. 

We asked candidates to share three words to describe their ideal workplace, and the most frequently used word by a landslide was “flexible.” But they also listed a few other happy “f-words,” including friendly, fair, and fun.