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Candidate Journey

Written by

Tiffany Clark

Reviewed by

VidCruiter Editorial Team

Last Modified

Jun 27, 2024
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The candidate journey is a phrase that refers to the seven stages or steps of a job applicant’s process:


  1. Awareness

  2. Consideration

  3. Interest

  4. Application

  5. Selection

  6. Hiring

  7. Onboarding


During a candidate journey, potential job applicants will interact with a company through a number of points of interaction called touchpoints. Touchpoints can include: 


  • Viewing a job posting on a job board

  • Reading reviews about a company

  • Visiting a company’s website and social media channels

  • Speaking with a representative at a career fair

  • Filling out a job application

  • Interviewing




Hiring managers and recruiters have a great deal of control over the candidate journey, and judicious planning can increase the chances of success for both the recruiters and the candidates. Many recruiters build out candidate journey maps that can include any or all of the touchpoints for the position they’re seeking to fill. One place to start is by building a persona for the ideal candidate and defining the candidate’s needs, then working forward from there to create the journey map. 


Related Terms

Active Candidate

refers to individuals who are actively seeking work. An active candidate is frequently searching job boards, actively applying for positions, or may already be interviewing with one or more companies. Active candidates may be employed or unemployed.

Passive Candidate

refers to candidates who are happily employed and not looking for a new job. A passive candidate has not applied for a recruiter’s open position, but the recruiter or hiring manager is considering them for a specific position. In some cases, passive candidates are already employed at the recruiter’s company.

Candidate Experience

refers to a job candidate’s interactions with a company and its hiring process.

Candidate Journey Map

is a phrase that is often used interchangeably with candidate journey. This phrase can also refer to a planning tool for the recruitment and hiring process.

Candidate Pipeline

is the term referring to a pool of potential candidates being considered by a recruiter or hiring manager. In some cases, the term may also be used to mean the same as candidate journey.

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