4 Ways A Candidate Portal Helps You Hire | Striven Blog

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4 Ways A Candidate Portal Helps You Hire

Scott Hammer
November 13, 2019
5 min read

Congratulations, you’ve posted and advertised your next open position. Now you’re ready to sit back and wait for the candidates to roll in. You want the best people for the role, but how can you show that your company is worthy of them? How can you give candidates a streamlined, friendly, and informative application process? It’s simple: you need a candidate portal.

Candidate portals centralize communication and information exchange. That means you provide candidates with an inside look at your company, a great way to vet them, and a simple way to contact you. In turn, you get to handle the back end of applications much more easily and respond more quickly to prospective employees.

Streamline the Application Process

erp software HR

When promoting a new job opening, it’s important to consider what the candidate application experience will be like. A frustrating application process shows a lack of professionalism on your part. That matters: according to iCIMS, 78% of candidates agree that the professionalism of a company’s candidate portal is moderate to highly important in their decision to apply.

Your application process is also the first message you send about the way things work at your company. Therefore, it’s incredibly important to streamline it.

Allow Candidates to Contact You Directly

Often during the application process, candidates feel like there’s a giant wall between themselves and the company they’re hoping to work for. They wait to receive messages from the HR department. (When they’re applying, wait time can feel like forever.)

If those candidates have specific questions about the position, it’s rarely clear to whom they should be directed. That’s why having a messaging system built into your HR software is a great idea. It helps build a bridge between your company and candidates before you officially reach out to them. 

Each time you respond to candidates’ questions, you send the message that you’re interested in helping them learn (a good sign for the future). You also show them that you’re organized, with a system in place to field communications easily. Candidate portal messaging also keeps your candidates coming back and engaging with your HR system in a way that email doesn’t.

Provide Easy Document Uploading (and Collection)

erp software hiring portal

Do candidates have an easy easy way to upload their resumes, cover letters, and supporting documents? The steps to uploading should be clear, versatile, and give candidates an easy way to put everything in one place.

But what happens to those documents on the other end? In many cases, they get attached to emails, left for members of the HR department to download. When those people are dealing with multiple candidates, applications and documents get lost. Just one lost application can seriously delay response time, or make it so that you never respond to an ideal candidate. 

Having an HR system that lets documents uploaded by candidates populate in a centralized location ensures that the application process goes more smoothly on both ends. Candidates upload efficiently, and you organize docs for faster response times.

Assess Candidate Skills

erp software hr software

Depending on the job role, you may want candidates to complete a skills test. Whether it’s a writing sample, a math-based quiz, or a scenario-based evaluation, it’s important to see how candidates measure up. Your candidate portal should help make this process both easy and possible.

Your system should have the ability to create custom assessments and to send and receive them through the portal. Sometimes, simply offering an assessment can help you weed out the serious candidates from those who are just applying as an afterthought. Because you’re looking for the best people, your assessment process can help get them on board.


Having a candidate portal is a great thing, but it’s only one piece of the larger hiring process among your recruiting and HR system. Your goal should be to think beyond just applications, moving toward fully streamlined hiring and onboarding.

Stay tuned here. We’ll be covering the entire candidate-to-employee journey, and how your company can do it right.

Scott Hammer Headshot

Scott Hammer

Scott Hammer is a business technology writer. His background is in literature and education, which means he can quote Emerson and Thoreau at moments that seem appropriate, but are ultimately random. If pushed, he can also write really, really long sentences.