Positive Candidate Experience

Why I Took a New Job Because of A Great
Candidate Experience

‘Candidate experience’ is a phrase that is frequently tossed around by talent acquisition leaders seeking to improve their recruiting and hiring practices.  This makes sense, as the current job market is competitive, and wholly candidate driven:  most desirable candidates are currently employed, often evaluating several job options in addition to ‘yours’. With that being said, the experience that you provide your candidates can be the difference between winning a new employee, or losing great talent to a competitor. 

As a professional in the Talent Acquisition field, I mistakenly assumed that I understood the true value of candidate experience. It wasn’t until I navigated a job change myself that I truly understood how impactful candidate experience actually is.  

As a Recruiter (or any other professional in an in-demand field), it’s standard to have your LinkedIn inbox ‘spammed’: pyramid schemes promising a quick buck, financial planners seeking a new client, massive TA agencies looking to hire their newest employee to ‘churn-and-burn’…  these sales-y, generic InMails have unfortunately become the ‘norm’.

For this reason, I was not immediately intrigued when I saw a message from a new connection, Jake Thomas.  However, upon opening Jake’s message, my interest was instantly piqued.  Attached was not a generic, cookie-cutter text pitch, but a thoughtful, succinct video outlining both the Workforce Genetics and BioBuzz brands.  To say I was interested was an understatement.

Jake’s message cut through the noise of my cluttered inbox as it was personal: It was clear that Jake had taken the time to research both my professional background, and my online brand. His use of tailored messaging and video content differentiated him, and spoke to my interests.  I would later come to find that Jake  had been following my LinkedIn hashtag, #HalstonHires, for quite some time before crafting an impactful initial outreach.  

If you’ve ever spoken to me as a candidate, you know the emphasis I place on personal branding, and curating a positive online presence. I was elated to know that I was ‘practicing what I preach’, so to speak… #HalstonHires was not only connecting ‘my’ candidates to meaningful employment opportunities: it was also attracting the attention of employers for my own job search! 

From there, things escalated quickly.  After an initial phone screen with Jake, I could sense that the Workforce Genetics team was where I belonged. This sentiment was only further cemented after a long conversation with CEO and Mastermind, Chris Frew, and a probing Zoom call with Recruiting Leads Jeff Caskey and Heather Mudrick.  Needless to say, I was ecstatic when I was invited for a final, in-person interview with Jake and Chris.  

I breathed a sigh of relief when Chris and Jake shook my (sanitized) hand, and offered me a position on the team.  To have the opportunity to align myself with an organization that was so altruistic and cutting-edge, filled with such passionate, intelligent employees was overwhelming; I grinned the entire car ride home, so grateful that I had found my work ‘home’.

The onboarding process that ensued was painless and well-organized.  All legal documents were available to me online, saving me both paper and time.  My first week virtually in-office was equally painless, and genuinely fun! I was encouraged to ask any and all questions, but still was ‘allowed’ to work at my own pace. For me, that meant diving in head first, which was wholly encouraged!  Self-driven recruiting work was alternated with team meet-and-greet’s, shadowing opportunities, and intimate seminars.  From day one, I was made to feel like a valuable, contributing member of the team. 

That same thoughtfulness that I had experienced in Jake’s initial recruiting outreach was further echoed in my experience as a new employee.  It became clear to me that the warmth and personalization felt during my recruitment and onboarding is an integral part of the culture at Workforce Genetics

I cannot emphasize the following sentiment enough: your candidate experience during the recruiting process is one of the best indicators of what your employee experience will be. 


Beginning a new job is like beginning a new relationship.  If something feels ‘off’ from the onset, it is evocative of worse things to come after more time is invested in the organization. 

By the end of my first week in office, I felt confident, capable, and supported: by the end of the second week, I had a handful of roles on my plate and 3 client interviews scheduled.  As I write this, my third week with this amazing organization is coming to an end, and I could not be more confident or pleased with my decision to join the Workforce Genetics team.  I am looking forward to a bright future ahead, peppered with personal and professional growth, and the opportunity to become immersed in the Life Science community.  

Sometimes the best opportunities in life come disguised as ‘just another’ LinkedIn message.  

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Halston Sharkey

My name is Halston Sharkey, and I am a Full-Desk Recruiter at Workforce Genetics. I recruit top talent for a myriad of permanent, direct-hire positions across the Life Science Technology, Bio-Pharmaceutical, and Bio-Technology fields. I'm on a mission to deliver high-caliber talent to clients and to place candidates into careers that they love. I place value on candidate and client satisfaction, as well as building and fostering lasting professional relationships.

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