How to tell the difference between applicant and candidate

As a business owner or CEO, it is vital to tell the difference between a candidate and an applicant. When hiring for a new position, it's essential to understand the difference between a candidate and an applicant.

 min. read
October 25, 2022


Today you'll learn how to differentiate applicants and candidates. As a business owner or manager, it's essential to understand the difference between applicants and candidates.
Understanding the distinction between these terms helps ensure that you make efficient and effective hiring decisions. Suppose you're considering every applicant as a potential candidate. In that case, you may spend time and resources on candidates who need to be qualified for the position.

It's important to understand that only some applicants will become candidates. 

An applicant is someone who has applied for a job but has yet to go through the screening process. An applicant's resume may or may not be reviewed and may or may not be interviewed. Once the screening process is complete, the applicant becomes a candidate. 

A candidate is a potential employee with the skills and experience you are looking for. Candidates usually go through a vetting process before they are hired. 
This process may include an interview, resume review, and reference check. 
Here's a comparison between the two:


• An applicant is anyone who has applied for a job, regardless of whether or not they meet the qualifications. 

• An applicant is someone who has applied for a job but has not yet gone through the screening process. 
• An applicant's resume may or may not be reviewed, and they usually are not interviewed. 
• Applicants may only meet a few of the requirements or none at all.
• Applicants may have a less polished resume that doesn't go into as much detail about their skills and experience.
• Applicants may apply for a job because they need any job, regardless of whether or not it's a good fit for them.


• A candidate is someone who meets the basic qualifications for a job and has been screened by a recruiter. 
• A candidate is a potential employee with the skills and experience you are looking for. 
• Candidates usually go through a screening process before they are hired. This process may include an interview, resume review, and reference check.
• Candidates will usually have a well-written resume that covers their skills and experience in detail. 
• Candidates will typically meet most, if not all, of the job requirements. 
• Candidates will usually apply for a job because they are genuinely interested in the position and believe they would be a good fit for it. 

Why It Matters

The vetting process aims to narrow down the pool of applicants to only those who are the best fit for the position. Understanding these terms' differences ensures that you make the best hiring decisions. Pipehire helps Home Service Companies manage job offers and applicants with a one-of-a-kind scoring system. 
We eliminated the lengthy vetting process by offering employers our proprietary Scoring Rating Form:

• Screen applicants using Pipehire's powerful Score Rating Form.
• Rate applicants consistently and quickly so you can find the right person faster.
• Pipehire's simple, easy-to-use interface lets you quickly search applications and find applicants. Get through applications in minutes, not hours.
• Our Scoring Rating Form is designed to help employers quickly and easily identify the best candidates for their open positions. The form consists of a series of filters that allow employers to refine their search and select the applicants that meet their specific criteria. This helps to streamline the hiring process and makes it much easier for employers to find the right candidate for the job.
• Customize the score questions according to company requirements. You can tailor each question to your requirements and decide on a score that fits your needs!
• Pipehire questions do the heavy lifting of deciding which applicants pass or fail your screening process.
• Each applicant comes with a Score, color-coded to see the best candidates quickly.


In summary, candidates are potential employees who have undergone some screening. At the same time, applicants are people who have applied for a job without experiencing any sort of vetting process. The vetting process is designed to identify applicants best suited for the open position so businesses can make more informed hiring decisions. Understanding these two terms is crucial for any business owner or manager who wants to ensure they're hiring the best possible employees.
As you can see, there is a big difference between candidates and applicants. When hiring for a new position, take the time to screen applicants so that you only interview candidates who are genuinely qualified for the job.

is the Hiring, Management, and Retention platform for Home Service Companies.
🤔 Questions on managing cleaning employees? Email us at or visit us at to learn how better to manage all your cleaning employees with our hiring software.


Writing Ads to attract home cleaning business applicants

When you write an ad with a specific person in mind, the job offer description becomes much more relatable to your prospective home cleaning business applicants.
Luis Chaparro
February 3, 2023

Benefits of the new Pipehire + Checkr Integration + Promo Code + Resources

Sign in, launch the background check, and leave the rest to Checkr!
Luis Chaparro
January 27, 2023

The Hiring Funnel Framework™. A Tool to Help You Succeed in Your Hiring Cleaning Journey

The Hiring Funnel Framework™ is a compilation of ordered steps attached to specific and straightforward activities that need to be done to make sure you are making progress.
Luis Chaparro
December 12, 2022

What is candidate ghosting?

Employers are responsible for creating the proper channels for mutual communication between both sides.Candidates must be clear about where they stand in the process and how long it will take; they need to be honest and transparent about their real intentions with the job.
Luis Chaparro
November 23, 2022

👻 The 90% that don't show up(Ghosting) to job interviews

According to a recent study, 90% of candidates don't attend job interviews. This is often due to misleading job descriptions, low pay, inadequate training, and horrible working conditions. 
Luis Chaparro
November 17, 2022

🤔 Here's what you need to know about the ideal employee profile.

Businesses are tasked with finding the best candidates to fill their open positions every day. However, many companies don't have the time or resources to search for the right person comprehensively.
Luis Chaparro
November 1, 2022