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3 Effective Ways To Collect Candidate Experience Feedback

Adrian Dixon

April 21, 2018

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Recently, I read an amazing HROS case study by Johnny Sanchez, Head of Recruiting & Onboarding at Hot Topic, on how he and his team completely transformed their onboarding process. One detail that stuck out to me on how he did it was by “surveying hires over the previous six months.”

candidate experience feedback
With all the attention being paid to improving candidate experience, one obvious strategy should be top of mind: are you collecting feedback from your actual candidates?

Here are 3 effective ways you can collect feedback to improve your candidate experience.

1. Using a chatbot as a candidate feedback tool

Sutherland, an IT service provider, built its own chatbot, Tasha, as a communication tool for their  candidates. In addition to answering basic questions, prompting candidates to return to the job application if they abandon it, and scheduling interviews, Tasha provides feedback about the candidate experience to recruiters.

If the candidate does want to abandon the process, Tasha finds out why and “parlays that information back into our process and our sourcing,” says Kelly Culler, Sutherland’s VP of a Global Talent Acquisition.

This feedback mechanism allows Sutherland to gain insights into their candidate experience, implement improvements based on the feedback collected, and hopefully reduce candidate drop-off rates.

The big advantages of using a chatbot to gain candidate feedback is that it’s relatively frictionless for candidates, it can provide insights in real time, and the information can be collected directly into your existing recruiting software (e.g., ATS, CRM).

2. Using the Net Promoter Score to capture an overall impression

One of the metrics Hot Topic used to assess the results of their onboarding transformation is the Net Promoter Score (NPS) among their new hires.

For recruiting departments, the NPS is a single item that asks something along the lines of, How likely is it that you would recommend applying to our company to a friend or colleague?

The scale often goes from 0 to 10 with candidates who respond from 0 to 6 labeled as Detractors, 7 and 8 labeled Passives, and 9 or 10 labeled as Promoters. The Net Promoter Score is calculated by subtracting the percentage of customers who are Detractors from the percentage of customers who are Promoters.

The big advantage of using a NPS for your candidate experience feedback is its simplicity. You can ask candidates to rate their experience within a couple seconds over text, email, or even over the phone.

On the other hand, although the NPS can provide a quick snapshot of your candidate experience, it’s not the most useful tool for identifying specific issues about what might be turning off candidates.

3. Using a detailed survey to gain specific insights

Asking candidates to rate specific aspects of your recruiting process using a survey is one of the best ways to gain insight into the strengths and weaknesses of your candidate experience.

There are many ways to go about doing this but most surveys use a 5-point scale (ranging from Strongly Disagree to Strongly Agree) and ask candidates for their reactions to specific items such as the employer brand, the job description, and the phone screen.

See an example of a candidate experience survey by recruiter Ted Diaz here.

You can include a mix of both objective, practical items and subjective, emotion-based items.  

  • An example of a more subjective item: Overall, my interviewing experience was positive.
  • An example of a more objective item: My interview started on time.

While surveying candidates is more time- and work-intensive, this type of feedback can be invaluable to identify which aspects of your candidate experience are worth investing in to improve upon.

Bonus tip

Of course, any feedback isn’t going to be useful without follow up action. Make sure you have a course of action in mind about your candidate experience.

Pick a metric you want to improve upon based on the data you collect, implement a strategy, and then re-assess if you’ve successfully executed by surveying new candidates.