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The candidate experience playbook - Part 3

How feedback and key learnings will improve overall candidate experience
In July I wrote the first part of a series about the candidate experience. It addressed the importance of positive interactions with potential candidates and the value of the right first impression. The second article in the series offered practical interventions to be applied during the application process.

This third and final article in the series, unpacks the importance of candidate feedback and scoring as an essential tool for continuous improvement.

Given that the candidate is front and centre of any positive recruitment outcome, listening to their take-out from their experience is key to ensuring you are addressing potential issues effectively, as well as learning from areas that are performing well.

Listening to feedback is critical

At this late stage of the recruitment process your candidate has cemented their impressions of their experience and there is very little to do at this point in terms of improving their process. However, feedback at this point is critical to understanding what has and hasn’t worked.

Talentegy’s 2019 Candidate Experience report that I mentioned in my earlier articles gives us some startling statistics around candidate feedback. Their respondents said they were mostly rarely (36%) or never (40%) asked for their feedback after a recruitment process. These poor numbers are not reflective of their willingness as the same study showed that 68% of job seekers were likely or very likely to provide feedback if asked.

So why are companies not asking, and how does this reflect on an employer’s brand?

A recruitment journey is like any other customer journey, and a company (or employer) has to understand their ‘customer’ or candidate’s experience of the journey in order to adapt or improve. Talentegy’s report also tells us that after a negative candidate experience, 68% of their respondents said it would be unlikely or very unlikely for them to apply with the company again. This is worrying and difficult to come back from – as outlined in the important marketing book ‘Understanding Customers’ by Ruby Newell-Legner.

Newell-Legner claims that it takes 12 positive experiences to make up for one unresolved negative one. That can equate to a lot of time and money.

Money is also likely one of the primary driving factors for companies not asking for feedback. If there is no budget to correct the issues raised in the feedback, then it can be seen as a worthless endeavor. However, logic dictates that asking for feedback will positively impact the processes even if the changes are implemented incrementally – resulting in better performing recruitment teams, better hires and a stronger bottom line (a win-win in a highly competitive environment).

Feedback metrics

A Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a metric that came out of a need to quickly and accurately assess customer loyalty. The score is based on a customer’s willingness to refer someone else to the brand which, research has shown, corresponds with business growth.

NPS can be applied to employer brands too, and CNPS (Candidate Net Promoter Score) is now fairly widely used as an accurate performance metric for candidate experience feedback.

Simply put, if a candidate has a positive experience, they are not only more likely to accept an offer, but they are also likely to share their impression with their network which may bring additional applicants into your pipeline. Of course the opposite is true too - if a candidate has a bad experience, their shared impression will likely deter others from applying in the future.

How is CNPS measured?

CNPS is calculated through a series of “How likely…” questions with the answers rated on a 0–10 scale.

The answers are put into three groups:
  • 0 – 6 are called Detractors
  • 7 – 8 are called Passives
  • 9 – 10 are called Promoters
Once you have the scores, you subtract the Detractor amount from the Promoter amount which gives you the result. The higher the result, the more proof of a positive candidate experience.

There is no doubt that a positive candidate experience will have a positive impact on a company’s bottom line. But in order to truly understand what kind of candidate experience you are offering candidates, you need to go to the source. Like anything in life, opening yourself up to real, honest feedback takes bravery but in the long run, the positives far outweigh the negatives.

27 Aug 2019 15:06


About Henneri Crous

Henneri Crous is the Head of the Careers24 and Simplify Group's Sales Function. He has more than 19 years' experience in sales, with more than 11 of those years gained in the recruitment space.