<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=2059727120931052&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">
Employee Experience

Practical Ways to Measure and Optimize Candidate Experience for the Long-Haul

August 28, 2018
9 min read
Group 1-1

Performance Management, Supercharged


If it seems like sourcing qualified teams is becoming an increasingly tricky task, it is. Job vacancies are at a 15-year high, time to fill takes up to 42 days on average and the talent shortage is hitting its peak. Furthermore, candidates are more brave to share their experiences with a company online through career review sites like Indeed, Glassdoor and FairyGodboss, in addition to sharing experiences with friends and family through social media. Employer branding can only carry you so far if your candidates or employees are having negative experiences, then sharing them. 55% of candidates will quit an application after reading a bad employer review online and only 45% of employers don’t monitor those reviews. Additionally, well over half of candidates (78%) say the overall candidate experience is a clear indicator of how a company values its people.

How can you improve your #CandidateEX if you’re not measuring ongoing results? Start by building a custom solution:

Previously, we discussed improving your candidate experience through an extensive audit process. This will help your team find and fill gaps internally to spruce things up, but if you do any touching up to your process at all, you have to ask the actual candidates themselves.

Candidate experience expert, Principal and Co-Founder at CareerXroads, Gerry Crispin (@GerryCrispin), said:

“Ask this one question of every person who applies to every job within a few days of filling a position, ‘Based on your experience applying here, would you refer others to apply?’ Very positive (or any negative numbers) are worth digging in to.”

In order to improve a process, we must first measure where we currently stand. How do you measure an experience? Formulas, collecting feedback data and ongoing maintenance will do the trick. Let’s take a dive into each of these areas to build your custom candidate experience maintenance plan.

The Formula

Measuring candidate experience can be done by using the Net Promoter Score (NPS) formula created by Fred Reichheld, Bain & Company and Satmetrix, as a measure for customer satisfaction. Respondents are classified into three groups:

  • Promoters: loyal customers who are an excellent referral source
  • Passive: customers who are satisfied but are susceptible to competition
  • Detractors: unhappy customers who can potentially damage your brand

Learn more about how to treat candidates like customers to create optimal candidate experience.

Rising candidate-powered hiring landscapes have proven candidate experience to be strongly linked in comparison to customer experience. Crispin explains, “Your numbers using this NPS approach won’t tell you ‘why’ but it will help establish a baseline for candidate experience.”

Net promoter scores can range anywhere from -100 (nobody would refer this business to others) to 100 (everyone would refer this business to others). Any scores above 0 are considered “good” and above 50 is considered “excellent.”

“In the intervening 11 years since its [NPS] introduction, research has generally supported the hypothesis that firms who raise their game with their customers find NPS a valuable tool in measuring their success in doing it and, that companies with a higher NPS, perform better,” Crispin said.

To start the NPS analysis, collect feedback from newly hired employees who have just made it through the entire hiring process. Collect responses that are both very positive and very negative, ignoring neutral responses. Subtract the percent who are negative from the percent who are most positive.

Regarding the NPS score and how it relates to candidate experience, Executive Editor at Recruiting Daily, Matt Charney (@mattcharney), said: 

“This is called Net Promoter Score, and how well a company rates in terms of NPS is easily the best baseline to measure how much they’re moving the needle in terms of providing a great experience to candidates. Since they’re customers, too, it makes sense to use the same metrics to measure this as consumer marketers.”

Use this formula to evaluate the candidate data you’ll learn to collect in the following section when we look at standardized feedback processes.

Collect and Monitor

There are a few options when it comes to finding the best way to collect candidate feedback; we will go over chatbots and detailed surveys. Ultimately, how you collect data is up to you and your company style/brand. Both choices are pretty automated, but can offer customization to help fit your desired approach.


Chatbots offer you detailed insight into whether or not your hiring process is creating candidate fatigue. A specific example named Tasha, is a recruitment communication tool used to help answer basic questions, prompting candidates with reminders to complete their application and schedule interviews and next steps. If candidates want to abandon the application process, the chatbot can ask candidates why they’re leaving and relay the information back to the hiring team. This simple function is interactive and gives your hiring team direct feedback with little to no upfront effort.


Surveys will give you more of a detailed rundown from willing candidates as long as you don’t make the surveys too exhausting to complete. The content you include in your surveys can be dependent on a few things: your perceived weak spots/areas you’re looking to improve, areas candidates have commented on most and holes/gaps you found while auditing that you’ve been trying to or have plans to improve. 5-point scales are generally the easiest to complete since they’re on a “strongly disagree to strongly agree” scale.

Simple places to start:

Ask Candidates to Reflect on Employer Brand, Job Description and the Phone Screen

Using a mix of both of these feedback methods will give you your best chance at a full-fledged review of your hiring process. Some candidates might not take the time to fill out a post-hire or post-interview survey, but maybe are more willing to answer a quick chatbot response. Test one, the other or both together and see which solution best fits your needs.

Feedback Monitoring

Hiring is an ongoing motion as you grow and positions open due to turnover. Actively collecting feedback from those who are going through the hiring process is important to your ongoing maintenance plan, but online reviews are just as (if not more) important. Earlier we mentioned 55% of candidates will quit an application after reading a bad employer review online and 45% of employers don’t even monitor those reviews. You don’t have to keep your company’s Glassdoor page open on a daily basis to monitor these.

Tools like TalkWalker Alerts notify you of any online company mentions, making news monitoring that much simpler! Monitoring is half the battle; responding to reviews both positive and negative is imperative to feedback monitoring. This isn’t a wasted effort! 69% of candidates are likely to apply to a job if the employer actively manages its employer brand (including responding to reviews, updating online profiles, sharing updates regarding culture and work environment, etc). Responding to positive reviews is pretty simple; if you need help responding to negative reviews, consult with a PR representative before putting any comments out on the web on behalf of your company.

How do you measure an experience that’s not your own? Take a look at this #CandidateEX formula and how to use the results as a tool for your custom maintenance plan:

Your Ongoing Maintenance Plan

You have your experience feedback formula, you have your monitoring tools and your internal audit notes complete, now you build your custom maintenance plan. What you chose to do is ultimately up to you, but here are a few of our favorite best practices to ensure a knockout candidate experience for optimal growth:

Treat Candidates like Customers: Job seekers tend to “shop” for the right job. They scour through piles of job ads to find the position that sounds right for them. Candidates are the customers of recruitment, and recruiters fundamentally sell the role to acquire their desired talent pool. Make information about your company accessible so as not to waste a candidate’s time. Just like recruiters don’t want their time wasted, neither do busy candidates looking for that dream job.

Create the Best Hiring Process Through Experience: There are right and wrong ways to hire and reject employees, and it’s surprisingly easy to design an application process that gives your applicants a bad experience. Of the candidates who have a bad experience, 42% would never apply for another job opening at your company again, and 22% would convince their friends not to. Often a company with a fun, interesting and vibrant consumer brand turns out to have yet another corporate, white-walled and plain employer brand. If your consumer brand gives people a certain impression of your company, then you can use that to your advantage when it comes to hiring. 60% of your candidates already believe they have some sort of relationship with you. Smart companies take advantage of that.

Is Texting Candidates Right for Your Company? Some companies use interviews as an opportunity to reach out to candidates, others use surveys during the recruiting process. Other organizations, take candidate engagement to a whole new level. They use the impact of emerging technology on workers’ tendencies toward mobile engagement and reach out to them via text messaging. There are many benefits to using SMS in your recruitment strategy, but first, it allows your recruitment team to assess if it makes sense for your company. Even with the rise in mobile strategy in recruiting, only 24% of HR pros feel the ability to apply for a position with a mobile device adds to the candidate experience. Despite what the majority of HR thinks, read these numbers:

  • More than 78% of recruiters use text messaging to schedule interviews
  • More than 76% of recruiters use text messaging to confirm scheduled interviews
  • 80% of recruiters use text messaging to follow up with candidates after their interview
  • 73% of job seekers prefer to receive targeted job opportunities via text
  • 65% of job seekers use their smartphone at least once a day for job search purposes

Finding a data collection process that fits your company’s needs best will take some trial and error. Conduct your internal hiring process audit first to get a feel for your strengths, weaknesses and opportunities for growth. Once you have some constructive internal feedback, determine the volume of feedback you require from candidates, how much work your online reviews and presence need and what your budget is. All of this comes together to create your ongoing custom maintenance package.

Ready to call in the experts? ClearCompany has a full-suite of Talent Management Solutions to get you from screening to onboarding to talent retainment without skipping a beat. View a demo of our Talent Management Suite and start your candidate experience succession plan today!


Applicant Tracking Made Simple

The easiest-to-use ATS software you’ll find, designed to support a remote hiring strategy.

Schedule Your Demo