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Why you should ask for candidate feedback

5 min read
The world’s leading employers are increasingly realising that employee experience starts well before someone is actually hired. In fact, nearly half of the candidates said they had previous interactions or relationships with a company before they applied to work there.

And the impact of positive candidate experience is huge. Applicants who they had a positive experience are twice as likely to recommend the organisation to others.

Here are 3 ways you can optimise your candidate experience by collecting post-interview feedback from every potential candidate.

1. Improve your hiring process

Putting yourself in a candidate’s shoes is a surefire way to spot any inefficiencies or pain points in the recruiting process, whether it’s a job ad that’s confusingly worded, clunky application software or a phone number that rings out when a candidate calls with a question about the role.

By surveying your talent pool, you’ll not only get an insight into applicants’ experiences with you, you’ll be able to gather data from many job seekers and analyse it to pull out overall trends and find the areas where you need to improve the process or gather more data to delve deeper into potential issues.

Survey data could help you fine-tune small parts of your process, such as substituting initial face-to-face meetings with a video interview to save time and travel expenses, or implement bigger changes like overhauling your interview questions or involving a hiring manager earlier in the interview process.

2. Get more talent in the door

When you include questions like Net Promoter Score (NPS) in your candidate survey, you’ll build up hard data which you can use in your marketing and talent acquisition. Positive responses to questions like “Would you recommend the hiring process to a friend?” will encourage future applicants to consider you, and help you get more high-quality applicants interested in your open roles.

By including a mix of structured feedback items and open fields in your survey, you’ll have the potential to collect testimonials as well as metric data. Anonymised candidate testimonials and comments can be a powerful part of your marketing strategy.

3. Boost your employer brand

Your employer brand – i.e. the way you’re perceived as a place to work – is a key puzzle piece when it comes to acquiring talent. In today’s labor market, it’s no longer about companies selecting the applicants with the most relevant work experience. Thanks to digital communication, a more fluid job market and a culture that seems to encourage job-hopping, candidates have more power than ever before to determine their career destinies.

By keeping a close watch on your candidate experience and optimising it in response to survey data, you can help build an employer brand that sets you apart from the competition and paints an appealing picture for potential hires. Whether or not they are hired, candidates should come away feeling respected, listened to and that they’ve had an opportunity to learn from their experience.

Common Mistakes in The Candidate Feedback Process

With all that said, there are a few pitfalls to watch out for when getting feedback on your interview process.

Skewed input from unsuccessful candidates

A request for feedback to rejected candidates could end up being a chance for them to simply vent their disappointment. When processing and analysing your survey data, keep an eye out for unsuccessful candidates just expressing their anger. Don’t filter them out though – you can still learn a lot from these people and they can actually be powerful advocates of your brand.

Survey fatigue

Feedback is important and most of us like having our views heard, but for job seekers already dealing with a lot of paperwork, the presence of an extra survey could detract from the candidate experience instead of enhancing it. It’s a good reason to keep your surveys brief, focused and as low-effort as possible.

Getting the timing wrong

Ask for feedback from someone who has completed a first interview and hopes for a second, and you’re unlikely to get negative feedback, even if anonymity is assured. And if you send a feedback survey at the same time as a rejection email, it’s very unlikely that a disappointed candidate will want to take the time to fill it in.

Because the recruitment process is so time-sensitive, you may want to segment your respondents according to hiring decisions as part of your applicant tracking. This way you can send surveys to different groups at different times to give you the best chance of collecting high-quality data.

The candidate experience is indicative of what the employee experience will be like at a company. Ask for feedback and apply your findings to continually enhance the candidate experience.

See how Qualtrics can help you transform candidate experience