Breaking News! Hired Candidate Satisfaction is High and Rejected Candidate Satisfaction is Low

This just in: Rejected candidate satisfaction is likely to be low. Hired candidate satisfaction is likely to be high. We know this intuitively. We also know it empirically. Recent Talent Board data on candidate NPS scores, reveals a deep delta between hired candidates and rejected candidates.

At Survale, we see the delta in our own data which shows hired candidates with (real, not extrapolated) Netpromoter Scores (NPS) that are 4X higher than rejected candidates. We gather feedback in real time and anchor it to each stage or transaction, so Survale feedback data is fresh, tied to your process and actionable every day.

Often organizations use bad rationale NOT to gather feedback from any candidates. Why waste time? We know that rejects will be unsatisfied and hires will be very satisfied..

This is bad logic. Satisfaction is not binary. It can always be higher or lower.

By the same token, many prospective Survale clients we work with say “yeah, we gather candidate feedback,” but when you peel back the layers, they only gather feedback from HIRED candidates.

Both of these scenarios are losing strategies. Here’s why.

Rejected Candidates Largely Define Your Employer Brand

Rejected candidate satisfaction by stageThink about it. If you are happy to ignore rejected candidate experience, either by not gathering feedback altogether, or by focusing only on hired candidate feedback, you are unleashing unhappy candidates on the employer review sites of the world. Your Glassdoor rating goes down and that makes it harder to attract and hire the best candidates.

In my experience, candidate dissatisfaction comes largely from two buckets, 1) I was disrespected and 2) I wasn’t “heard.”

Disrespect comes in the form of missed/rescheduled interviews, lack of attention from recruiters or hiring managers, etc.

Lack of being “heard” comes from perceived lack of reading the resume, quick rejection, rejection without discussion or interaction, etc.

If you aren’t gathering feedback from rejected candidates, then you are likely unaware of systemic issues that cause perceived lack of respect. Perhaps you have hiring managers that need to be redirected. Perhaps your team is missing meetings due to process or technology reasons. Perhaps your follow up communications aren’t worded properly or are getting lost.

Lack of being “heard” could be the result of rejecting candidates too soon, or your communications aren’t transparent enough about process and reason for rejection.

At the end of the day, gathering feedback allows candidates to be heard! This helps them feel better about your company and it helps you identify problems in your process.

Notice the Survale NPS chart tracks NPS by hiring stage. That’s because feedback doesn’t do a ton of good until you can anchor it to a transaction or process step. Anchoring your rejected candidate feedback to each stage gives you a clear picture of your process and it continuously reassures candidates that you care.

Hired Candidates Won – They’re Happy!

It’s prevalent. Organizations pat themselves on the back for gathering hired candidate feedback only. I get it. It’s easier to do, and everyone feels good about it because the news is good. But analyzing only hired candidate feedback is more than useless. It’s dangerous.

Hired candidates won the game. Do you really think new employees are going to a) sh%$t on the process that got them hired? Or b)  walk into a new company criticizing the people/process that welcomed them in?

They are not. The data proves it. 

And what’s worse, this feedback lulls you into believing your process is working well enough to ignore the 99% of candidates who are willing and motivated to tell you, and everyone else, what’s wrong with your company and its hiring process.

These are the candidates that don’t feel heard and have nothing to lose by telling Glassdoor all about how your interviews are a joke.

Inclusive Feedback Results in Candidates Feeling Heard

Notice I said “inclusive.” If there are systemic bias issues in your hiring, you won’t find them in hired candidate feedback. You will find them in the rejected candidate feedback.

Anecdotally, many Survale clients see NPS satisfaction scores for ALL candidates in the +50 and higher range because they treat all candidates the same.  Remember, anything in the positive range is considered good for NPS. Gathering feedback from rejected candidates makes candidates feel heard, shows you care, and identifies issues that you can fix BEFORE they leak out into social media or employer review sites.

So gather feedback from ALL candidates including rejected candidate satisfaction. The 99% of rejected candidates are more important to your hiring success than the 1% of hires. The 99% control your word of mouth. The 99% includes diversity you might be missing by living in the positive feedback loop that IS hired candidate satisfaction. The 99% is the 1% for your next hire if you do things properly.