Candidate Experience Benchmarks
What Every Employer Should Know

Candidate experience benchmarks

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Not all candidate experience benchmarks are created equal but employers are hungry for them. In fact 90% of companies that come to Survale to manage their candidate experience and optimize their hiring process say benchmarking is somewhat, to very, important to them. 

That said, there are some important facts about candidate experience benchmarks that every employer should know.

What Are Candidate Experience Benchmarks?

When candidates go through your hiring process, they end up feeling a certain kind of way. And  it’s a best practice to gather feedback from those candidates to increase satisfaction and remove friction from the hiring processes. 

Some companies gather feedback automatically in real time after each stage of the hiring process. Other companies manually send one big survey once or more per year. 

When surveying, organizations should ask about the performance of their people, processes and technologies. How simple was the application? Was your interviewer prepared? Why did you decline the offer? And of course, how likely are you to recommend this organization as an employer? This feedback signals areas where there might be problems that could reduce satisfaction, slow time to hire and lower acceptance rates.

Like everything else, the moment you have data about candidate experience you want to know how you stack up to other companies like yours. The following are the important factors to know about candidate experience benchmarks.

Who Is Being Asked for Feedback and When?

Are the benchmarks you are viewing come from candidates or newly hired employees? A huge number of companies only survey candidates after they’ve been hired. And guess what? They are very satisfied. Go figure. You don’t want to benchmark against this kind of data alone.

Candidate experience benchmarks

The best benchmark data uses feedback gathered from candidates in real time, at multiple points in the process when they are actively engaged with the company. 

This provides a mixture of earnest feedback from candidates actively engaged and vying for work, along with overly positive feedback from newly hired candidates and negatively skewed feedback from candidates that get rejected. This creates a hearty stew of perspectives throughout the process that homogenizes the data.

Waiting until the end of the hiring process to survey candidates can result in benchmarks that skew negative because most candidates get rejected. This approach only reflects the massive proportion of rejected candidates (tending to skew negative) along with the tiny proportion of hired candidates. It misses the feedback from those rejected candidates who responded to real time pulse surveys after an interview, for example, before they get rejected or passed on to another stage.

Don’t get me wrong. Rejected candidates are a gold mine for finding out what is wrong with your hiring process. And companies definitely want to do everything in their power to ensure their experience is positive. But data for this rejected cohort typically skews negatively because they’ve been rejected.

And of course, the longer a company waits to survey candidates, the fewer responses will be received and those responses will be less accurate. Imagine applying for dozens of jobs and then getting a survey six months later about a single company. Recall is going to be minimal unless the experience was extremely positive or negative.

Finally, what industries and job types are contributing to the benchmarks? If your company is a large restaurant chain with a majority of hourly jobs, benchmarking against data from smaller organizations with predominantly salaried jobs is not a relevant comparison at all.

Where is the Data Collected?

It is crucial to ensure that the candidate experience benchmarks you are using were collected in the same country or region. Europe, for example, has different hiring norms and candidate expectations, with recruiting processes that have historically relied on external recruiting agencies to much larger extent than the U.S..  Economic, social and employment trends can be vastly different between geographic regions and that affects the relevancy of the benchmarks between them.

The Best Candidate Experience Benchmarks Sources

So where can you find the best candidate experience benchmarks? The Talent Board’s annual candidate experience research and awards program (#CandEs) is the most complete benchmarking data set available. It publishes benchmarks annually pulling from over 200,000 candidate responses. They segment their benchmarks by territory and they pull from the largest variety of industries. 

 That’s why Survale’s Enterprise Candidate Feedback Platform embeds CandE benchmarks right into its analytics, showing the overall average CandE participant rating and the winners’ average rating right alongside your real-time results. On top of that, Survale enables clients to benchmark questions across our client base so it’s easy to compare your real time feedback data with benchmark data derived from hundreds of thousands of other real time responses. You get the best of all worlds: CandE benchmarks, Survale benchmarks plus the ability to drill directly into the data to find the exact who, what, where, when and why behind every piece of feedback.

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