If you’re like most companies the answer is not much good. Sorry to be the one to break the news, because I really applaud recruiting leaders for going as far as to obtain and monitor their candidate experience Net Promoter Score  (NPS).

To illustrate I’d like to ask “what IS your Net Promoter score?” I mean, I know what an NPS is. And you may have a number. But what does that number represent?

For most organizations, candidate Net Promoter Score is a number they calculated in the recent or distant past to measure a sweepingly broad sentiment called candidate experience. 

They know exactly how likely their candidates are to recommend that their friends apply for a job at this particular company. But what is it measuring? Is it still the same as it was six months ago? How can you improve it? Why isn’t it higher? Why are they recommending or not recommending?

Candidate experience Netpromoter Score no goodRemember, recruiting is a distributed process that involves career sites, applications, sourcers, 3rd party recruiters, third party assessment providers, ad partners that drive applications, phone screeners, hiring managers, interviews, offer letters, etc.

So I ask again, what good is your candidate experience NPS and what is it reflecting?

Get Real Time Data

First of all, old data is not ideal. NPS fluctuates. The movements it makes are where you find opportunities to improve, and it’s in these movements that you measure the success of any process changes or improvements to candidate experience.

As recruiting moves to more “experience” based hiring strategies, getting real time NPS data becomes a primary tool for measuring the success of the process in general. It also can be crucial in identifying gaps in the recruiting process that provides this “experience.”

Many companies do get real time data, but only do so through surveys on their career site. 

Others use old data AND the data is anchored to nothing other than a broad distributed process. 

Each misses out on the game-changing benefits of measuring candidate experience NPS because they miss out on true real time, stage-based candidate experience feedback.

Anchor Candidate Experience Net Promoter Score to Something Specific

A candidate that interviews for a position may have come from Indeed.com, been handed over to your career site. How was that experience? They obviously filled out an application. How was that experience?

They were probably screened over the phone. Any idea how that went? They met with a hiring manager. What happened? Did it affect the NPS?

You get the idea. 

Leading organizations are measuring NPS at each of these stages of the process. The good news is that most of these checkpoints along the way are pretty well defined in the recruiting game. 

With NPS anchored to each step, organizations can see the effect of each step of the process on NPS. Candidate experience NPS becomes a tool to flag potential problem areas and optimize them.

Ask Candidates Why?

Finally, if you want to confidently say that your recruiting NPS is worth a damn, ALWAYS pair it with an open ended question like “What went well and what can we do better?”

Now when you see fluctuations in your NPS, these metrics are anchored to something specific AND your NPS now comes with comments that become a veritable instruction manual detailing how to make it better. 

You may find that hiring managers are alienating some candidates. No problem! You have the data to work with these managers to establish credibility, train and improve.

You may find that applicants had a really rough time with your applications. They’ll tell you exactly what could be better and you’ll have the data to gain the resources to tackle the issue.

You may find that offers are declined for very “fixable” reasons. And the data you collect will help you work with leadership to optimize these offers. 

You may find that the speed of your process is too slow to get a high percentage of first choice candidates. Now you have the data needed to revamp your process to be more responsive.

All fixable…when you know about it. Not fixable when you guess, or have a recruiting intern “apply for jobs” to better understand the candidate journey.

Your candidate experience Net Promoter Score can be a gateway to huge breakthroughs in the effectiveness of your recruiting strategies and process. But if you’re in it half way, not so much.

Worried about survey fatigue? Don’t be. Leading hiring organizations are doing this right now and candidates are delighted that you’re asking them about their experience. Short NPS pulse surveys at each stage are actually increasing candidate satisfaction because it shows you care.