Candidate Satisfaction is a Powerful Recruiting KPI

Candidate Net Promoter Score recruiting KPI

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What’s your most important recruiting KPI (Key Performance Indicator)? Time-to-fill? Cost per hire? Quality of hire?  And what does it tell you?

These days time-to-fill has become an important recruiting KPI because the hiring landscape is so competitive. But you can be fast AND reckless so, like many KPIs, you need other data to provide context for time-to-fill, like offer acceptance rate, quality of hire, year one retention, etc. It’s an important KPI but lacks context.

On the other hand, there is an up and coming recruiting KPI that is beginning to rise to the top of the heap these days.  Candidate satisfaction.

How to Calculate the Candidate Satisfaction Recruiting KPI

Candidate satisfaction is typically expressed as candidate Net Promoter Score, or cNPS. On a 0-10 scale of how likely candidates are to recommend your company to other job seekers, cNPS essentially looks at your 9, and 10 responders as” Promoters.” It throws out any 6, 7 or 8 responder ratings because they are “Passives.” And any responders replying with a 6 or below are labeled “Detractors” capable of discouraging people from exploring your company, jobs or even from patronizing your business.  

Detractor scores are subtracted from your promoter scores and you are left with your cNPS. The scale ranges from -100 to +100. cNPS cuts through the ambiguity that can sometimes show up when asking candidates about their satisfaction levels on a basic scale and provides a highly utilitarian picture of what candidates think about your company.

cNPS is the Swiss Army Knife KPI

At a high level cNPS lets you know how happy candidates are with their recruiting experience at your company. The higher the score, the better experience your organization is providing to their candidates. But recruiting is a complicated process with multiple technologies, vendors and stakeholders involved. This is what makes cNPS such a great recruiting KPI.

Recruiting KPI cNPScNPS feedback can be gathered at every stage of the recruitment process. Top employers ask for cNPS feedback while job seekers are exploring their company and jobs on their corporate career sites. They also gather cNPS after the application is submitted. And after phone screens, hiring manager interviews, offers, and on through each milestone in the onboarding process. At each step, candidates give them cNPS data as well as insights into what is happening with the people, processes and technologies that they are interacting with.

That is powerful data that is used to optimize all phases of the process – even parts of the process that recruiting leaders struggle to get visibility into such as hiring manager interview  performance, assessment vendor performance, employer brand effectiveness, offer effectiveness and so much more.

Gathering cNPS at each important hiring phase is important because it becomes a signal indicating where potential problems may lurk in the hiring process. For example, we’ve had a client whose cNPS dropped at the offer declined stage. This is an obvious signal that something is not going well with candidate offers. Fortunately it was easy to click into the data and discover that the drop in cNPS at that stage was due to dissatisfaction with compensation. This was born out in the replies to the question asking why they declined. 

Survale further pinpointed that the problem existed mostly with hourly workers within a particular job family within retail locations. It’s much easier to make a case for adjusting salaries with specific data as opposed to “gut feel.”

At the end of the day, it takes technology to take advantage of candidate satisfaction as a robust KPI that can truly transform your hiring effectiveness. Technology automates the process and builds feedback into the process without the extra overhead of manually sending out surveys. And the benefits of incorporating candidate feedback into key portions of the hiring process are myriad. 

A properly executed cNPS recruiting KPI, with feedback baked into hiring stages, signals problems, raises questions and uses data and candidate feedback to actually answer those questions. It’s a metric that every hiring organization should have at the heart of their KPI dashboard.

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