Reduce Cost Per Applicant With The Secret Shoppers of the Recruiting World

Reduce cost per applicant with candidate feedback

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Sure you can keep rejected candidates warm and source from them for future jobs, but you could reduce Cost Per Applicant by doing more with them. And I mean all candidates, not just the silver medalists or top five choices from previous searches.

Because let’s face it, not all candidates are created equal. Let’s say you have an external talent pool of 50,000 job seekers, most of which are either rejected candidates from previous hires or job seekers that never went beyond application or talent network sign up stage. Some people will tell you that maybe only 10% to 20% have any future value to your organizations. They might be right from a sourcing perspective.

BUT, those same rejected candidates can provide huge value to your talent acquisition efforts as secret shoppers. Just like in retail environments where paid shoppers are deployed to expose customer service shortcomings and strengths, your rejected candidates can be invaluable in exposing problems with the people, processes and technologies you use to hire. And if your organization is more efficient in attracting, sourcing, evaluating and hiring candidates it will translate into fewer dollars.

Reduce Cost Per Applicant

Remember, you paid good money to attract and evaluate those rejected candidates. If you are continually sourcing from that pool, that’s a great way to recoup your CPC. But there is still a lot of meat on the bone. 

These candidates have the knowledge you need to expose problems that can allow you to increase your recruiting efficiency. You should ask them:

  • How satisfied were they were with their treatment
  • What they thought of your employer brand before and after applying
  • How your recruiting process compared to others they experienced
  • How satisfied they were the interview process (if any)
  • How likely they are to recommend your organization to others
  • What did your organization did well and what could be improved


Reduce cost per applicant with candidate feedbackThe answers to these questions can expose both problems and opportunities related to the people, processes and technologies you use to hire. Survale clients have discovered recruiters pushing candidates through hiring stages in the ATS to make it look like they were doing more work than they actually were. On the flip side, they also find candidates NOT getting properly statused, resulting in communications not going out and therefore creating  candidate resentment at the lack of communication.

They’ve discovered under performing hiring managers with reduced hiring success because of lack of interview skills. They’ve uncovered better ways to align recruiters with hiring managers to make the hiring process smoother for candidates and reduce time to hire.

These are just a couple of examples of candidate experience driven optimizations that have increased efficiency and driven down Cost Per Applicant numbers. All driven by these “secret shoppers.”

Surveys Are Only Part of the Solution

The problem with surveying past candidates is that they often don’t remember what happened and, let’s face it, they are not incentivized to respond to you. Just sending out periodic surveys is of limited value. The answer to that problem is to pulse those candidates in real time while they are still active. While their experiences are fresh in their minds and they are engaged in the process of trying to get hired. Pulse these candidates with just a few questions at each stage of the hiring process. This is how to fully unleash their value as secret shoppers. They will tell you everything you need to know to boost your employer brand and reduce Cost Per Applicant by optimizing all the people, processes and technologies you use to hire. For more information about how to do this, download The Data Driven Candidate Experience Maturity Model and Candidate Experience Return on Investment whitepapers.

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