How to close the candidate feedback loop and prevent your cNPS from becoming just another figure on your recruitment KPI dashboard. 

More and more companies across a number of industries are starting to prioritize Candidate Experience. An excellent first step in measuring CandE is collecting feedback from candidates. 

Aside from gaining insights into your cNPS, candidate feedback will also show how you’re performing on different aspects of your recruitment process. 

While collecting feedback from candidates is a great way to start measuring your Candidate Experience, many companies fall short on one essential aspect: following up on candidate feedback. 

In this article we’ll provide you with a strategy and best practices for an efficient and effective follow-up approach. 

You’ll gain a clear understanding of the Return On Investment in terms of protecting or, even better, boosting your reputation when following up on candidate feedback. 

We will cover the following:

  • The importance of following up on candidate feedback
  • The experience is your brand 
  • Candidate follow-up strategy
  • 3 best practices to close the candidate feedback loop

Importance of following up on candidate feedback

An end-to-end candidate journey doesn’t finish upon hiring or rejecting a candidate. The last touchpoint of your journey should be your candidate survey, allowing the candidates’ voice to be heard. 

Imagine: you’ve applied for a job and have spent many hours preparing your interview and researching the company you’d love to work for. Unfortunately, after the interview you hear the company has chosen to go with another candidate, leaving you disappointed and in the dark as to the reason why. A few days after your rejection, you receive a survey where you’re asked to spend time giving feedback on your experience. You submit the survey and then… crickets. 

Your candidates took the time to respond to your survey, and deserve a proper follow-up showing your appreciation to close the feedback loop.

The experience is your brand

Your surveys and follow-up have an impact on the experience candidates have with your brand. Following up on candidates allows you to take control of your reputation. Candidate feedback will tell you which candidates had a negative experience so you can address them individually, preventing candidates from sharing their thoughts online (on review platforms like Glassdoor) or with friends and family.

Glassdoor research shows that “After a bad Candidate Experience, 72% of job seekers report sharing their encounters online. This alone can severely diminish an organization’s brand equity and prevent future applicants from considering them as employers. In fact, 55% of job seekers report avoiding certain companies after reading negative reviews.” 

Following up on candidate feedback doesn’t need to be a massive investment of resources. You can start small and build it out as you go by following the strategy outlined below. 

Candidate follow-up strategy

The final step of your candidate journey is responding to candidate feedback, in other words: closing the feedback loop. This brings along many benefits:

  • Further improve an already positive Candidate Experience
  • Ability to turn around a negative Candidate Experience (preventing candidates to share their experience with others or online on websites such as Glassdoor)
  • Opportunity to ask questions to uncover more information when candidates haven’t provided any commentary
  • Ability to show your candidates that you care and truly value their feedback

To get started on following up on candidate feedback, we suggest having a structured process in place for happy and unhappy candidates. We’ve created a follow-up strategy that you can implement to further optimize your Candidate Experience based on the given cNPS score: 

Detractors (unhappy candidates) 

Detractors are candidates who’ve given you a score between 0 and 6 on your NPS question. These candidates have had a negative experience and following up with them is your chance to resolve issues, prevent negative word-of-mouth and show them you care. Depending on the severity of their feedback, you can choose to follow up by phone, email, or by sending them a message through Starred

Passives & Promoters (happy candidates)

Both Passives (those who’ve given you a score of 7 or 8 on your NPS question) and Promoters (those who scored a 9 or 10) are overall happy with their experience. In case they did not leave any comments, you can reach out to learn more by asking questions based on the ratings in the survey. If they did leave commentary, this is your chance to take action and address their feedback. You can send them a quick email or a message through Starred. (Tip: start a candidate pool to keep track of your promoters. Though it was not a match this time around, this group of candidates might still be interested in applying in the future.) 

3 best practices to close the candidate feedback loop

Below you’ll find a few tips to help you get started when embarking on your closed-loop approach:

  • Appoint an owner who will keep track of incoming responses and is the recipient of firefight emails from Starred (Tip: you can have your firefight emails routed to your ticket system like Zendesk or Intercom)
  • Have response templates available for unhappy candidates (Detractors) and happy candidates (Passives & Promoters) alike. For inspiration, have a look at our ready-to-use follow-up templates 
  • In case you have a high feedback volume and not enough resources to personally respond to each candidate, only focus on your Detractors and on those candidates who have been in contact with someone on your recruitment team (i.e. exclude rejected after application feedback)

Main take-aways and resources

Measuring Candidate Experience will help you take action in a data-driven manner, however, don’t fall into the trap of forgetting the human behind the feedback. The candidate journey has not ended until you close the feedback loop through a proper candidate follow-up. Your choice of action will influence the Candidate Experience with your brand and will prevent your cNPS from becoming just another number on your recruitment KPI dashboard. This is how you take control of your reputation.

Resources to get your started:

Our follow-up message templates are ready-to-use and divided into messages to send to happy as well as unhappy candidates

Starred’s messaging feature allows you to contact both non-anonymous and anonymous candidates.