In this article, we’ll explain how we look at the moments to ask for feedback on Candidate Experience. It’s important to get this right in order to get valuable insights from the moments that matter.

During a presentation at the HR conference UNLEASH in London, Stephen Reilly from Mott MacDonald presented an image showing two candidates, one hired and one rejected – both smiling. He defined it as The Holy Grail, as this is probably not something you will fully achieve, but you should keep on striving for it nonetheless.

At Starred we live and breathe feedback. Our years of experience and rich benchmark data tell us that having smiling candidates after they’ve been rejected is hard. But that doesn’t make it any less important – on the opposite, it should always be your goal.

Rejected candidates outnumber hired candidates by multiples, and as a result, they define your reputation as a company to apply for. If your candidates are also your clients, then poor Candidate Experience can also lead to serious, negative financial consequences. This is the case if you’re in consumer goods, retail, telecom, but it also often applies to B2B companies. The challenge is to do it right – doing it wrong is almost the standard. After all, recruitment is sometimes referred to as a ‘factory of disappointments’.

Our benchmark data show that putting a smile on the faces of hired candidates is pretty easy, with a positive NPS of 60. Naturally, rejected candidates are less happy, although in the stage after the interview there is still a positive NPS of around 15.

In order to achieve The Holy Grail you must truly focus on your rejected candidates!

With Starred you can ask your candidates for feedback from the moment they leave the funnel. In the majority of cases, that is after the rejection and, in some cases, after the hiring decision. If your candidates choose to withdraw from the recruitment process – either after the interview or after the offer- you can also ask them for feedback using Starred.

When to send an applicant your Candidate Experience survey? When they leave the funnel – here’s why

We alluded to the most important reason already: the rejected candidate is the one to worry about. They will tell others about their experience. If that happens online, on Glassdoor, for instance, it will hinder you forever. They could also very well be your customers or subscribers and cut ties due to their poor experience. That could hurt your business substantially, as we learned from the Virgin Media case.

Rejected candidates will tell you the truth. As they don’t have any interest in sugarcoating anything they’ll share with you what they think is wrong with your hiring process. And that’s what you want: honest insights will help you learn from your mistakes.

Based on experience, we know that candidates that haven’t yet been rejected but already received an invitation for feedback give five stars on pretty much every question and will most likely recommend you. But when they know they’ve been rejected the benchmark of that score is an NPS of around 15.

We speak to companies that would like to ask their candidates for feedback at each and every stage. Considering that your candidate is hoping to go through to the next round, you will be receiving biased and falsely positive feedback, which defeats the purpose of measuring Candidate Experience in the first place. Besides, asking your candidate to score and comment on their experience after every stage is quite a heavy burden.

Finally, if you measure and analyze feedback the way it’s intended, you’ll contribute to the Starred benchmark with genuine scores that will be comparable with market data on all the responses from candidates having had the same experience with ending the process. You’ll then also be able to measure your success.

That’s why it’s our approach to ask candidates from the moment their application process has come to an end.

TL;DR (Too Long; Didn’t Read)

So, when is it best to send a Candidate Experience survey?

At Starred, we recommend for you to send a Candidate Experience survey after the candidates leave the funnel.

In fact, sending over Candidate Experience surveys after every step in your hiring process would end up being burdensome for your job applicants. It’s particularly important for you to focus on the feedback shared by rejected candidates as they’ll ultimately be more honest and their situation will compel them to share feedback on the most problematic aspects of your hiring process.