The Ultimate Guide to Candidate Experience

CHAPTER 5

What questions should you ask in a
Candidate Experience survey?

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We live in a world where you can track everything, so how do you hone in on the metrics you should be tracking in Candidate Experience? How can you ensure you’re on track to becoming a data-driven Talent Acquisition department?

What is the purpose of a Candidate Experience survey?

You’re already likely tracking the common metrics, such as time to hire, time to accept, and all of the other metrics many departments routinely measure when it comes to recruiting talent. But how many of those metrics delve into how your candidate actually feels about their experience within your recruitment process? This is where a Candidate Experience survey comes in. In short, like we mentioned before, it’s a quick survey you send to candidates to understand how they feel about your recruiting experience. It covers a range of sections and gives candidate the opportunity to be heard by your recruiters and hiring managers.

What are the most important elements of Candidate Experience?

What questions to ask candidate experience survey

We’ve statistically analyzed more than 370,000 candidate responses to better understand what candidates value, and what impacts their opinion of your company. We’ve written an extensive report discussing all our findings, and identified the most important areas that you should excel in if you want happy candidates.

We found out that rejected candidates care most about:

  • The feedback they receive (which is consistent with Marco’s experience at VodafoneZiggo, which we detailed in Chapters 2 and 8)
  • The quality of the practical assessment
  • Your company’s Diversity & Inclusion policy

In addition, we noted that withdrawn candidates cared the most about:

  • Your EVP (Employer Value Proposition)
  • A clear understanding of the role on both sides
  • Your company’s Diversity & Inclusion policy

What questions should you ask in a Candidate Experience survey?

So, what types of questions should you actually ask candidates? Since Candidate Experience is so broad, deciding on what metrics you would like to measure can be daunting. One key metric you want to keep in mind is Candidate NPS, or Net Promoter Score. It details how your candidates feel about your company, and whether they would share their positive experience with family and friends. cNPS is a good barometer for your overall Candidate Experience, but to truly understand how your candidates feel, you’ll need to dive into a variety of topics.

The areas mentioned in our report are important, and focusing on them will help you optimize your Candidate Experience. Since candidates care the most about these areas, it makes sense to make sure that you ask questions surrounding them on your Candidate Experience surveys.

However, there are also many other areas where you should measure and understand Candidate Experience. We’ve used our expertise to prepare a comprehensive list of good question categories, based off of the most common questions we see being used in measuring Candidate Experience data.

We’ve also prepared an example library of survey templates, each of which makes an excellent starting point in measuring different facets of Candidate Experience. Note that these are just examples - our customer have access to a much wider range of templates.

Since the different areas you could focus on are so diverse, we thought it’d be helpful to list the most common categories of questions used on Candidate Experience surveys. Keep in mind that each one of these can have multiple sub-questions to allow you to collect finer data. Here’s the list:

Inclusion
Did the candidate feel respected during the interviews?

Employee Value Proposition
Did the candidate gain a good understanding of the culture, values and company mission?

Feedback
Was the candidate provided with a clear explanation of why Company X chose not to move forward with their candidacy?

Application
Did the candidate have a smooth and easy application process?

Compensation & Benefits
Did the candidate find the total compensation and benefits satisfactory?

Scheduling & Planning
Was the scheduling of the interviews handled well?

Onboarding (can be used for candidates or fresh hires)
Did the candidate feel they had tasks that could be immediately started?

Assessment
Did the candidate find the assessment to be well structured and appropriate to their position?

Preparation
Did the candidate find the interviewers they spoke with to be prepared?

Engagement
Did the candidate find the interviewers they spoke with to be engaged and interested in their application?

Screening
Did the candidate find that the recruiting team managed their expectations of the process and timeline well?

Understanding the Role
Did the candidate have a clear understanding of the role they were interviewing for?

Communication
Did the candidate feel that the recruiting team communicated with them with sufficient frequency?

Interview
Did the candidate find the general interview atmosphere to be pleasant?

Ease of Use (for tools)
Did the candidate find the technical tool used during the assessment to be easy to use and accessible?

Our surveys are fully customizable, which means that, ultimately, you can tailor your specific questions to whatever your company decides is the most relevant to your own insights and interests.

Why should you ask these questions?

As you might have noticed, metrics give you a measure of an issue but do not tell you the full story. To solve this, our surveys won’t just provide the initial quantitative metrics we discussed, but also give candidates the opportunity to elaborate on their answers by writing explanatory comments with their scores. These give candidates the opportunity to supplement their quantitative answers with qualitative data.

Measuring your Candidate Experience and giving your candidates a voice is a crucial part of upping your recruitment game. In the next chapter, we’ll dive into some details on why you absolutely need an automated Candidate Experience solution if you truly want to revolutionize your hiring process.