Turning Insights Into Action

Surveying candidates during the hiring process can make marked improvements to the candidate experience.

By Bruce Baumgarten

The hiring process for both employers and candidates is often nerve-racking. Both parties yearn for that perfect fit to maximize their own growth and success, yet many still have trouble finding it. With unemployment rates at an all-time low, it’s not just the candidates competing for the same jobs—employers must compete against other companies to attract top candidates as well.

It’s just as important for businesses to make a great impression on their candidates as the reverse. In fact, according to Glassdoor, 40 percent of job seekers say a main reason they would pull out of a recruitment process is due to a poor first interaction with a recruiter or hiring manager. For example, candidates can leave unsatisfied if the job description is not accurate, the recruiter never follows up, the process takes too long, or the application is extremely complicated. These types of poor interactions can have a negative impact and easily turn away top talent, leading to low ratings on career sites and fewer referral opportunities. In addition, candidates are potential customers and extensions of the company’s brand; their experience as a candidate can unintentionally impact the company’s reputation and affect revenue.

In order to attract more high-quality job seekers, it is essential for businesses to provide a quality candidate experience that improves a potential employee’s outlook toward the company and its hiring process. Regardless of whether the candidate is selected or not, their experience can influence how they communicate their interaction with the company to their friends and family—or even online.

One way that companies can ensure a positive hiring experience is by leveraging the right technology to gain candidate insights. Automatic talent feedback survey platforms such as Survale allow employers to access realtime data from candidate surveys. Each survey includes a set of questions specific to interactions the candidate has had with the employer, such as the employer’s career site, application process, recruiter screening process, interview, and post-interview follow-up. The employer is given instant feedback on the performance of each recruiter, hiring manager, location, and business line.

The feedback provides a wealth of data-based information and insight that can be collected and vetted for future process enhancements. Direct input from the candidates who flow through the hiring process can offer different perspectives while also allowing organizations to better understand areas of opportunity. Based on the data, strategies can be implemented to help align the candidate experience with organizational goals. For example:

  • If a general trend appears at a certain stage, the process can be modified. For example, if candidates don’t feel they were provided with enough information on a topic at the right time, the organization can update the process to keep candidates better informed. Feedback about candidate communication preferences or career site capabilities is also helpful in making simple changes.
  • If there is consistent constructive feedback on a particular hiring manager or interviewer, organizations can revisit training programs and support strategies for that individual.
  • When candidates provide positive feedback, organizations can show the value of their talent acquisition investments to senior leadership.
  • As the business identifies specific talent needs, such as a focus on certain IT roles or capabilities, organizations can evaluate data to better prepare how and where that talent is sourced, and partner with the business to make any adjustments to the recruitment process for the target audience.

Job seekers can help employers become aware of the behaviors that need to change in order to impress other prospective candidates, whether it is speeding up the recruitment process or using a more conversational interview style. Even the smallest changes can greatly improve the quality of applicants and the company’s reputation as an employer of choice.


Bruce Baumgarten is senior director of talent for CSAA Insurance Group.

Posted March 12, 2020 in RPO & Staffingin Talent Acquisition

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