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How to Gather Valuable Feedback from Candidate Surveys

David Law

Mon, 10 Jun, 2024

  • Reading Time:
    ~ 9 minutes

“Candidate Experience” is a frequently used term and for very good reason – it plays a crucial role in attracting and retaining top talent. Simply put, candidate experience refers to how a candidate perceives your company after going through the hiring process. Their experience, whether positive or negative, can influence their decision to apply, accept a job offer, recommend your company to others, or even publicly criticise their experience.

Every business wants to create the best candidate experience possible, but how do you know what works and what doesn’t? Feedback from candidates is invaluable, yet often a challenge to get. To unlock the insights you need, effective candidate surveys are essential. In this blog post, we will discuss how to design better candidate surveys by looking at the data you should collect, deciding on the best platform for collecting it, creating questions that give meaningful insights, automating the send-out process, and understanding why dual analysis is important.

Collecting Valuable Candidate Feedback

Overall, collecting feedback from candidates is an important part of any recruitment process. By carefully considering the data you need to collect and the best platform and method for gathering it, you can ensure that your survey is effective in providing valuable insights into how well your recruitment process is performing.

Choosing the Right Survey Tool

Once you have a clear understanding of what data you need to collect and the overall aim of your survey, it’s time to decide on the best platform for collecting this feedback. To do this, you will need to consider factors such as price, features, ease of use, integrations, and other technical requirements.

When selecting a survey tool for candidate feedback, it’s important to make sure that the design reflects your brand identity and colours. This helps create an engaging experience for the respondent and makes them more likely to complete the survey honestly. You should also test out all features before using them to ensure that everything works correctly.

Surveys can be quickly and easily created with tools like SurveyMonkey, Google Forms, or Typeform. At Fulcrum, we have used Typeform and Google Forms due to their design capabilities and excellent data analysis features. However, our preferred tool is Ashby, which we use for its superior integration capabilities and robust analytics.

Integrating a survey tool with existing software can save time and prevent double-entry. Automation is especially useful when creating surveys because it allows you to quickly send invitations or reminders without having to manually enter data each time. Additionally, many tools (like Ashby) offer advanced analytics, which allows you to gain insights into how respondents are engaging with your surveys. Ashby is particularly beneficial for its candidate experience (CX) surveys and diversity surveys, offering insightful data to improve recruitment processes.

Crafting Insightful Survey Questions

Creating effective questions for candidate surveys is a critical step in collecting meaningful feedback from applicants. The right questions should provide insight into the effectiveness of the application process, source attribution, communication, speed, quality, professionalism, and tone. Potential areas of improvement, overall experience with the hiring process, and recommendation score.

When crafting survey questions, it’s important to consider factors such as question wording and relevance to the candidate’s experience. Questions should be crafted in a way that ensures accuracy and encourages response rates by avoiding any type of bias or confusion. For example, if asking a rating question, it’s best to use a balanced scale (e.g., 1-5) rather than an unbalanced scale (e.g., 1-10). It’s also important to structure questions carefully; turning multiple choices into binary yes/no responses can simplify answers without losing data accuracy.

Open-ended questions are also useful as they can provide deeper insights into how candidates view their experience with your organisation. Anonymity should also be given consideration when crafting open-ended questions so that candidates feel comfortable being honest with their feedback. Additionally, optional non-mandatory questions should be included at the end of your survey as these help build rapport and make candidates more likely to fill out surveys truthfully from start to finish.

It is always useful to be aware of where an individual has heard about a job role. As a way to get the answer to this, it is a common practice in sales and marketing to ask applicants, “Where did you hear about this job?” This is known as self-reported attribution. This will give you a better understanding of where the majority of your candidates come from and if they applied themselves or if they were recruited. Give the applicant a few choices to pick from so you can keep your records neat (e.g., LinkedIn, Referral, Google, Seek, Other).

Professionalism and tone – It is essential that all recruiters and hiring managers act in a professional manner throughout the recruitment process. Their behaviour and conversations reflect the company and its culture, so it is a good idea to ask candidates to rate the level of professionalism they have experienced. This feedback can help to ensure that the employer brand is accurately represented in the future.

How did we do? – This is a great chance to gain meaningful insights by asking the applicant an open-ended query like, “What can we do to enhance our recruitment process?” Examining these responses can assist you in identifying recurrent problems that could be fixed and improved.

Finally, timing is another key factor when designing your survey; sending too soon after an interview may cause respondents to forget details but waiting too long may cause them to lose interest in participating altogether!

Automating Survey Distribution

Automating the send-out of candidate surveys is an important step in collecting meaningful feedback from applicants. Automation can help businesses save time and effort, as well as ensure that surveys are sent out at regular intervals to the right people. It also enables businesses to set up a system to track survey responses, so they can gain insights into the effectiveness of their recruitment process. Additionally, surveys should be optimised for mobile devices, as more and more applicants are using their phones to apply for jobs.

Integrating surveys into existing recruitment tools such as applicant tracking systems or CRMs can further streamline the process by making it easier for businesses to collect data on candidates’ experiences. This ensures that all data is stored in one secure location and allows businesses to easily keep track of survey responses over time. Furthermore, this integration also helps recruiters keep track of feedback from all stages of the recruitment process, allowing them to make informed decisions about which candidates are best suited for particular roles.

Businesses should also consider automating follow-up emails after a survey has been completed. These emails can include thank-you messages or requests for additional information if needed. Automating these emails ensures that candidates receive timely and professional communication throughout the recruitment process. Finally, automation also simplifies the process of gathering feedback from multiple sources like job boards and job search engines, allowing businesses to gain valuable insights into how their job postings perform across different platforms and channels.

Overall, automating the send-out of candidate surveys is an essential step in collecting meaningful feedback about your recruitment processes and improving the overall candidate experience. By taking advantage of automation tools like CRMs and applicant tracking systems, businesses can save time while ensuring accuracy in their data collection efforts and gaining insight into how successful their job postings are across different platforms.

Key Considerations for Measuring Candidate Experience

Measuring candidate experience is essential to ensure the success of any recruitment process. Businesses should consider not just how candidates respond to their surveys, but also their journey from initial contact all the way through the hiring process.

The language and tone of questions should be considered when designing a survey. Questions that are too formal or complex can lead to confusion, while questions that are too casual can give people the wrong impression about your business. Cultural differences should also be considered; certain words can have different meanings in different countries or cultures, and this could influence how respondents answer your survey questions.

Providing personalised feedback for each candidate is an effective way to boost engagement and show them that you truly value their input. Multiple-choice and open-ended questions should both be used to gain comprehensive insights into the candidate’s experience. Multiple-choice questions help respondents answer quickly, while open-ended questions provide more detailed insights.

Finally, businesses should always provide a clear way for candidates to opt-out of surveys or provide additional comments if they wish. This will show them that you are listening and respecting their opinions even if they do not fit within your predetermined survey parameters. Doing so encourages honest feedback without fear of repercussions and ensures that all responses are valid and reliable sources of data for businesses to analyse when evaluating their recruitment processes.

Timing is Critical

Timing is a critical consideration when designing candidate surveys. Companies need to consider the current climate and any potential respondent availability issues, as well as giving participants enough time to complete the survey. Not only should businesses be aware of the length of each question, but also of the overall survey duration. Make sure it’s not too long that respondents won’t finish it, or too short that you won’t get enough information.

When deciding on a timeline for your survey, companies can opt for either a pre-defined timeline or an event-based timeline. With an event-based timeline, all touchpoints must be defined ahead of time to accurately track candidate experience. This allows organisations to better understand how their recruitment process is working and identify areas for improvement accordingly.

Companies should also consider providing incentives such as discounts or coupons to encourage respondents to complete surveys on time and provide honest feedback without fear of repercussions. Providing incentives will also create a positive customer experience by showing that you value their opinions and are willing to reward them for their participation in your survey.

Finally, businesses should consider cultural differences when designing candidate surveys as this may have an impact on response rates and overall satisfaction with the survey process. For instance, some cultures may respond better to email surveys rather than text messages or phone calls – make sure your organisation takes this into account when deciding on a distribution method for its surveys.

Survey Length

When designing a candidate survey, the length of the survey should be a primary consideration. Surveys that are too lengthy can cause respondents to become fatigued and yield less reliable data—this is why it is important to keep them brief and to the point. No more than twenty questions should be asked, with an upper limit of five minutes in duration—any longer and the survey will no longer remain engaging. The language used should also be kept as straightforward as possible, so all respondents can understand what they are being asked.

Also, providing an estimated completion time before candidates begin their survey can help set expectations and increase engagement with the process. To further encourage honest feedback from participants, incentives may also be offered for completing the questionnaire. Finally, businesses may wish to explore different lengths of surveys on different target audiences to determine which one works best for them.

To sum up, by keeping candidate surveys short and concise while making sure each question is relevant and easy-to-understand, businesses can ensure they collect meaningful data without causing respondent fatigue or decreasing response rates. Additionally, offering incentives or estimated completion times can help boost engagement levels with the process overall.

Ensuring Anonymity

Anonymity is an essential part of any candidate survey if you want to get honest feedback. Keeping survey responses anonymous not only protects the privacy of candidates but also removes bias and allows for a more accurate assessment of the candidate pool.

When designing a candidate survey, it’s important to consider the implications of collecting and storing personally identifiable information. Depending on the type of data being collected, different countries may have different regulations about how that data should be stored and used. It’s important to understand these local regulations before collecting any data from candidates.

One way to ensure anonymity in surveys is to filter out bias when analysing results by removing personal information such as name, address, email address, phone number, etc., and instead focusing on areas like work experience or qualifications. This can help remove any potential unconscious bias in decision-making processes and ensure that everyone gets a fair assessment regardless of their background or identity.

It’s also important to consider best practices regarding keeping surveys anonymous. Companies should avoid using language that could identify individual respondents or ask questions that would reveal their identity. Additionally, they should provide clear instructions on how the data will be used and stored securely for maximum protection. Finally, businesses should make sure that all collected data is encrypted before transmission if possible.

By considering anonymity when designing candidate surveys, businesses can gain valuable insights into their recruitment process without compromising the privacy of their candidates. Anonymity helps create an environment where everyone feels safe enough to give honest feedback without fear of repercussions or judgement based on personal characteristics such as race or gender.

Incorporating Non-mandatory Questions

Non-mandatory questions are a fundamental part of gaining a thorough understanding of the candidate’s experience. Creating these inquiries carefully and thoughtfully can provide businesses with invaluable insights into how applicants feel about their overall experience. It’s essential to use open-ended questions, as they allow for free text responses, but also important to keep the number of non-mandatory questions minimal to avoid overwhelming respondents. Furthermore, giving people the option to skip any question they’re not comfortable answering is paramount to ensuring data security and confidentiality.

When it comes to receiving and analysing this type of response, multiple-choice options should include an ‘other’ option as well as an open text box for further clarification or explanation so that businesses can gain more detailed observations from candidates without needing them to answer every single inquiry on the survey.

Additionally, timing and frequency should be considered when deciding which non-mandatory questions to include; surveys sent too often or at inconvenient times could lead potential respondents opting out without providing meaningful feedback due to fatigue or lack of time. Companies must therefore consider when surveys are sent out to maximise response rates and quality of answers received.

Including non-mandatory questions in candidate surveys is a powerful way for businesses to gain greater insights into their recruitment process and make informed decisions about their candidate experience. With proper thoughtfulness and planning, companies can create entire surveys that deliver meaningful results while granting them a better comprehension of the applicant’s experience.

Utilising Dual Analysis

The importance of dual analysis in candidate surveys cannot be understated. This unique form of analysis measures both sentiment and intensity to yield a more comprehensive understanding of the candidate’s experience, giving valuable insights into how people feel about certain topics. When designing a survey with dual analysis, it is essential that questions are worded carefully and are open-ended to allow respondents to express their opinions freely. In addition, automated systems should be used when measuring and reporting on the results to ensure accuracy and speed.

By leveraging data from dual analyses, businesses can create action plans for improving recruitment processes. Companies can identify what works well and what needs improvement in order to make informed decisions about how best to address problem areas such as increasing engagement or reducing response times.

Overall, dual analyses provide invaluable insights into candidates’ experiences with a company’s recruitment process, which can help businesses make informed decisions when shaping future practices. Through surveys that incorporate dual-analysis techniques, businesses can gain an understanding of these experiences that would otherwise remain inaccessible – ensuring they are better prepared than ever before when it comes to making decisions regarding recruitment processes moving forward.

Work with us to transform how you attract and engage talent through embedded talent acquisition. Our experts match your company with the right talent on a flexible basis. You get an aligned, diverse, engaged team to drive your company to sustainable growth. Write to us today!

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