Candidate Net Promoter Score

The Ultimate Guide

Simon Werner-Zankl
Oct 24, 2017 · 7 min read
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A short background to NPS and CNPS (Candidate Net Promoter Score)

The thing I want to high light here is that almost everyone I ask collects this feedback from customers. They ask their customers how happy they are and measure the number of customers that would recommend their products or services to others. The benchmark here is the Net Promoter Score question:

How likely is it that you would recommend X to a friend or colleague? You answer on a scale 0–10.

Talking to customers I also ask them: What do your candidates think about you? Interesting here is that no one knows. Or some tell a story when some candidate sent a mail to show appreciation but no one collects this feedback systematically, although this can be done automatically using e.g our tool www.trustcruit.com.

So the Net Promoter Score runs down to the single question stated above, and is, of course, applicable to HR and recruiting as well by using Candidate NPS. Let's continue and have a look at the birth of NPS. Spoiler alert: It will help you grow your business and that is a fact through research. Keep reading.

The research behind NPS —” The One Number You Need to Grow” 📈

“It turned out that a single survey question can, in fact, serve as a useful predictor of growth.”

Powerful, no doubt about it. Reichheld continues and also states that:

“…the percentage of customers who were enthusiastic enough to refer a friend or colleague — perhaps the strongest sign of customer loyalty — correlated directly with differences in growth rates among competitors.”

The implications of this are that the Net Promoter Score is a relative measure to predict growth. So to master this you need to understand these fundamental principles:

  • a plumbers NPS score cannot be compared to the NPS of a real estate agent
  • a plumbers NPS score can be compared to other plumbers NPS scores
  • if compared correctly the ones with the highest NPS scores will have higher growth rates than its competitors

Of course, there are other factors concerning the growth rate of a company but in the extensive study by Reichheld he concludes that:

“customer loyalty is clearly one of the most important drivers of growth.”

If you're still not convinced that improving the NPS is one of the best ways to improve customer loyalty (which will give you a higher growth rate compared to competitors, please keep reading the full version of Reichheld's study here).

If you see and accept the connection between customer loyalty and growth, through my short summary of an extensive study 😎. Then it’s time to keep reading.

Calculating the NPS ☹️😐🙂

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The NPS score is a number from -100 to +100 calculated from the principle of Promoters minus Detractors. This is best explained using an example of Steve Jobs Inc.

Steve Jobs Inc sells phones to 1000 customers who all get the NPS question: “How likely are you to recommend a friend or colleague to buy a phone from Steve Jobs Inc?”

This is the numerical responses from those 1000 customers:

  • 0: 10%
  • 1: 2%
  • 2: 2%
  • 3: 2%
  • 4: 2%
  • 5: 2%
  • 6: 10%
  • 7: 10%
  • 8: 10%
  • 9: 20%
  • 10: 30%

Now we need to sum the Detractors(0–6), the Passives(7–8) and the Promoters(9–10) which gives us:

Detractors: 30%

Passives: 20%

Promoters: 50%

Let’s get back to the formula of Promoters minus Detractors= 50–30 =20. The Net Promoter Score for Steve Jobs Inc is 20. Is 20 a good or bad NPS? We cannot say. 20 is good and will indicate higher growth than competitors if competitors like Android Inc, Zuckerberg Inc(ok they don’t sell phones but someday maybe…) and Google Phone Inc have a lower NPS score.

That’s enough about the NPS. Let’s take a look at the CNPS(candidate net promoter score) and what HR/recruiting can learn from the NPS way of growing your company.

Our early conclusions from the CNPS research

It is to early to see any correlation between candidate loyalty and growth

The instant effect from starting to measure CNPS is that it goes up ☝️

A customer told us that the first month after starting to collect CNPS from candidates the recruiters started discussing, working with improvements and internally making small changes that affected the CNPS in a positive direction. Just by starting to measure your recruiters will bring up your CNPS.

Recruiters want to work with improvements using CNPS

If you, for example, use Trustcruit to collect feedback from candidates and to measure the CNPS all feedback is collected in the exact same way. The quality of the data collected systematically and the comparison made against the industry standard that we offer in Trustcruit gives the data validation and the ability to measure performance over time.

Note! The CNPS(Candidate net promoter score)measures how many promoters, passives, and detractors your brand has after candidates have gone through your recruitment process. Other things like quality in finding right talent, metrics for recruiters working in staffing and so on is not measured using the CNPS. CNPS tells you how many candidates you turn into promoters. A key metric for measuring the strength in your employer brand.

Candidates want recruiters to work with improvements

Our recommendations on how to use CNPS

Compare the CNPS within your teams

Compare CNPS externally

Discuss in weekly/monthly meetings with your recruiters

Ask for the recruiters CNPS score when recruiting

Why you should measure CNPS

A metric to help individual recruiters improve

More candidates choose you instead of competing employers

Promoters help boost your employer brand


As always I am more than happy to discuss recruiting and the possibilities with CNPS further so feel free to comment, hook up with me on Linkedin here or send me an email: simon@trustcruit.com 👋

PS. If you found this helpful and want to read more like this article-please Clap 👇 or follow this blog “Data-driven HR”.

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