Collect feedback from candidates — will they answer?

Yes! And also what we did to get 37% response rate (and what we did to improve it with +39,5%😃)

Simon Werner-Zankl
Nov 1, 2017 · 5 min read

Before launching Trustcruit in September 2016 this was the far biggest fear: that only a small percentage would submit feedback. Could we really build a tool so reliant on the fact that candidates actually bother to submit feedback?

The answer is yes! The first month we had more than 1 out of 3 that actually submitted feedback So we had a pretty good start and something to work on. But we weren’t satisfied. Let’s look at what we did to get the great start with 37% response rate and then also look at what we did to improve the submitted feedback with +39,5%!

What we did to get 37% response rate…

Anonymous

It has to be anonymous! Candidates want to be anonymous when submitting feedback about the recruitment process. In the beginning we had over 100 candidates contacting us to ask about the level of anonymity and if this really is anonymous. As we are 100% independent there is no way for the company to connect you and your feedback. We started A/B testing this(read more about that here) and could see a direct decrease in these type of questions from candidates and a positive response rate reaction to. Therefore i am 100% sure that a company collecting feedback about their own recruitment process would not have this good response rate compared to using an independent tool.

Reliable source

If you want to collect feedback from your candidates you should consider using a third party to ensure the anonymity. Consider the two examples if IKEA themselves ask you for feedback about the interview or if Trustcruit ask for feedback on behalf of IKEA which will guarantee anonymity.

Most pf companies that collect this feedback themselves use free online survey tools. This is a guarantee your candidates will;

  1. Not believe it is anonymous(can it even be anonymous with these free online survey tools?). And therefore not submit feedback 👎
  2. Not believe it is anonymous and submit feedback they think you will here(really bad!) 👎👎
  3. Or they ignore this and submit honest feedback 👍

We have run tests on this where we for a short period A/B tested the impact of a reliable source for anonymity and how it effected the candidates. You can read more about that A/B test here, but in this article i will state the importance to get as many honest submits as possible and one important factor is using a reliable third party source.

Send them instantly

We started working with a consultancy company that worked with improving recruitment processes, but they did this not instantly. They take all the candidates for the last 3–6 months and send a form at the same time. This will give you not only 10% less candidates that submit feedback i am pretty sure that some of these candidates actually don’t remember but submit feedback..

If you connect with your ATS so they get sent directly after the application, interview or no-thanks you will get 10% more candidates that submit feedback.

Mobile friendly

A no-brainer maybe but ohh still so important! If you read my other post about the fact that mobile job applicants experience 71%(!) more technical issues, it is also a proof that mobile users are not always that prioritized.

If we look at the data about what devices are used to submit data to Trustcruit, this is how it looks:

Datasource: trustcruit.com

So when you send a form to candidates, you should design mobile first because as we see above in the graph mobile and tablet sums up to 60,8%.

We had this mobile first focus from day 1, but many of the other forms our customers have used are not that mobile friendly and having troubles here will bring down response rates.

Professional looking and UX friendly forms

This is not only important when collecting feedback from candidates this is more of a standard overall sanity measure collecting feedback. I am pretty sure everyone reading this has stopped answering questions in forms just because they are old and not that easy to use. No data needed 😉 but if you want to have the correct metric of how UX friendly your forms are you can read more about that here and also you will find our benchmark.

...and what we did to improve it with +39,5%😃

It has to be learned

You cannot expect to start at your absolute top response rate. It has to be learned but to be able to find your way to a better response rate you have to start driving the car in order to find how to get there. I have given you my best tips that helped us get a great start but in order to improve it you have to constantly measure and learn.

Inform about it

One of our customers that collect feedback after interviews has a response rate close to 90%! We just had to check what they did and when the interview was close to ended they informed the candidate that: “…after the interview we will send a feedback form to your e-mail. It is 100% anonymous and please submit feedback because it will help us work with improving our interviews”. They had a stunning rise from around 60% to close to 90% and it has also helped us to share this among other customers.

Focus on the clickers

As mentioned earlier the best metric to focus on is how many of those that click through from the e-mail to the feedback-form, how many of those submit feedback? You must expect over 90% and if you metric is under 90% then you need to start digging what needs to be improved?

Reminders

Launching Trustcruit in September 2016 we had no reminder to submit feedback. We A/B tested what happened if we started sending 1 reminder and what happened if we started sending 2 reminders. These are the results:

  • Sending no reminder got us 35% response rate.
  • Sending 1 reminder got us to over 40%.
  • Sending 2 reminders made candidates talk about us spamming them. Therefore the 2% increase wasn’t worth it.

So for us the winning solution was to send 1 reminder.


As always i am more than happy to discuss recruiting and the challenges 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.

Candidate experience analytics

This is a resource center for articles about candidate experience

Simon Werner-Zankl

Written by

Passionate about data driven HR, startups and true believer that passion never fails.

Candidate experience analytics

This is a resource center for articles about candidate experience

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