What is Candidate Net Promoter Score (CNPS)?

Candidate Net Promoter Score is a key metric companies measure in order to improve their recruiting and work with strengthening their employer brand. I will tell you the story behind CNPS and how companies use CNPS to improve their recruiting. This is a short text just explaining what CNPS is, for the full Ultimate Guide on CNPS you can read here.

Demotors, Passives and Promoters. Illustration: Pauline Fagerberg

CNPS is born from NPS

Candidate Net Promoter Score is born from the research behind Net Promoter Score which concludes that the question:

How likely is it that you would recommend [brand] to a friend or colleague?

…is the closest you can get to measure customer loyalty. Higher NPS score equals higher loyalty from customers which is (through research) connected with word of mouth and other factors driving growth. So the final connection states that:

Higher NPS, compared to your competitors, is connected to higher growth. This is a fact.

Lets move on to CNPS and with the experiences i have from Trustcruit try to give you the full picture of What is CNPS? (as the headline promises😉)

What is CNPS?

CNPS is a numerical measure ranging from -100 to +100 and is calculated with the candidates answers on a 0–10 scale, from the ”How likely…” question explained above.

How is CNPS calculated?

CNPS is calculated by dividing the 0–10 answers from the candidates in three groups;

  • 0–6 are called Detractors ☹️
  • 7–8 are called Passives 😐
  • 9–10 are called Promoters 😀

Now you get the percentage of the groups(which shall always be 100% when summed). An example would be 15% Detractors, 35% Passives and 50% Promoters. Let’s ignore the passives and calculate: Promoters — Detractors

This gives the CNPS of 50–15=35

When do you measure CNPS?

CNPS is measured directly after an interview and directly after getting i no-thanks.

How can you compare these both CNPS scores?

It is important to know that these both measures(CNPS after interview vs. after no-thanks)can never be compared with each other! An example of how to compare CNPS correctly is internally between recruiters, departments or roles. The fundamental role of CNPS is that it is a relative measure to the exact same question asked at the exact same time in the exact same way.

You can also compare this measure to competitors to get the relative measure on how your recruitment processes/interviews performs compared to competitors.

How do i get the comparison to competitors/industry standard?

You get hold of this information through the use of the industry standard for measuring CNPS. You can read more here.


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 👋.

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