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What a Candidate Net Promoter Score Is – And Why It Matters

Today’s hiring market is competitive and fast-paced – and job seekers hold most of the power. To attract top talent, your organization needs to stand out with an excellent candidate experience. But how can you measure where your hiring process currently stands, and know exactly what improvements to make? Candidate Net Promoter Scores can tell you all of this and more.  

What is Candidate Net Promoter Score? 

Candidate Net Promoter Score, or cNPS, is a targeted form of the popular Net Promoter Score survey developed by Bain. By asking survey respondents one simple question – “On a scale from 0-10, how likely are you to recommend us to your friends and colleagues?” – companies can determine how loyal their customers are to their products, services, or brand. 

NPS breaks down responses into three categories. People who rate their likelihood to recommend as a 9 or 10 are your promoters, those who give a 7 or 8 are passives, and anyone who responds with a 6 or below is a detractor. 

Why You Should Use Candidate NPS 

Measuring your candidate experience can be challenging, but knowing how applicants feel about your hiring process is critical to managing your candidate experience successfully. With a candidate Net Promote Score, you can measure how your candidate experience is affecting relationships with your potential employees. Is your hiring process creating brand ambassadors – or disgruntled detractors? 

However most hiring teams don’t ask applicants for feedback on the hiring process at any stage. In fact, 75% of candidates say they were not asked for feedback after applying for a role. Using a cNPS survey helps you to fill that gap for your organization so you can improve your candidate experience

Creating a great experience for all of your applicants, whether they’re eventually hired or not, is critical to maintaining a strong employer brand. 72% of applicants who have a negative candidate experience are likely to tell others about it online. And that poor word-of-mouth can make your future hiring endeavors harder in a tight labor market. 

Your candidate experience doesn’t affect only your chances of hiring the top talent in your field – it can also impact customer loyalty. 65% of job applicants would be less likely to purchase something from a company if they applied and did not hear back. 

How to Use Candidate Net Promoter Score 

Now that you know how important cNPS is to your hiring success and employer brand, how can you begin using it in your organization? 

To measure your candidate Net Promoter Score, begin by deciding which specific point in the hiring process to measure. Perhaps you’re curious about how your pre-hire assessments make applicants feel, or how the interview process is going – be sure to send the survey right after the event you want to measure so it’s fresh in the candidate’s mind. 

Next, set up the simple survey using a survey tool (perhaps you already have one you’re using to measure customer NPS). There should be only two questions. The first one asks, “On a scale from 0-10, how likely are you to refer others to [company name]?” You can tailor this question to your needs. The second is an open-ended option allowing candidates to tell you why they chose their rating and offer feedback in their own words. 

Send this survey out to your applicants at the point you want to measure and analyze the results when they’re complete. To determine your cNPS, you take the percentage of promoters and subtract the percentage of detractors to find your score.  

Some best practices to keep in mind when measuring candidate NPS: 

  • Survey both successful and unsuccessful applicants to see how each group feels about the hiring process.
  • Stick to measuring one step of the process at a time so you can accurately analyze and track your data over time as you make improvements. 
  • A good NPS score is 0 or above – and 50 or higher is excellent. 

Using candidate Net Promoter Score is still fairly new in the HR world, so keep experimenting to find what works best for your candidates and your hiring team. 

Looking for more ways to elevate and enhance your candidate experience? Cangrade’s Candidate Reports can help.