19.09.2013

5 Reasons to Survey Candidates and New Hires

We recently gave an overview on why recruiters should survey employees. We wanted to go a bit deeper, so in this post we cover five specific reasons recruiters should survey candidates and new hires. A consistent challenge for recruiters today is finding candidates that will make a perfect fit, and if you’re growing fast you need to find the best candidates consistently. Just as marketing needs to consistently deliver qualified leads to sales, recruiters are tasked with identifying the best candidates, nurturing them and delivering the most qualified candidates to hiring managers across the organization.

Today more than ever, who you hire will be critical to your organization’s success. It's imperative for recruiters to understand what’s driving candidates to your company and how your current processes, brand and culture are perceived. There is never a magic bullet, but the more data you collect, the better you can become at improving those critical elements in your recruiting and hiring processes. This will ensure you’re getting the best candidates in your pipeline but and that you maintain the engagement of those that become employees.

For us, it’s a no-brainer. The easiest way to collect this type of data is to survey employees regularly, and track results overtime–through candidate, on-board and exit dashboards that are dynamic and real-time recruiters can benchmark current programs and processes, then track their success as improvements are made across the board.

Here are five great reasons recruiters should survey candidates and newly hired employees

#1. Brand Awareness: How Well Do Candidates Know The Brand?

Like in marketing, brand awareness plays a big part in recruiting new employees, not just from the general awareness perspective (do they know the brand?) but, also, what is the “market perception” of your brand in terms of potential employees? While marketing focuses on how the customer sees and experiences the brand, recruiting focuses on how potential employees see and experience the brand. In the end both perceptions will stem from your organizations overall culture. Your company culture defines the brand and how it’s translated externally to both potential employees and customers alike. 

As it relates to brand awareness, you'd want to collect data on things like:

  • Did the candidates already know of the company?
  • Is your company a company people know and want to work at?
  • How did the candidates discover the opportunity at your company?

#2. Culture: Getting an Objective Perspective

With company culture, it’s easy to believe that yours is ideal. Especially when you’re always in “sales-mode” when it comes to potential employees. You want them to see all the great things your organization has to offer, you them to walk away understanding what the company values and vision are, and you want them to get a sense of the culture, as being a “cultural” fit is now becoming one of the most important aspects for both the employee and the organization. But as we are apart of our culture, we are subjective. Surveying candidates on their experiences as they relate to culture can be very telling and very interesting. Is your culture consistent across all departments of the organization. When collecting this type of data, you might find there are micro-cultures within your company, it’s good to understand this as it will help you call awareness to how candidates in different departments perceive the brand and culture.

Here you’d be looking to better understand:

  • What the candidate walks away feeling or thinking about your company?
  • Does that align with what you think the culture is?
  • Is the vision translated and is that consistent across the organization?
  • Do they walk away really wanting to work there or to recommend working their, even if they don’t get the job?)

#3. Process and Organization: The Recruitment Experience

It seems that the recruiting process is getting shorter and shorter, some our customers for example, are hiring within 3-4 weeks. If you are trying to shorten up your recruiting process, there’s another thing you can learn from marketing and sales–you need to have systematic processes in place, and constant feedback loops to track progress and keep communications timely for everyone involved. Communication and transparency within this processes are two major factors that will affect the candidates experience here.

Surveying around process, you’ll want to get insights into:

  • Is your communication process clear? Does the candidate know where they are in the process, how things are going for example?
  • If there are multiple people involved (i.e sourcing manager, recruiter, coordinator, hiring manager, etc.) was the process and hand-off from each smooth?
  • This might be a good area to get some anecdotal feedback–asking candidates what could be improved about the experience.
  • Was the experience consistent with what the candidate expected?

#4. Coaching: Interview Process and Hiring Managers

Surveying candidates and new hires can be a great coaching opportunity. While its not a direct part of the recruiting groups role, they do work closely with hiring managers as well as the broader HR organization. To maintain a more closed-loop process, and to make sure that candidates don’t get turned off by a bad interview, take this opportunity to coach new managers on how to interview candidates, or bring their attention to areas which you are trying to improve across the organization. Again, here you might find that managers in different departments have different interview styles, and perhaps some groups are better than others at recruiting, and maybe this is because of how they interview. If so, what can other groups in the organization learn from those that are consistently bringing on top talent?

In the context of interviewing, dig deeper into things like:

  • Overall experience, was it positive, negative, neutral?
  • Were their expectations met? Was the role what they were “sold” so to speak
  • Do they completely understand the role, responsibilities and day to day expectations?
  • Specifics around questions and interviews that were conducted

#5. Tracking: Benchmarks and Trends

One of the biggest benefits of new hire and candidate surveying is the steadily increasing amount of data you’d be collecting, the people intelligence you are able to gain specifically around your recruiting processes, but also how that experience and those processes relate to the organization at-large. Surveying candidates and new hires like this will help you connect the dots throughout the organization to help you see how all of these things are interconnected holistically and how engagement and culture are going to continue to be key to sustaining high performing employees and recruiting the best candidates out there!

Culture Amp's employee experience surveys help you create remarkable experiences from candidate interactions and beyond. 

About Culture Amp

We've brought together experts in technology, data science and organizational psychology to ensure you can get the clarity you need, when you need it. Measuring employee engagement, experience and 360° feedback is simple using Culture Amp.

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