Candidate experience survey, a way to refine HR strategies

Making a good impression on job applicants is important for companies that want to attract and keep talented employees.


A good candidate experience boosts your brand reputation and can turn candidates into future customers. How organizations handle recruitment can affect their talent acquisition ability to attract and keep top talent.

The candidate’s experience is important in shaping the hiring process. It includes all interactions a candidate has with your company, from job advertisements to hiring decisions.

The candidate experience survey is a tool that helps companies get direct insights from candidates about their journey.

The candidate survey questions help you understand what works and what doesn’t in your recruitment strategy. It helps you make specific improvements to boost your reputation as an employer and attract the best candidates.

3 bottlenecks that can frighten even the most HR teams and business owners:

  • Firstly, determining the right questions to get meaningful feedback without overwhelming candidates can seem like a difficult job.
  • Second, when and how you send surveys can greatly affect the number of responses and the quality of feedback you get. Sometimes, it feels like navigating through a maze without a clear guide.
  • Analyzing feedback is hard for small organizations or those with limited resources, due to time and expertise constraints.

What is a candidate experience survey?

A candidate experience survey serves as a strategic bridge between a company and its potential employees. This survey is like a mirror. It shows how well your hiring process works, what the problems are, and how to fix them.

A survey can gather a candidate’s thoughts, feelings, and overall impressions during different parts of the hiring process.

Whether or not someone gets a job offer, their insights are valuable for improving future recruitment strategies. As the famous business adage goes, “You can’t improve what you don’t measure.”

In the context of recruitment, these surveys provide the metrics needed to measure and enhance the candidate experience.

The candidate’s experience in 2023

Based on Zippia’s research:

  • 75% of job seekers check a company’s reputation before applying, and 86% read reviews when deciding where to apply.
  • However, 78% of candidates report never receiving feedback after applying for a job and interviewing.

In this research, they understood that the influence of a good experience on candidate referrals is significant

  • The influence of a good experience on candidate referrals is significant. About 66% of candidates state that a positive experience makes them more likely to recommend others. This percentage increases to 79% for companies that provide an exceptional candidate experience.
  • Candidate feedback influenced positive growth in recruiter performance for almost 64% of companies.

These numbers show an important fact. The hiring process is not just about finding employees. It also affects how job seekers see your company.

Top 3 reasons to implement candidate experience survey + a special bonus

Gather actionable insights

At the heart of every candidate experience survey is the pursuit of actionable insights. Surveys show how applicants feel about your company, highlighting strengths and areas for growth.

Feedback on job descriptions and communication frequency helps us improve our process and make it smoother and more refined.

Gather actionable insights from candidate experience survey

Instead of relying on assumptions or guesswork, an experience survey can empower your organization to make data-driven decisions.

Enhance employer branding

As mentioned earlier, a positive candidate experience is a powerful branding tool. Surveys show that high candidate satisfaction has a positive impact on brand awareness, and it’s more likely to:

  • Attract top talents
  • Amplify word-of-mouth
  • Increase acceptance rates
  • Customer potential
  • Reinforce company values

By focusing on a good candidate experience and using surveys for feedback, a strong employer brand can be created. This will resonate with both candidates and the broader community, which ultimately contributes to your long-term success.

Reduce hiring costs

The more your process is streamlined and candidate-friendly, the more you reduce the time and resources spent on filling vacancies. Identify bottlenecks and inefficiencies through feedback.

Companies can implement changes that make recruiting more efficient and, therefore, decrease overall hiring costs.

Bonus: encourage ongoing enhancement

As the job market evolves, so do the candidates. Organizations and companies should stay attuned to job market changes as preferences change rapidly. Continuous feedback loops enable HR teams to improve their processes in real-time.

A recruitment experience survey will ensure that your organization remains competitive and appealing to job seekers. Being adaptable will make the company a better employer that values feedback, making it more attractive to potential talents.

6 Steps to create an effective candidate feedback survey

Remember that creating an effective candidate survey is way more than just asking the right questions. The other key elements are a thoughtful approach to survey design, execution, and analysis.

Here are some key steps and best practices that ensure your survey captures both valuable feedback and promotes positive engagement with your brand.

Define your objectives clearly

Before everything, ask yourself what you would like to achieve, identify those, and craft your outline.

Do you want to understand the effectiveness of your job descriptions, the responsiveness of your recruitment team, or the overall satisfaction of candidates with the interview process?

Set clear objectives to achieve the right formula for candidate experience survey questions and to ensure the survey is focused and relevant.

Keep it concise and focused

Remember always that every person’s time is precious, as are the candidates’. Make a short and simple survey for candidates to respect their time and improve their experience during the application process.

Use a mix of numbers and written answers in candidate surveys that take 5-10 minutes to complete. Include questions about satisfaction and opinions.

This balance will provide you with both measurable data and actionable insights without overwhelming survey participants.

Time it right

The timing always plays a crucial role. The timing of the survey can significantly affect the quality and quantity of feedback received.

Consider sending a brief survey immediately after key milestones in the recruitment process ( when the experience is fresh in candidates’ minds.

Send a more comprehensive survey to the candidates who have completed the entire process, whether they were hired or not.

Anonymous and confidential surveys

Candidates are more likely to provide their honest feedback if they believe their answers will be confidential and anonymous.

Make sure to communicate this clearly at the beginning of the survey and follow data protection guidelines to encourage trust, honesty, and openness.

Ask the Right Questions

Concentrate on recruitment survey questions that directly aim to your goals and objectives and cover various stages of the recruitment process. To obtain diverse feedback, employ various question types. These questions should cover the candidate’s initial thoughts as well as their perspective on the fairness of the selection process.

Ask open-ended questions to gather feedback freely. These valuable insights can help refine your application process to improve candidate experience.

Sample question types:

Score field (Rating scale): On a scale of 1 to 10, How would you rate the effectiveness of communications from the organization

Pro tip: for NPS and score field questions, you can set customized messages for min/max score. For example, for zero sets, strongly disagree, and for 10 sets, strongly agree on the message.

Multiple choice: Which aspect of the recruitment process did you find most valuable?

Open-ended question: what suggestions do you have for improving our interview process?

Analyze the data and act on insights

Creating a survey, sharing it, and collecting the data is just the beginning. The real value comes from analyzing the responses to identify the trends, areas for improvement, and best practices.

Insights gathered from the surveys could be used to make informed changes and take data-driven actions. This could lead to smart improvements in your recruitment process; consider sharing the key findings and essential planned actions with stakeholders.

When it’s the right time, and if it’s appropriate, share it with candidates to demonstrate your commitment to show them your continuous improvement.

Leveraging technology to enhance candidate experience surveys

We are at the peak of the digital age, and technology plays an essential role in our everyday business lives.

Using technological solutions for candidate experience surveys and other HR surveys can significantly streamline the process.

Creating, sharing, collecting, analyzing, and acting upon candidate feedback could be a quick and efficient process.

Here’s how you can use Formaloo to transform your approach to creating these surveys:

Create online surveys with no-code tools

HR professionals and recruiters can profit from using no-code survey platforms to design and deploy surveys without needing technical expertise.

These platforms offer intuitive interfaces, pre-designed templates, and drag-and-drop functionalities. These functions allow the rapid creation of professional surveys.

Use analytics for deeper insights

Transform your forms and surveys into tables and charts. Having access to advanced analytics tools is important for analyzing the responses and highlighting key trends, areas of concern, and opportunities for improvement.

Use analytics for deeper insights

These insights can be visualized through interactive dashboards, which makes it easier for decision-makers to understand the data at a glance and make informed decisions to enhance the recruitment process.

Data security and sharing

Modern survey platforms have robust security measures to address many data privacy and security concerns.

Finally, share the insights across the organization through clear reports and presentations, from recruiters to hiring managers and senior leadership.

It’s your turn to create your candidate experience survey

Now it’s your time to take action; start using the Formaloo no-code platform to create your candidate experience survey. Integrate this survey into your process, and leverage technology to enhance and streamline feedback collection and analyze them comprehensively.

Don’t let another candidate’s experience go unmeasured

Sign up today and start building stronger connections with your candidates, improve your brand, and make every hire count.

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Candidate experience survey, a way to refine HR strategies