Talent Acquisition

Creating a First-Class Recruiting Process with Surveys

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Recruiting is one of the organization’s most vital functions. When your goal is attracting talent that’s highly motivated and high-performing, the first step to getting there is listening. If you listen to feedback throughout the employee lifecycle—from the candidate experience all the way to the exit interview—you significantly boost your chances of getting things right.

Here, we’ll focus on how you can use surveys throughout the recruiting process to strengthen your employer brand, better understand your candidate pool, and enhance the overall recruiting experience.

Strengthening your employer brand

If you want your company to become a magnet for top talent, a powerful employer brand is key. Getting featured in high-profile “best places to work” lists can increase your candidate pool, but it’s not something that happens overnight. Becoming a highly desirable employer takes time, effort, and—you guessed it—listening.

For many, the first step involves determining the current state of your employer brand. This can be accomplished by a combination of surveying your own employees and looking at sites such as Glassdoor. What do people love about working at your company? Where are there opportunities for improvement? What keeps people working at other companies? What do they admire about other companies they would consider working for?

As you make adjustments based on the feedback you gather, perform ongoing tests of your messaging to see if talented candidates are aware of your company’s mission, values, and perks.

How surveys can help

  • Survey new hires on their first day. What made them accept their offer? What specific words come to mind when they think of your culture? How about the culture of the team they’re joining?
  • Involve your own employees in telling the story of what it’s like to work at your organization. Use a survey to identify those at the company who have interesting stories and are willing to share them. Include an open text field to capture their experiences.
  • What if you’re preaching benefits to an audience that doesn’t care? Survey your target talent pool to find out what matters to them and what they think of your company as a place to work. Target your ideal hires on a third-party platform (LinkedIn offers some great targeting options). Drop a SurveyMonkey link into a content module and get their feedback. You can also try SurveyMonkey Audience to reach your demographic.  

Better understanding your candidate pool

Prime your recruitment engine by developing a stronger sense of what makes your potential candidates tick. For instance, you can use surveys at recruiting events to learn about candidates, gaining deeper knowledge about them than you would by simply acquiring their contact information. Your candidate’s time is precious, so each question should have a purpose. Here are five questions that can help you connect with target talent, and what you should learn by asking them.

Question What you’ll learn
How did you find out about this event? What marketing efforts are most successful in attracting potential candidates to your events
What do you value most when working for a company? Insight into what might appeal to this candidate and others like them
What are you looking for in your next role? Whether your candidate’s motivations align with your opportunity
What other companies would you consider working for? Which companies are your biggest talent competitors
What are your biggest questions about working for our company? Key omissions from the event content that you might emphasize in future events

Enhancing the recruiting experience for candidates

Whether or not they’re hired, send every candidate who makes it to a certain point in the interview process a candidate experience or recruitment satisfaction survey. Ask them questions like:

  • Which department/position did you apply for?
  • On a scale of 0 to 10, where 0 is “not at all likely” and 10 is “extremely likely,” how likely are you to recommend working at our company to a friend or peer?
  • How responsive was our recruiting team throughout the process?
  • How clearly did the recruiter describe the process?
  • What was your single biggest takeaway from your interview experience?

It’s worth emphasizing that all responses will be anonymous and will only be used in aggregate so that candidates feel more comfortable providing candid feedback.

A similar survey should also be sent to hiring managers so that you can collect feedback from key stakeholders in the process and make sure your recruiting team is meeting the needs of the business. Ask your hiring managers things like:

  • How well do your new hire’s skills and experience meet your expectations?
  • How well did the job description for this role match what this new employee is actually doing?
  • How prepared were you to get to know, focus, and engage your new employee in the first 90 days?
  • When was your new hire able to execute 80% or more of the required job functions?
  • How can the company better support managers and new hires during the first 90 days?

Recruiting is just the first step

The rest of the employee lifecycle—including onboarding, development, retention, and offboarding—can yield valuable feedback to help you craft a first-class employee experience. Interested in getting comprehensive tips on how to use surveys at key moments? Download our free eGuide, Employee feedback for the win: How to attract, engage, and retain talent using surveys.

About the author: Zach Morvant is a Senior Content Strategist at SurveyMonkey, where he writes things that help make life easier for HR folks. He’s spent almost a decade as a professional creative thinker and copywriter. When he’s not doing those things, he can often be found riding a bicycle or pillaging the office snack supply.

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