Check Out the CandE Referral Rating NPS Conversions

It’s pretty common these days: you make a purchase, take a trip, stay at a hotel or take a flight somewhere, and shortly thereafter you’re asked to complete a satisfaction survey. In fact, as I write this, I just completed one for the latest flight I took.

They used Likert scales – rating scales that go from 1-5, with 1 being the lowest score and 5 being the highest score. Sometimes they’re Net Promoter Score (NPS) scales – rating scales that go from 0-10, with 0 being the lowest score and 10 being the highest score. We’ll come back to NPS.

These kinds of customer service ratings are especially important when you’re asking your customers how likely they are to recommend your products/services/brand to others. It’s a critical business measurement, and one that can help project growth over time, especially if you’re increasing your positive ratings year after year.

We made a decision over nine years ago to not emulate NPS when the Talent Board Candidate Experience Awards Benchmark Research Program was founded. Combined with multiple Likert Scale ratings, we decided to simplify three of our key ratings like whether or not job candidates would apply again, refer others and how they would change their relationship status going forward based on their experience.

These ratings go from 1-4. For example, in one of them we ask the candidates, “Based on your experience with [company name], on the scale below, how likely are you to refer someone to work at [company name]?”

The answers go from 1 – “Definitely Not – I would actively discourage others from applying,” to 4 – “Extremely Likely – I would actively encourage others to apply.”

Each year we run our global research participants (the employers) through a comprehensive data analysis based on their job candidates’ satisfaction survey scores. Each company commits to a statistically significant candidate response rate, where the proportion of respondents who were not hired met or exceeded a set standard. The final analysis includes four key questions that result in a final CandE Score (the Talent Board NPS-like scoring):

  1. The candidates’ overall ranking of their candidate experience (Likert scale)
  2. Whether or not they would reapply to the organization in the future (4-point scale)
  3. Whether or not they would refer other job seekers to the organization in the future (4-point scale)
  4. And how the candidates would change their business relationship status with the organization going forward based on their experience (4-point scale)

But what about those consumer-based companies who are using NPS to measure their candidate experience these days, as well as their customer experiences? How would they compare those continuous feedback NPS scores to our annual benchmark research CandE Scores?

First, a quick review about NPS. NPS asks people how likely they are to recommend a product or service on a 0-10 scale.

Respondents are then grouped as follows based on their responses:

  • Promoters (score 9-10) are loyal enthusiasts who will keep buying and refer others, fueling growth.
  • Passives (score 7-8) are satisfied but unenthusiastic customers who are vulnerable to competitive offerings.
  • Detractors (score 0-6) are unhappy customers who can damage your brand and impede growth through negative word-of-mouth.

Subtracting the percentage of Detractors from the percentage of Promoters yields the Net Promoter Score, which can range from a low of -100 (if every customer is a Detractor) to a high of 100 (if every customer is a Promoter).

Any NPS score above 0 can be considered good. It means that your audience is more loyal than not. Anything above 20 is considered a little better. The global management company, Bain & Company, the source of the NPS system, suggests that anything above 50 is excellent, and above 80 is world class.

So, how do the CandE scores compare? We can convert our scores easily, and because we use the 4-point scales, the responses to answers 2 and 3 do not have anchors with definitive answers (absolute “yes” and “no”) and are ignored as neutral when calculating NPS. The % responding a 1 rating to the NPS question (Detractors) is simply subtracted from the % responding 4 (Promotors) and the resulting score can theoretically be anything from -100 to 100 (see Figure 1).

Figure 1. North American CandE Referral Rating NPS Scores from 2017-2019

Note that in North America in the past three years (we’re still collecting 2019 survey responses for the other global regions and will report on those later), all participating companies have a referral NPS of 16. Keep in mind that 90% of these candidate responses were not hired. CandE winning companies, those companies that have the highest positive candidate ratings overall and those we acknowledge publicly each year, have referral NPS scores that are much higher – a 53 percent difference than all companies combined in 2019.

It should then come as no surprise that those hired at the participating CandE research companies have referral NPS scores in the 50’s and 60’s, which is excellent. Yes, these are the new hires and there is a halo effect with their scores because they’re hired, but they are the people you’ve brought onboard to grow and sustain your company, and that’s business critical.

It should also be no surprise that those candidates who were rejected have pretty low referral NPS scores, with CandE winner NPS scores that are again much higher – a whopping 154 percent difference than all companies combined in 2019. But there all still above zero, and that’s still a good thing.

How do your candidate experience referral NPS scores compare? Do let us know!


And speaking of good things, join us at the 2019 North American Candidate Experience (CandE) Symposium and Awards Gala, taking place on Monday, October 14, 2019 at the Marriott Wardman Park in Washington, in conjunction with ERE Recruiting Conference, October 14-16, 2019, where along with the 2019 65 North American CandE Winners, all employers participating in this year’s Candidate Experience Awards – and all employers improving their recruiting processes and candidate experience – will be celebrated!

After a full day of informative recruiting and candidate experience sessions, Talent Board will also be releasing the full list of this year’s CandE winners by their final ranking order by company size at this year’s event for the first time, as well as their overall ranking and industry.

Join us in DC on October 14!

Join the CandE Newsletter

Stay up to date on the latest Candidate Experience Events, Insights, Information, CandE Deadlines, Research & So Much More