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Measuring Candidate Experience: Make NPS Your Baseline


By Gerry Crispin on CareerXroads

Fred Reichheld introduced the customer-focused, Net Promoter Score (NPS) in his 2003 Harvard Business Review Article, “The One Number You Need to Grow”and we’re certain the connection to today’s candidate experience is a strong one.

Apparently asking your customers a direct question like: How likely are you to recommend our company/product/service to your friends and colleagues?”  is a pretty solid indicator of your brand’s relationship with its customers and, in fact, has real value in differentiating one company’s performance from another.

NPS Controversy

Net Promoter Score is not without controversy. Just how far you can take your NPS as an accurate reflection of ‘customer loyalty’ and, just how confident you are that it will predict future growth of your service/product/company is open to a pretty hot debate whose resolution will not be answered or added to here. Amazon is loaded with useful books fueling the NPS debate for those wanting to dig deeper

However, in recent years, the notion that extreme responses to a single basic question- defined as “Attractors” or “Promoters” versus “Detractors” has become very appealing to the Talent Acquisition community as well as our Marketing colleagues. NPS is easy to measure, convenient to work with and, with a few practical protocols in place, it should prove a reliable measure of your candidates’ experience month over month, year over year. With a stable metric in place, your hiring practices that touch candidates can be tested- A/B style or otherwise and with both Marketing and Finance onboard regarding their understanding of the data, your analysis and the insights you derive stand a good chance of driving change.

At TalentBoard, the non-profit that oversees the Candidate Experience Awards each year, we’ve been refining a variation of Net Promoter Score (NPS) to measure the candidates’ experience- and, with half a dozen years under our belt, we’ve aggregated, with the help of 100s of firms (and quite a few willing experts on survey design), detailed responses from what is rapidly approaching 1 million candidates responding to every conceivable touch-point on their journey…


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