Maximizing Your Candidate NPS® Benchmark Data

October 29, 2020 Nick Martin

First published on LinkedIn


Candidates can be customers – and your customers, potential candidates. This means the commercial impact of a poor candidate hiring process can be huge.  

The Net Promoter Score (NPS®) was originally developed to measure customer loyalty. Now, the approach is being applied to the hiring experience as an indicator of candidate satisfaction: the Candidate NPS.  

We’ve explored in other articles why such scores are important and the important factors to consider when getting started, but once the process is in place, how can you use this information?  

A Read on Your Candidate Selection Process 

The Candidate NPS is valuable as a simple check-in on existing selection processes. View it as a litmus test of where you are now. Find out more about how to set this up.  This initial data gives you a snapshot of how candidates perceive your assessment and selection process to help inform your next steps. It is important to note that assessment and selection processes can vary greatly between and sometimes, even within organizations. Keeping this front of mind when developing NPS items and/or interpreting or exploring results will better equip you to maximize the utility of your data. 

An Impact Measure as You Make Changes to the Process 

Once your Candidate NPS baseline is established, over time you can use it to look at the impact of tweaks to your hiring process.  

You have numerous touchpoints between your candidates and your brand during the selection process. Think of everything from the initial job or social media post all the way through the rejection or invitation to the next stage…Each component either attracts or detracts from what you are trying to achieve; a smooth, brand-supporting and engaging candidate experience.  

The starting point is to establish the baseline of your NPS data. As you make changes – perhaps introducing a new assessment or adding content to your careers webpage – consider building in A/B testing. This means you need to retain the original process for half of your candidates, while the other half follow the new process. You will get to learn of the impact of the tweaks; if the NPS rises under the new process, then you can make the wholesale change with data-driven confidence.  

A Comparison Tool Between Your Company and Others 

The advent of the original NPS enabled organizations to compare themselves to their rivals. The same is true for the Candidate NPS, making it possible to compare the candidate experience across hiring companies.  

For instance, companies within the same industry can evaluate how their candidates perceive their assessment and selection processes compared to industry leaders or those they consider to be peers. This data can serve as a strategic barometer in helping you understand overall perceptions of your selection processes (remember candidates are your customers!) relative to your industry competitors. Couple this data with regional data, creating a region x industry comparison to further help you target process improvement on a global scale. 

A Benchmark For Specific Roles  

Working with NPS data takes time – and patience. 

The fundamentals of the Candidate NPS are the same regardless of whether you want to understand the perception of a specific hiring campaign or look at the experience across all your recruitment activities for a more holistic view. Once you have the fundamentals in place, you can start to look at the differences in perceived experience between locations or different job families. It may be helpful to understand what a candidate appreciates and values in a US-based hiring process compared to one based in Europe. Likewise, it may be interesting to compare NPS scores across roles, for example technology related roles to sales-based roles.  

Working with NPS data takes time – and patience. And you may need support to get started. Aon’s Assessment Solutions can work with you to tailor or tweak your hiring processes.  

Ready to get started? Remember, NPS can support two broad areas important to your selection process, measuring the impact of changes and establishing performance benchmarks. Both of which support the overall health of the process and help you keep a pulse on the perceptions of your company from a key segment of your customer base, your candidates! 

Contact us now to learn more or download our latest handbook, How NPS Can Revolutionize Talent Strategy. 

NPS is a registered trademark of Bain & Company, Inc.

About the Author

Nick Martin

Dr. Nick Martin leads the Global Products & Analytics team, part of Aon’s Assessment Solutions Group and is responsible for the development of next generation assessment solutions and predictive analytics. He leads a team responsible for leveraging the latest science and practical findings to provide Aon’s diverse client base with assessment and analytical solutions that meet their hiring needs, helping to ensure their candidates’ experiences support their overall business mission and goals. Nick has extensive experience developing and implementing assessment-based hiring programs, as well as assessment tools including cognitive ability and personality tests, structured interviews, role-play-based simulations for positions spanning entry-level to C-suite executive roles, and 360-degree and high-potential leadership assessments. Prior to joining Aon, Nick worked as a Federal consultant for the U.S. Office of Personnel Management and served as a program manager for the USA Hire selection program and has also worked as an independent consultant. He received his Ph.D. in Industrial-Organizational Psychology and a M.A. in Human Resource Management from The George Washington University. He has co-authored book chapters and numerous articles published in academic journals and the popular press and presented at numerous professional conferences. In addition, he is a member of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, the Austin Area I-O Psychology Association, and the American Psychological Association.

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