The only candidate experience KPIs you need to measure

candidate experience KPIs
Experience is a tricky thing to measure. It’s subjective, it’s hard to quantify, and the memory of it fades with time (or with alcohol). But candidate experience should be at the forefront of everything we do as recruiters. Experience might not be as easy to calculate as the number of CVs sent, or as financially satisfying as cost per hire. But it’s the single most important measure of success and indicator of growth for HR teams. Not all experiences can be measured. The quality of your favourite restaurant’s Super Hot Finger Lickin’ chicken? Unlikely. The way it feels to craft your first pickaxe on Minecraft? Probably not… …But there are a load of very simple and super important CX KPIs to measure the experience you give candidates. candidate experience KPIs

Not sure where to start? Here are 7 easy candidate experience KPIs you could use in your sleep:


1. Application drop-off

Multiple tests, presentations, panel interviews and reviews are likely to lead to a high number of candidates dropping out of the process. As will horrible UX on your mobile site or achingly slow page load times. Spending time assessing where and why candidates drop off – and fixing the bumps in the application process – will boost candidate engagement and drastically improve candidate experience.  

2. Length of time from application to offer

Measuring the length of time from application to offer – or “time to hire” – is a classic recruiter KPI that has even more importance in the age of candidate experience. The longer the application process, the more likely candidates will look for other roles and accept counter offers. So speed is of the essence (without compromising on quality, of course), and both your candidates and your internal teams will thank you for it! Check out Barcelona-based SAS company Typeform’s interesting self-analysis of their time-to-hire if you’re not sure where to start.  

3. Interview to offer ratio

If you’re interviewing 20 candidates a day but only moving one forward to the next stage, it’s time to reevaluate your vetting process. Interviewing is seriously time consuming! If your interview to offer rate is low, your time investment is not paying off. If this sounds like a problem you’re experiencing, think about strengthening candidate screening and being a little pickier about who you chose to interview. Plus, the fewer candidates you have to reject after interview, the better their candidate experience. Remember that interviews are time-consuming for them too.  

4. Offer acceptance rate

Depending on the seniority of the role and industry, you should be aiming for a 90%+ offer acceptance rate. The time and effort invested in moving candidates through the process is wasted if they turn down offers at the last minute. If your offer acceptance rate is low and candidates aren’t buying what you’re selling, then focus on pre-closing the candidate. This way you can make sure expectations are aligned. We interviewed 74 women in tech and 95.4% said HR teams could do more to improve their candidate experience. Take a look what else they said about the hiring process in tech startups – and what they think needs to change.

5. Candidate satisfaction

Getting feedback from candidates is absolutely crucial if you want to give them a great experience. Getting (and acting on!) feedback boosts engagement, ups referrals and will send your net promoter score soaring. Asking a few very simple yes/no, multiple choice and free answer questions in a post-engagement survey will show candidates you care about their feedback and will help you improve the candidate experience for others.  

6. Referrals

Duh. Asking direct applicants how they heard about your company is a simple, easy way to monitor whether candidates are referring you to their contacts. Implementing a referral programme is a simple way to up the number of referrals, but so is providing great CX. The better experience a candidate has, the more likely they are to go out of their way to recommend you to a friend.    

7. Net Promoter Score

Referrals part II. Net Promoter Score sounds overwhelming to calculate, but we promise it’s not. NPS involves working out how likely a candidate is to refer your company to a contact on a scale of 1 to 10. The score is calculated by subtracting the percentage of “detractors” (those who score 1-6) from the percentage of “promoters” (those who score 9 or 10). Scores can range from -100 to 100, with anything over 0 being good and anything over 50 being awesome. Maths not your strong suit? Use this super handy free NPS calculator   Net Promoter Score   Not convinced? Director of Talent Acquisition at Berlin startup Door 2 Door, Leslie Kivit, had this to say  
The most important KPI for me is “net promoter score, which focuses on candidate experience. It’s important that rejected candidates also have a great experience, especially for e-commerce companies as candidates may also be a customer.
Good news: all candidate experience KPIs are interconnected. As one improves, so will the others 🙂 Bad news: it’s kind of a regular thing. It’s no good sending out a survey next week, then parking the issue for another few months. Once you’ve chosen which KPIs to measure, set up quarterly or twice-yearly benchmarking reviews and make concrete plans to incorporate insights. The key is not what your results are now, but how they improve over the next few months and years. We would highly recommend you to read the 6 steps of creating a successful Candidate Experience strategy written by We Like Talent if you are thinking of starting to measure Candidate Experience.   Happy KPI-ing!  
Elisa Alston
Elisa Alston