March 27, 2023

Candidate Experience Survey: Key Insights to Improve Candidate Experience

What is a candidate experience survey?

candidate filling a survey

A method used by organizations to gather feedback from job applicants about the application, hiring, and their overall candidate experience.

The survey contains questions in different formats designed to gather information from applicants on various aspects of the hiring process. The feedback collected from a candidate experience survey serves to provide valuable insights about the strengths and weaknesses of the company, primarily about the application process and the hiring process. This helps the organization improve its recruitment process and the overall candidate experience and helps the organization optimize its hiring strategies accordingly.

Why are Candidate Experience Surveys Important?

candidate feedback

Candidate Experience Surveys are conducted by the hiring team members of an organization, to identify, analyze and optimize blind spots in their recruitment process so that they can make improvements to enhance the process and overall candidate experience. This can also help to attract top talent and improve the company's reputation.

Measuring candidate experience:

It is very important to measure candidate experience on different aspects of the hiring process, as it significantly impacts candidate satisfaction, the organization's reputation, and the employer brand. There are many different ways to measure and test a candidate's experience, but make sure to do it in a refined way and use optimized online questionnaires for smartphones to increase your response rate.

Read why is it so important to strive for a great candidate experience and how a great candidate experience can change the game for you.

candidate experience and filling survey

Feedback from the job seekers

The feedback from the job applicants helps your company identify weaknesses in their recruitment process, devise strategies and make decisions to improve them. A candidate with a positive experience will recommend the company in his circle, ultimately leading to a positive reputation for the company.

What should a candidate experience survey look like?

Candidate experience survey questions should be chosen wisely, they must be designed in such a way as to gather maximum related data from the candidates, in a minimum time period. The nature and the type of questions entirely depend from company to company. Following are some key elements to keep in mind while formulating a survey:

  1. Introduce the candidates regarding the purpose of the survey. How long the survey will take?
  2. Ask informational questions that gather information about the candidates, like their age, gender, work experience, etc.
  3. Ask questions about the overall hiring process and their experience throughout each stage.
  4. Ask open-ended questions, so that they provide detailed feedback about their experience and give suggestions for improvement.
  5. Ask them rating questions, as they will be helpful and easy to measure the experience. Such as questions that allow candidates to rate their experience on a scale of 1-10 or a scale from strongly agree to strongly disagree.
  6. In the end, thank them for their feedback and let them know how their data in the survey will be used.

The Best Candidate Experience Survey Questions to Ask

sample survey paper

Here are some types of sample questions that might be helpful for you to ask in the candidate experience survey:

Job-related questions:

This may include questions related to the job description (read how you can write great job descriptions), whether it was clear and comprehensive, how did they hear about the open position, what they expect from this role and company, and how they feel about the company website and the company's career site.

Personal questions:

Ask them questions that give information about who they are, what is their educational background and what is their work experience.

Candidate experience questions:

You can include questions related to their experience with the overall hiring process, their feedback on the application, interview, and assessment process, what needs to be improved, were the requirements communicated to them, whether they were comfortable during the interview, were the hiring managers cooperative enough, etc.

Recommendation questions:

Ask them on a scale of 1-10, how likely they are to recommend the company to their friend as a potential employer.

What Is the Right Time For the Candidate Experience Survey?

questions and feedback

There is not exactly one right time for conducting a candidate experience survey, it should be carried out at various touch-points throughout the candidate journey. Here are some intervals, at which you can conduct candidate experience surveys, according to your requirements:

At the Application Stage:

Gather and ask questions from candidates about how easy was the application process, what difficulties they had to face while applying and what improvements they suggest, what are their views about the job description and open roles, what next steps they expect in the recruiting process, etc.

During the hiring process:

You can ask questions related to their ongoing experience throughout the process, do they feel engaged or ignored, whether the communication is easy for them, or whether they are facing any barriers. You can ask them for their valuable feedback and honest opinions.

After the interview process:

Ask them how smooth was the interview process for them. Were all their expectations met during this stage or were there any flaws left? Were the questions asked in the process, relevant or irrelevant?

After Hiring Candidates:

After you have successfully onboarded the candidates for the open job roles, ask them about their overall experience of the process, how would they rate it, were the instructions clear to them, and whether they would suggest any improvements in the process.

Various different questions can be asked during different stages of the process, this entirely depends on your open position and company requirements.

Challenges and Limitations of Conducting a Candidate Experience Survey

As much as candidate experience surveys help improve candidate experience over time, there might be some challenges that hiring managers have to face, conducting the survey. Some of them may include:

Time and cost
Time and cost:

Constructing a proper survey can be sometimes time-consuming and requires much effort, as one has to craft appropriate questions in order to include relevant data, which ultimately results in more resources leading to more cost.

Candidate participation:
not motivated to fill survey

Not every candidate might feel to participate in the survey questions, they might not feel motivated and may not have the time to complete it.

Limited response:

Candidates may provide feedback in a survey, restricted to their own experiences and it may not be the same as the experience of other candidates who have applied for the same role.

Poor candidate experience leads to distrust of your brand

A poor candidate experience can be terrible for the reputation of your company as the candidates are likely to share their overall experience with other people and having negative word-of-mouth can damage your brand's reputation (read how you can build a strong brand reputation over time), restricting it from attracting qualified candidates. Job seekers who feel that they are ignored and not kept informed during the recruitment process may also discourage other candidates from applying in the future.

Results of positive candidate experience and its impact on the company's reputation

The more positive the candidate experience, the more positive will be the impression of the company and it will help the organization to attract a large pool of experienced candidates. Candidates will not only willingly apply for the open roles, but will also advise other job seekers to apply for the roles. They are more likely to accept job offers, are more productive, are highly motivated, and stick with the company for a longer period.

Create Better Candidate Experiences Over Time

positive candidate experience

The goal is to identify, analyze and improve the weaknesses through the survey questions and make the process better and smoother for the job seekers to enhance the candidate journey and boost the company's reputation.


For collecting feedback from the applicants, a variety of tools and methods are used and a candidate experience survey is one of them. Feedback from job seekers plays an essential role in the reputation of a company. It helps, the company find its strong and weak points and help them devise its strategies according to them.

boost company reputation

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Hirecinch is one of the best applicant tracking system I have used ever, literally my my job easier

Hirecinch is one of the best applicant tracking system I have used ever, literally my my job easier

Hirecinch is one of the best applicant tracking system I have used ever, literally my my job easier

Hirecinch is one of the best applicant tracking system I have used ever, literally my my job easier

Hirecinch is one of the best applicant tracking system I have used ever, literally my my job easier

Hirecinch is one of the best applicant tracking system I have used ever, literally my my job easier

Hirecinch is one of the best applicant tracking system I have used ever, literally my my job easier