3 Ways to Fuel Startup Growth with Feedback

3 Ways to Fuel Startup Growth with Feedback

Starting up? Don’t overlook the value of early stage feedback. In this article I’ll explain 3 key reasons why metrics like Net Promoter Score and Customer Effort Score will be instrumental to your growth. Feedback is an incredibly versatile instrument in business...

How To Build a Business Case For NPS

How To Build a Business Case For NPS

To show investing in NPS feedback makes sense, you need to show it makes business sense. In this blog series, Starred’s finance guru Peter Strik breaks it down. Customer centricity is essential to your organization’s long term success. That’s why smart organizations...

Thoughts On Value-Driven Product Strategy

Thoughts On Value-Driven Product Strategy

If you walk into a dark room, the first thing you do is turn the lights on. It’s an immediate reaction that we are used to doing and is generally a norm. The best way to build great products is to listen and engage with user feedback. However, although it’s considered...

In-depth: Respondent Feedback Form

In-depth: Respondent Feedback Form

Design is both art and science. In this longer read we’ve got Starred UX Designer Mac Kozal sharing his research insights and creative process from the Feedback Form redesign. The challenge. We put a quote of Ken Blanchard at the bottom of our webpage: “Feedback is...

The Ultimate Guide: Customer Effort Score (CES)

The Ultimate Guide: Customer Effort Score (CES)

What is Customer Effort Score, and what is its purpose? Customer Effort Score (CES) is a customer satisfaction metric. It measures the perceived level of effort required from a customer to work with a company. Most often it’s used in scenarios to ask how much effort...

3 New Year’s Resolutions for Feedback in 2018

3 New Year’s Resolutions for Feedback in 2018

As we move into 2018, it’s time for making plans to get the next year off to a great start. If you’re working with feedback, you’ll already know how essential it is to know if you’re on the right track. Here are our top 3 New Year’s resolutions to make feedback a...

Evaluate Your Customer Service

Evaluate Your Customer Service

For many companies, Starred is the answer to traditional, dull customer satisfaction surveys. Starred is used to collect customer feedback on a structural basis, without bothering their clients with endless questionnaires. This way, Starred functions as a constant...

The 7 Deadly Sins of Customer Satisfaction Research

The 7 Deadly Sins of Customer Satisfaction Research

Client feedback is high on the agenda for many companies. A way to collect scalable feedback is through customer satisfaction research. However, how do you make sure that it does not turn against you? By steering clear of the 7 Deadly Sins! Sin #1: Endless...

How Do I Calculate My Net Promoter Score?

How Do I Calculate My Net Promoter Score?

The Net Promoter Score (NPS) is an index that runs from -100 to 100 and shows how willing customers are to recommend the company to others. Currently this indicator is used the most to give insights in customer loyalty. Without a doubt you have already seen the Net...

Net Promoter Score: a Means Rather Than a Goal

Net Promoter Score: a Means Rather Than a Goal

Knowing the Net Promoter Score of your organization is important. It is, however, crucial to realize that it’s just an indicator not an all-decisive factor or goal in itself. After all, it doesn’t tell you why you scored the way you did. Therefore, you need to...

Checklist For the First Customer Feedback Round

Checklist For the First Customer Feedback Round

Customer satisfaction survey. Sending out the first feedback batch is exciting. They are your valuable customers after all, and spamming them is the last thing you want to do. Therefore we thought we might share some tips to take away the first feedback fever. Our top...

No Results Found

The page you requested could not be found. Try refining your search, or use the navigation above to locate the post.

No Results Found

The page you requested could not be found. Try refining your search, or use the navigation above to locate the post.

No Results Found

The page you requested could not be found. Try refining your search, or use the navigation above to locate the post.

No Results Found

The page you requested could not be found. Try refining your search, or use the navigation above to locate the post.

No Results Found

The page you requested could not be found. Try refining your search, or use the navigation above to locate the post.

No Results Found

The page you requested could not be found. Try refining your search, or use the navigation above to locate the post.

No Results Found

The page you requested could not be found. Try refining your search, or use the navigation above to locate the post.

No Results Found

The page you requested could not be found. Try refining your search, or use the navigation above to locate the post.

No Results Found

The page you requested could not be found. Try refining your search, or use the navigation above to locate the post.

No Results Found

The page you requested could not be found. Try refining your search, or use the navigation above to locate the post.

No Results Found

The page you requested could not be found. Try refining your search, or use the navigation above to locate the post.

No Results Found

The page you requested could not be found. Try refining your search, or use the navigation above to locate the post.

No Results Found

The page you requested could not be found. Try refining your search, or use the navigation above to locate the post.

No Results Found

The page you requested could not be found. Try refining your search, or use the navigation above to locate the post.

No Results Found

The page you requested could not be found. Try refining your search, or use the navigation above to locate the post.

No Results Found

The page you requested could not be found. Try refining your search, or use the navigation above to locate the post.

Starred or Bullhorn’s Feedback Solution? A comparison.

Starred or Bullhorn’s Feedback Solution? A comparison.

Are you a Bullhorn user, wondering if you should opt for Bullhorn or Starred when it comes to your feedback solution?
We will compare both services in detailed bullet points below.

We all know our partner Bullhorn as the leading ATS for the staffing industry.
However, that’s not all there is to it – in fact, Bullhorn also offers a built-in experience survey solution.
Starred, instead, is specialized in feedback. Unlike Bullhorn, since this area is our business focus, we rely much more on integrations and automation – you will need to work less, in order to get actionable insight. 

What are, then, the differences between our two offers? 
We will present the features of the two solutions below, for you to compare.

Bullhorn’s Feedback Solution:

  • Bullhorn offers what is purely an NPS solution. You get to ask one question, which stays identical whether it gets delivered to your candidates or your hiring managers.
  • You can change the question’s wording and the message, and the NPS always presents a comment section.
    You can also select a subject and pick a sender. For the latter, you can use your own name or pick a different sender. You are allowed to choose an email to which the respondents can reply.
  • In terms of graphics’ personalization, you can only add your logo. The rest of the visuals are pre-set.
  • Bullhorn’s surveys are relational: it’s up to you to establish when to send a survey to your recipients for the first time, then the same survey can be repeated over time at pre-set, regular intervals. 
  • You need to manually enroll every single contact you want to send the survey to, one by one.
  • If Bullhorn gathers enough historical data over time (opening rates, and so forth), it can define and select the perfect survey delivery time and day of the week per user. If it doesn’t yet have access to that information, then the message gets delivered the following morning at 10 (EST), wherever your recipient may be.
  • Bullhorn’s survey tool is offered as a free feature exclusive for premium licenses: enterprise and corporate segments.
  • Corporate users (lower-end segment for this feature) do not get any dashboarding: they visualize data in lists of responses, complete of scores and comments.
  • Enterprise users (higher-end segments for this feature) get some basic dashboarding: the dashboarding card.
  • Your scores read back to Bullhorn.


  • Starred has, first and foremost, the advantage of offering high flexibility and depth of insight. This means that, if Bullhorn’s integrated solution is solely focusing on NPS, Starred tries to explain your Net Promoter Score through its driving elements. Therefore, with Starred you can send NPS surveys and various other types, too.
  • Starred helps you set up your feedback process based on which touch-points interest you, which questions you want to ask your respondents, and which insights you desire.
  • You can personalize the wording of the feedback form, and the NPS question always has a comment section. We also allow you to write an invitation with a personalized subject, and in which you can add tags, both for company, and function names, other than customer fields. It is possible to use your own name or pick a different sender, and you can pick an email the respondents can reply to.
  • From a visual perspective, we allow personalization, including the choice of logo and background image. Furthermore, it is possible to change the sender’s image and decide whether to showcase one question per page or all questions on the same one.
  • Whereas we can send relational surveys, just like Bullhorn, our surveys can be transactional, too.
    When creating relational surveys, you decide when they are sent and to whom – the process is not automated the first time.
    When transactional, instead, the surveys you send your candidates and clients are activated by a relevant touch-point they encounter or action they take. These events that are recorded by Bullhorn or your other integrated ATS, trigger surveys that are therefore delivered within a clearer context. 
  • For example, you could send an automatic survey to all candidates who passed the first round of interviews, and it would be worded differently from the one triggered by not passing that same round. 
  • There are many ways to select your recipients manually. The recipients can be added one by one, by uploading a CSV or Excel file, or you can send the survey to yourself to test it.
  • However, preferably, you’ve integrated Starred with Bullhorn and invitations for feedback get sent out automatically when a status of someone (a candidate) changes in your ATS, like a placement.
  • As for the time of the delivery, Starred allows you to either activate the surveys based on the actions or touch-points the respondents face, which is transactional, or select a specific time and date for them to be delivered, which is relational.
  • It is possible for you to utilize our conditional “Thank you” pages.
    We allow you to prepare three different thank you pages: the respondent will get a different, personalized version, whether he is a detractor, passive or promoter.
    This has its perks. For example, if the respondent was a promoter, you could add a button asking him to leave you a review on Glassdoor.
  • Starred is available to any company that can reasonably afford us. We also offer a 14-day-long free trial. 
  • Starred showcases data through sensible dash-boarding. Other than the basics, you also have extra elements, such as the Recruitment Matrix, ranking your recruiters on the basis of their Candidate Net Promoter Score and pre-set metrics of your choice.
  • If you wish so, you can receive our Firefight Email alerts whenever you receive a low score for your NPS rating. This way, you will know in real time when someone is dissatisfied with your performance.
    If your form isn’t set on “anonymous”, you will be able to know who the disappointed respondent is, which will give you the chance to reach out.
  • Your scores read back to Bullhorn – in fact, they read back to whichever ATS or CRM you have integrated with our solution.


As we have seen, the two solutions have different approaches and different prices, too. Unlike Bullhorn’s feedback solution, Starred is not for free, yet provides more layers in its feedback gathering and analysis.
Starred focuses on NPS+: we don’t stop at Net Promoter Score, but analyze its drivers, too. Therefore, it shows correlations and actionable insight. It does so fast, too, and provides you with real-time analytics and clear, exhaustive dashboards. 
Furthermore, Starred feedback forms can be transactional, triggered by a status change in Bullhorn, or relational, issued at your will, and being sent again at a pre-set, fixed cadence – Bullhorn’s are exclusively relational.
If you’re looking for a complete feedback solution, Starred is your preferred option. However, were you a corporate or enterprise client of Bullhorn, wanting to approach feedback gathering and analysis by exploring and making first steps in measuring, Bullhorn’s feedback solution would be a good starting point. If feedback became a key part of your strategy and you desired more exhaustive tools, then you could always utilize Starred at a later stage – and it’s so easy, too, since Starred integrates with your Bullhorn ATS.

We hope you found this reading interesting and useful. If you have any questions or comments, do not hesitate to contact me at my email address – I will be glad to answer your messages.

External Sources

Exploring Bullhorn’s Enterprise Edition Features

Starred – Bullhorn Integration Page

Starred’s Feedback Form Page Evolution

Starred’s Feedback Form Page Evolution

What’s new?

We recently updated the design of our feedback forms and offered our clients the option of how they want to send them – either all questions on a single page or one question per page. You can choose your preferred version in the Form Composer and try it out.

You can find the option to choose Feedback Form type in the top bar of Feedback Composer

We decided to offer two versions to our clients after performing multiple intensive studies and user testing.

Left: Feedback form displayed as one question per page
Right: Feedback form displayed as all questions on one page

The evolution

The first version of the Starred Feedback Form is a couple of years old.  Last year we started working on several improvements. Our ambition was to make it fast and fun for respondents to give feedback, be it on any device, in any country, and in any context. It was a demanding challenge. We set up 3 design rules that we respected at every step of the process:

  • Putting the respondent first
  • Building on knowledge, not assumptions
  • Granting easy access on any device

We wanted to provide gratifying, unobtrusive, responsive, fun, and accessible experiences through giving feedback.  The Feedback Form 2.0 was our answer.

We tested it for several months with a group of clients and learned a lot about how respondents are using it.  We noticed that the new version performs better in a matter of answered questions and respondents leave on average 22% more comments (which represent incredibly valuable qualitative data to our clients).

Confident with the test results, we decided to rewrite the new feedback form in super fast React technology and make it freely accessible to users.   

One question per page Feedback Form on a tablet

When we dug into the data, we observed that the one question per page design works better with the shorter forms. With the 3+ question blocks, the number of given answers decreased. We were determined to do something about that.

One question per page: The percentage of answered question dropped when the form is longer than 3 question blocks

We know that many of our clients like the original feedback form layout. One of Starred’s promises has been to deliver surveys which fit on one single page. The respondents can overview the whole form and skip questions they don’t want to answer.  

After many discussions and studies, we concluded that the best way would have been to tweak our original form, other than providing a new one.  

To verify our assumptions, we asked our clients which idea and approach they liked the most. The most votes were for the version with one question per page, but the second most popular opinion was to upgrade the existing feedback form.

The second most popular opinion in our preference test among clients was to continue working on improvements of existing feedback form
Some opinions of users who voted for multiple questions per page

We did various studies and tested a number of hypotheses in order to find a satisfactory solution. We examined many UI patterns to choose those that work the best and are pleasing for respondents.

We did multiple tests and formulated a few design hypotheses before we started the redesign process
We checked a lot of UI patterns to find the one that works the best
The original form vs. updated version. More prominent elements and more delightful graphics improve the general user experience for respondents. Visible comments icons boost the number of given comments. We decided to get rid of elements that distract respondents, like the partial score and make the elements that personalize experience more dominant – bigger avatar and a welcome note. Clients can also adjust the accent color of the elements
The final set of card components used in a new feedback form. We keep all fonts and paddings in the same relations to create cohesive, calm, and pleasant experiences.

Benefits for the clients

The new versions of the feedback forms have many advantages for our clients. They help them collect feedback and reach their business goals.

  • A higher completion rate. The total completion rate is almost 100% better on the new feedback forms’ versions
The completion rate of original feedback form vs. a new one
  • More comments. Respondents tend to leave 22% more comments on the new feedback form page
  • Speed. New versions open noticeably faster than the original one
Speed index [s] – 3G speed,  methodology: https://sites.google.com/a/webpagetest.org/docs/using-webpagetest/metrics/speed-index
  • Various UX improvements and increased readability on all screen sizes. We put extra effort into mobile devices. 63% of our feedback forms are opened on phones and tablets.  We improved the interactive elements; right now, they are fully adjusted for mobile interactions
  • Respondents spend slightly more time on new feedback form pages. The average time increased from 2 minutes to 2.1 minutes


We are very proud of the new forms’ designs. We have tested them thoroughly and with great results.
As for the version with all the questions on a single page, it works better with longer and more complex forms. The design with one question per page is a better choice for survey with no more than 3 questions.
We hope you will quickly adopt the new forms and cannot wait to hear your feedback!

This is How You Should Measure Your Recruiters’ Performance

This is How You Should Measure Your Recruiters’ Performance

Whether you work for a recruitment agency or a talent acquisition team, you might sometimes find yourself drowning in metrics. From cost-per-hire to cNPS, there is no end to the measures that nowadays companies can take to better their performance.

But are those efforts sufficient? Are they efficient?
Is there no better-organized system to promote positive change for your agency or business unit?

A good recruiter is one with positive financial metrics, happy candidates and happy hiring managers. So these are the areas we will have to investigate when measuring recruiter performance.

Let’s start by trying to answer the first question: is your recruitment-performance measuring system sufficient?

Mostly, recruitment agencies and stakeholders depend on financial measures to track recruiter performance. Unfortunately, these can’t account for how the candidates or hiring managers feel about their experience with the recruiter. What are the consequences?

Bad Candidate Experience with recruiters damages your brand and costs you valuable customers

As you might know, Candidate Experience (or CX) is more and more of a hot subject nowadays. But why is it so important?
Poor Candidate Experience has first- and second-hand consequences.
The first-hand consequences only impact the unhappy candidate, who, most probably, will ghost you.

The second-hand consequences imply that the candidate has spread the word about his poor experience with you through negative reviews. The consequences can be that you will get lower quality candidates, more time will be needed to fill your vacancies and, finally, you can suffer financial loss due to their boycotting.

If you’re curious about how much money your business might be losing because of poor Candidate Experience, you can use our Candidate Experience cost estimator.

In this paragraph, we will focus on the second-hand consequences of a poor CX, which usually have a way bigger impact on your business.

In times when word of mouth is facilitated by social media, it’s time for the recruitment industry to lend an ear to the job applicants’ opinions, in order to avoid the dire consequences we briefly mentioned above.

As mentioned in Social Talent’s article Candidate Experience & The Application Process: 4 Things You’re Doing Wrong, 22% of the unhappy candidates actively tell others not to work for the company that disappointed them.
You might think that it’s just another drop in the ocean, but a Glassdoor report states that around 70% of the candidates are using job search websites to read reviews of a company before submitting an application.

Poor reviews drive away high-quality candidates and lengthen the time needed to successfully fill a position, thus increasing recruiting costs. Finally, some candidates will stop buying a company’s products if their application experience was negative. This is especially true of commodities, which are consumed often and can be easily replaced.

If you’re curious, you can read of how Bad Candidate Experience Cost Virgin Media $5M Annually – Here Is How They Turned That Around. In their case, 18% of rejected candidates were also Virgin Media customers, and 2 out of 3 candidates were likely not to recommend Virgin Media to others.

Social Talent’s previously mentioned article also shows us that after a negative experience, 42% of the candidates said they would never seek employment at that company again.
As mentioned in SmartRecruiters’ eBook How to Create Hiring Success, 50% of the candidates said they would not purchase products and services from that company!

Now we understand it’s important not just to focus on financial metrics. Candidate experience is important – but what defines it as bad?

The article Candidate Experience: All the Stats, Facts and Data You’ll Ever Need to Know reads: “76% of people say that not hearing back from an employer after a job interview is more frustrating than not hearing from someone after a first date”.

Other issues could appear if, for example, you provided the candidates with vague or redundant information about the job, the application process was too long or complex or your communication was not transparent.

Poor experiences shape the applicant’s attitude towards a company and are hard to measure until they reveal themselves on social media platforms in the form of negative reviews. If it is indeed subjective and difficult to quantify, then how do we measure it?

You should measure your performance through Candidate NPS, or cNPS. Why? Recruiters are usually the first point of human interaction with an applicant during the candidate journey. This means that they become the face of the company for that particular job-seeker.

It is important for recruiters to maintain an attitude that represents the company and its values, just as it is important for the candidates to have a clear image of the business whose vacancy they’re applying for.
Bad candidate experience can start with the recruiter and lead to an increase in the number of detractors and to negative reviews online.

For a deeper dive into the subject of cNPS, you can read the article How to Apply NPS to Candidate Experience.
For now, it suffices for you to know that candidate NPS is like a thermometer: it lets you understand how satisfied your candidates are with your performance so that you can ask yourself why and improve.

In the next paragraph, we will discuss the first-hand consequences of Candidate Experience. If the application process is too long, the communication faulty or the job poorly described, most probably your candidates will ghost you.

Ghosting is a real problem, and it reflects on your cNPS

Recruiters used to disappear and never get in touch with candidates, but now the tables are turning.
There is nothing fun about filling out a complex application for one of your vacancies, only to wonder if the application actually went through. Chances are, your candidates will eventually give up on their dreams of working for you and move on to a better opportunity.
But this is not all – beware, ghosts can re-emerge on review sites.

This converts your biggest supporters into detractors, worsening your cNPS score.

Candidate ghosting increases the time it takes to successfully fill a position. It also reduces the number of high-quality candidate referrals.
Terrible, isn’t it? It feels even worse if the ghosting is due to an out-sourced recruiter you hired…

Now that we’ve mentioned the widespread use of financial metrics and added the element of candidate experience, it is time to focus on your hiring managers.

But what about your hiring managers?

We learned that a happy candidate means a happy advocate, but your hiring manager’s satisfaction is crucial too. As we previously mentioned, a good recruiter is one with good financial metrics, happy candidates that buy your products and speak kind words, and happy hiring managers that keep their collaboration with you alive.

Bad hires cost the company lots of time and money. This is especially true for extremely technical or high-level positions. Job applicants should be well-suited for the company and adequately prepared for the application process.

One way to ensure the recruiter isn’t just pushing as many candidates through the system as possible is to check if the hiring manager is happy with the provided selection of candidates. If feedback from your hiring manager comes back as generally negative, then you know your problem is generated before the hiring manager.

The metrics that your hiring managers will calculate to see if they’re happy are the ones concerning the quality of hire. Around this subject, Harver has written a very exhaustive article: “Measuring Quality of Hire – All You Need to Know”.

In the section regarding how to gather data to improve your performance, 4 options are mentioned:

  • Hiring Manager Satisfaction Surveys
  • Employee Engagement Surveys
  • Feedback on the Hiring Process
  • New Hire Performance Metrics

Measuring recruiter performance is more than just tracking financial KPIs during the process. The human element is very important to capture, as it is an integral part of the journey. Numbers are not the only thing you should be worrying about. Recruiters remain one of the first points of human contact for a company.

With all these elements to consider, no KPI by itself is sufficient to tell you how your recruiters are performing. Is your measuring system efficient?

There is no cure-all KPI

Candidates generally don’t care about how long it takes to fill a slot in a different department, or how much that costs the company per quarter. Instead, they want respectful interactions with a recruiter and their candidate journey to be handled properly.

Questions asked to candidates about these interactions, paired with hard-line measures about the recruiting process, help you establish realistic benchmarks that can help you optimize your CX process.

You also need to listen to your hiring managers’ opinions – if they are negative, you need to find fast ways to provide them with better candidates that are a more suitable fit for their vacancies.

It is necessary to keep on measuring financial metrics, too. Some examples can be acquisition cost or sourcing-channel cost.

You will need to consider multiple KPIs at the same time, in order to improve. What to prioritize, then? A chaotic system is an inefficient one.
Having an organized view would help you be more efficient.
The next paragraph will showcase our recommendations.

What do we recommend?

At the beginning of this article, we asked ourselves if your recruitment-performance measuring method was sufficient, efficient and organized.
One by one, we answered those questions. Your system cannot be sufficient unless you consider the 3 elements needed to make a good recruiter: positive financial metrics, happy candidates and happy hiring managers.

We then saw how inefficient and disorganized it can become, once you have to consider several KPIs at the same time, with no clear prioritization system. Dashboarding would help you visualize all relevant information at the glimpse of an eye. But that would not help your recruiters improve, per se.

We have found a way to help your recruiters improve: you can fuel positive competition amongst them while giving the hard workers the recognition they deserve.

Our Recruitment Matrix will allow you to compare your recruiters’ performance based on a set of metrics that are relevant to your business.
This will provide you with a ranking of your best-performing employees and will let them understand what to improve on, to increase their positioning.

It allows you to identify the issues within your team or agency in a quick and easy way, therefore simplifying your managerial tasks, therefore proving to be sufficient, efficient, organized and convenient, too.

Do you want to know more about this?
Do not hesitate to reach out, we will be happy to assist you in your decision.

Phil Brown

6 Reasons Why Recruiters Need to Automate Measuring Candidate Experience

6 Reasons Why Recruiters Need to Automate Measuring Candidate Experience

There’s no denying it. Candidate Experience is firmly on the mind of recruiters, and rightfully so. Approximately 4 out of 10 candidates that had a bad experience will take their business elsewhere. A lot of agencies and businesses are stepping up their CX game, but there’s still so much room for improvement.

Expert opinions converge on the position that technology will play the biggest role in how recruitment is set to change in the coming years. New technologies pop up continuously, aimed to resolve hiring issues and offering smoother back-office process. All well and good, but when it comes to Candidate Experience, however, the recruitment tech picture hasn’t been so clear.

Research in the Netherlands shows that 41% of companies do not ask their candidates to evaluate their recruitment process. The good news is that the majority of recruiters realize feedback is important. Still, most organisations only ask candidates that are hired for their feedback on the process. Less than 10% ask all candidates for feedback. The biggest learnings are going to come from rejected candidates, so it begs the question: what learnings from candidates are recruiters really missing out on which could help them elevate their business?

The state of Candidate Experience.

As a Business Developer at Starred, I’m generally the first point of contact with firms looking to get to grips with Candidate Experience. My job is to look for a match between the issue inside an organization’s recruitment department and what we can do to solve it. I often have really interesting talks that help me discover recruiters’ ambitions and challenges. Recruiters are becoming more and more aware of Candidate Experience as a topic that needs addressing hands-on. CX is a top priority for 85% of the recruitment departments I have spoken to in the last 6 months.

70% of the organisations I spoke to stated that they are already measuring the Candidate Experience in some way or form. However, the vast majority of the recruitment managers I talk to explain they have a manual process in place to measure candidate experience. Tools like Google Forms, Typeform or SurveyMonkey come up frequently. Dig into research in Customer Experience – a discipline that has grappled with feedback longer than Candidate Experience – and you’ll find that these tools will probably only scratch the surface on actually improving your relationships, and require a lot of manual work in the form of admin and analysis. Customer feedback has trended towards automation for years now, and it’s time for candidate feedback to catch up.

Automating feedback has clear, tangible advantages. Here I’m going to dive into 6 of them. So without further ado, here’s why you need to stop manually sending out surveys, and step up your Candidate Experience feedback automation.

1. Automating Candidate Experience feedback is cheaper.

This might be a shocker. Many recruiters I speak to argue that the prices of automating feedback are too high and they’d prefer to stick with their current process. Besides the disadvantages it brings to the table – that I will explain later – it’s actually not true.

People are expensive. Let’s say that recruitment manager Peter costs a company roughly 100 euros per hour. Peter, like everyone else, understands that improving the Candidate Experience is key in winning the talent in the market. Every week he manually sends out surveys to the hired and rejected candidates in order to get insights into the quality of his department. Say that every week he spends 4 hours collecting the data and 4 hours preparing for and analyzing the data… Multiply his hourly rate with the hours he spends on manual CX measurement per week and you’re already way past the monthly cost of an automated solution like Starred.

2. Automation saves you time so your recruiters can get on with recruiting.

In the aforementioned scenario, Recruitment Manager Peter would have saved at least 5 hours per week if he integrated his recruitment CRM or ATS with Starred and just automated the sending out- and feeding back of feedback data. The data collection would go automatically and insights would be presented in dashboards ready to be acted upon. Peter can use this time to get a good look at the results, to immediately follow up negative feedback and to implement structural improvements. As mentioned, Peter is expensive so it’s a shame to use him for ‘dumb’ work like juggling CSV files for hours. Just for comparison: imagine the positive impact he’ll make on improving his business processes with the right insights, rather than doing admin.

3. Automating candidate feedback is less prone to human error.

Peter is human. Humans make mistakes, and that is okay! But sometimes it is better to make sure you’re on the safe side. One week Peter was preparing his weekly survey and one row of the Excel sheet was accidentally moved so that all candidates were addressed with a wrong name. This didn’t help the response rate – nor did it help their Candidate Experience! This scenario actually happened to a company we spoke to, but let’s stick with Peter for the sake of storytelling.

Imagine the negative candidate experience of being called by the wrong name in what is then obviously an email template – when you’re already deep in a process with a recruiter.

4. Automation provides you constant monitoring on your most relevant candidate touchpoints.

Peter includes the rejected candidates in his labour-intensive survey outreach because he realises that these candidates give valuable feedback as well. Every week he sends out surveys to the hired candidates and rejected candidates that made it till the end of the process

Using an integrated tool allows you to automatically send out these surveys at exactly the right moment in different stages during their candidate journey – on time, and in context. Having to manually separate candidates that were rejected in different stages like CV screening, first interview or contract negotiations and send them different surveys is nearly impossible. But! If you have this process integrated to your existing process you’ll get the most complete results. Feedback needs to match your own way of working in your CRM or ATS, like Bullhorn or Greenhouse.

By automating feedback, it is completely ’embedded’ within your organization and therefore part of your work process. The insights can then come rolling in, without the need to think about how many surveys you’re sending where and when.

5. Automating feedback actually helps keep your conversations personal.

It’s a data-driven age of recruiting. You already know that. Your ATS (Applicant Tracking System) is rich with information like your candidate’s name, date of application and the role(s) he or she applied for. Why not use this to keep the conversation personal?

Tailored. Personalized.
Whereas a generic survey tool like Typeform’s will tell you to use a template which asks a candidate “which department did you apply to?” automating this process in a more tailored, personalised solution like Starred gives you the opportunity to keep this interaction human and keep the conversation going. Why on earth should your candidate have to do your admin for you? This will have the reverse effect of alienating them.

Feedback as a pulse.
On Starred, candidates receive a personal invitation for feedback at the relevant stage in the candidate journey in your own brand, voice and tone – and also only relevant questions, not asking them to tell you which department they applied for. Since feedback should be real-time, integrating this process allows you to respond directly to feedback so that you can do your first ‘damage control’ in cases of negative feedback and positively surprise candidates.

Let your feedback actually feed back.
Feeding feedback data back into your recruitment CRM or ATS – E.G. Candidate Net Promoter Score – will give you an at-a-glance evaluation of the candidate’s sentiment: imagine calling them and already knowing where they stand in terms of how they think of your process. You can adjust your approach accordingly.

6. Automation in candidate experience is about efficiency and getting better at acting on your feedback.

When you are used to manually arranging your feedback outreach, it’ll often get ‘lost’ or buried in your organisation’s processes. Since feedback is very important, but doesn’t feel urgent, it can typically be something that can be forgotten by your recruiters and by management. Integrating feedback into your Candidate Journey with Starred provides you with clear real-time dashboards and a priority matrix – which makes it easy to know how to act on your feedback. A static report is easy to ignore, dynamic dashboards with action points are not.

Wrapping up.

As I mentioned at the top of the article – manually measuring Candidate Experience will become outdated for recruiters. Much like what happened in customer service measuring customer experience – firms which automate gain competitive advantage through efficiency. There are huge gains to be had for those who lead the way in this field. Moving from putting out social media wildfires and ‘reputation management’ – to excelling through shining candidate experience and brand. Those who automate their Candidate Experience feedback will find their way towards this promised land much quicker.

Hopefully the above points convinced some of you that going for an integrated feedback process carries more advantages than disadvantages.

Does automating feedback mean replacing the team members who were handling this process before? Absolutely not – it ensures they have their hands free to pick up the really important issues when it comes to Candidate Experience: monitoring and implementing improvements. This is crucial for Talent Acquisition specialists and operations-side leaders in Agency recruitment.

Starred is feedback software optimized for recruiters to take control of their Candidate Experience, including industry leaders like Coca-Cola European Partners, Danone and ASML, as well as major recruiters like Altus Staffing. Got your attention? If these topics resonate and you want to up your CX efforts – reach out and let’s talk.

How to Measure Candidate Experience

How to Measure Candidate Experience

It’s already well established: bad candidate experience is costly to your business, and good CandE has excellent ROI. With poor CandE you won’t be earning precious candidate referrals, and you can expect to be spending a disproportionate amount of your time putting out social media and Glassdoor wildfires.

Talking to lots of recruiters and researching online it became clear to me that recruiters aren’t yet clear on how to improve their candidate experience.

Sure, there’s lots out there on offering ‘wow’ moments and taking time to stop and listen. If you’re not already engaged with your candidates and asking for feedback in an informal way – start right now. You’ll get to the point, though, where crowded Excel sheets and random bits and pieces of feedback living in your inbox won’t be enough.

Measuring CandE begins with feedback.

You’ll reach the need to measure CandE with surveys. But following advice to simply ‘send a survey’ is simply ineffective, far too ‘spray and pray’ and won’t get you far. One size rarely fits all.

Feedback is a tricky business because every candidate is also a consumer, so they’re already used to encountering bad surveys from the days of annoying customer satisfaction surveys. If you’re going to do feedback then do it properly – map out the Candidate Journey, use surveys for the right touchpoints, and measure the drivers behind Candidate Net Promoter Score.

Here’s how.

1. Map out your Candidate Journey

Look at your candidate’s journey and your touchpoints with them. Where does this correspond with your workflow in your ATS or CRM?

Your recruitment funnel will have several stages where your candidate interacts with you, your brand or encounters your automated processes.

Dive into the specifics of mapping this out with our Practical Guide to Candidate Feedback.

2. Map surveys to the right touchpoints

You’ve got your Candidate journey mapped out. Now it’s time to measure experience at each point.

Sending one big survey at the end of your candidate’s process with you – hire or rejected – is similar to that big, old customer satisfaction survey you hate filling out yourself. You know the one I mean: unspecific, asking for information they should know about already.

Think of it like this: asking someone at the end of your process what they thought about the application and your online brand is a bit late. To get their true opinion in real-time send out within 24 hours of your touchpoint or their interaction with you.

Be specific and send out a survey to a portion of your candidates at every touchpoint to learn where in the journey you’re going right and wrong. This type of Candidate Experience measurement is done best with Net Promoter Score. You can then measure CandE throughout the Candidate Journey.

Have a read of our guide to applying feedback to your candidate touchpoints.

Already a few steps further? Make sure you’re getting the best response rates from your feedback so you can analyze with confidence.

Mapping out your Candidate Journey should be step 1 for measuring your Candidate Experience.

3. Look at what’s driving your NPS at every Candidate Journey touchpoint

Measuring candidate experience properly means looking behind the curtain: why are candidates scoring you a particular way at a particular stage in the funnel?

Candidate Experience isn’t one thing. To improve it you need to know what aspects of it to improve. Just asking Net Promoter Score (NPS) and saying ‘oh, 95% of our candidates are happy, good job’ isn’t going to help you prevent that 5 % of unhappy campers taking to Glassdoor to publicize their bad experience. Committing to the whole idea of candidate experience means fixing things for the better.

If you’re reading this you’re probably a recruiter, so you don’t need me to tell you that your job is complex. Your Candidate’s experience of your processes, brand, and people will be equally complex.

Measuring Candidate Experience properly drills down to specifics. For example – find out the ‘why’ at these stages of application, interviews, and rejection.

Survey after application:
Usability of your jobs platform
Ease of uploading CV
Satisfaction with the information provided online about the role

Survey after interview(s):
Did they feel their interviewer was well-prepared?
Did they feel their time was respected?
How enjoyable was the conversation?
How was their experience coming to your office?

Survey after Rejection:  
Clarity of reason given for the decision to reject
Time taken
Friendliness of communication

You get the idea. Satisfaction and willingness to recommend are often contingent on satisfaction with specific aspects of their experience with you.

Do you need further inspiration to define what to ask your candidates? Read the article Candidate Experience Survey Questions.

Ready? Start measuring Candidate Experience with Starred.

We make measuring and improving your Candidate Experience easy.

Starred’s software makes the process of collecting feedback automatic at every important Candidate Journey Stage. Starred’s reporting tooling makes finding out the drivers of your Candidate Experience simple: find out what to improve next based on priority and impact.

Boost Candidate NPS. Earn more Candidate Referrals.

Talk to us to get started!

Starred Connect: Delivering Automation, Saving Time, Increasing Feedback

Starred Connect: Delivering Automation, Saving Time, Increasing Feedback

Almost nine months ago the Integrations Team at Starred set out on an ambitious goal to develop Starred Connect, our integration hub that would connect external systems like Application Tracking Systems (ATS) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platforms connect seamlessly to Starred. The strategy to develop this part of our platform was to directly support one of our product values:

More specifically to Automate the Process by connecting to systems that our customers already utilized in their day-to-day business. The value of this connection to feedback is a seamless integration where customer data is housed in one place and triggers can be configured so Starred can execute automatically and in realtime. Automation of feedback ensures your capture the Voice of the Customer, at the right place at the right time.

At a ten thousand foot level the process looks simple, but when you take a look at the details, you’ll understand that the functionality is quite complex. Our challenge was to take that complexity and make it easy for anyone to use.

The magic of Starred Connect is under the hood, so to speak, with the entire integration platform as a service (iPaaS) built seamlessly to work with the already existing user experience. We wanted to unleash the power of integrations from the development side to the business side. Now all our day-to-day Starred customers can easily setup a completely automated feedback loop that works 24/7 and 365 days a year without any human intervention. We created Starred Connect to be as simple three steps:

  1. Connect Application
  2. Select Workflow Template/Create Workflow
  3. Enable Integration

Once enabled, the integration seamlessly works in the background based with your business logic to collect feedback which in turn provides a continuous pulse of customer, candidate or employee sentiment and opportunities to improve. Combine this continuous feedback data with Starred’s other built-in features like Automatic Firefight Notifications, Dashboards, and the Priority Matrix and there is a competitive advantage to teams working to improve the Candidate Experience, Employee Engagement or Customer Satisfaction.

The ultimate benefit of Starred Connect is the time it will save you to focus on your business and customers. If your application is available as part of our initial integration offering, then you are no longer bound to uploading customer data via CSV or Excel file uploads and then manually setting up your invitations. The result being decreased possibilities for errors and increased productivity and feedback opportunities. But more importantly we are providing the technical infrastructure to modernise the feedback experience and to make real-time insight into a competitive advantage.

We really believe integrating Starred into the systems you already work with is a natural extension for providing you and your respondents with a high quality feedback experience. Our goal is to continue to add value to our customers by building out more integration possibilities and simplifying them even more with pre-made workflows that fit into existing customer and business logic.

At Starred, our goal is to make the best technology in the world to Create, Distribute and Analyze feedback. We are proud that Starred Connect will be a cornerstone feature of our Distribute offering and will drive our mission to make feedback better for everyone.

Interview With Sujan Patel: The Impact of Customer Feedback on Growth

Interview With Sujan Patel: The Impact of Customer Feedback on Growth

Where does feedback fit into the growth marketing stack? We sat down with serial entrepreneur and marketing guru Sujan Patel (Mailshake, Web Profits) to get his thoughts on feedback. It was a wide-ranging discussion, touching on customer-driven growth, building good routines around Net Promoter Score, and the opportunity cost of not investing time and resources into customer feedback.

  • The C-Factor: customer-driven growth
  • Net Promoter Score: how it’s done
  • Feedback reaching the right stakeholders
  • Not investing in feedback? Extremely costly
  • TL;DR: Key takeaways

Short on time? We’ve got the full conversation recorded here.

“I think about it [feedback] like this – what if people hate our experience, and then don’t tell us? That’s worse than hating our experience and knowing what it is. Because one hurts our feelings, the other one kills our business”

The C-Factor: customer-driven growth.

You’ve set out of a methodology called C-Factor around customer-centric growth strategies. What does that mean for you as a marketer?

Growth-oriented marketers spend a lot of time thinking about this, so for me, it’s all about finding the best ways to grow. It goes back to the age-old saying of “It’s much cheaper and easier to keep and expand your existing customers than it is to get new ones.” That’s where I started this from. I look back at my career in marketing the last 14 years and to my most successful strategies and tactics. The best things I’ve done have come from me engaging customers. In early 2016, I shifted my focus as a marketer to being customer-first.

There’s a lot of emphasis in marketing these days on velocity. It might seem counterintuitive to some people to take a ‘slower’ approach: more face-to-face meetings, making time for engagement. It does take time to have a conversation, and not everything can be easily digested from- or divined from an analytics dashboard.

The question for me is: How does this approach keep up with growth? What are good practices for making sure that customer centricity keeps up with the growth that you’re trying to accelerate?

Yeah. So first and foremost, everyone thinks like, “Oh man, talking with customers is hard. It takes lots of time and it’s going to take away time from other things, or money away from other things.” But engaging with the customers is fairly cheap, right? That’s a customer success role. Again, as a marketer: Compare that to your advertising budget and the CAC (Customer Acquisition Cost). Engaging with the customer for one hour or 30 minutes or 15 minutes is much, much cheaper than it is to go and pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to get a new customer.

The whole point is to give your customers a wow experience, right? And so, this wow experience could come in many different ways and it doesn’t actually need to have anything to do with the product. I’ll give a very, very straightforward example. With our agency, Web Profits, we’re working with CMOs or a VP of Marketing. They often have all these challenges in their business, like, “Hey, how do I make projections for the board?” or, ” I’m hiring, what are some interview questions?” Senior people may not just say, “Here’s the interview questions.” It might be things like, “When you’re hiring, I’m happy to help you. Somebody from my team is happy to be one part of the interview process,” And that’s like, Wow!” That’s one thing that most other agencies don’t do.

My software company Mailshake is an email platform, so we can send personalized emails in bulk. The hardest part of using our software isn’t going through the flow and sending out an email, it’s actually, “What the heck should I say? What should I write to these people?” And so, we found we can do all these tweaks in the product but if we just simply help our customers write better copy, they’re going to be the most successful. And so, that’s exactly what we do. We review campaigns, we give feedback, we create a ton of education around how to write these emails, so you as a user can get a better response.

These two experiences: from an agency services side that’s selling $100,000 a year contracts, plus on the Mailshake side, our average price is $30 a month. Very, very different average contract value LTVs, but the wow factor works the same way. What the results of this wow factor are is – one, talking to your customers so you keep them longer, high LTV, more revenue if you’re finance-minded. Number two is actually, this is hard to measure but it is possible: you get happier customers, you train them and it’s the first step to turn them into advocates. This works at both of our companies and actually provided most of the success I’ve had in my marketing career. Engaging customers and the C-Factor resulted in customer-driven growth.

Most of our customers come from word-of-mouth or referrals. The simplest way to measure this is in the signup flow. Ask, “How did you hear about us?” The age-old thing, most companies have been doing this for a while. And ask them when they answer “friend or colleague” – ask for their name. It’s another field that can add more friction, but ask for the name. Mailshake gets around like 500 to 700 new customers a month. 250 people put in a person’s name and we take it even one step further – we send those people a thank-you note and we find them if we can on social media, find their emails, and what have you. So we’re engaging with our advocates. This is a big part of the cycle of engaging with people and really adding that human factor. Not all of this comes down to time-intensive engagement like phone calls. You can do something simple like send a thank-you note on LinkedIn or by email.

Net Promoter Score: how it’s done.

Advocacy and referrals is a good place to jump into NPS (Net Promoter Score). How useful is NPS for you and in the companies that you’re running?

The NPS score is a part of our playbook in getting feedback from our customers. Now, in terms of a score itself, I’ll be honest, I don’t use it much. As in, I don’t necessarily care about what the score is. What I care about is that it’s trending upwards, and the quantitative and qualitative balance of feedback.

Here’s an example of quantitative side. Let’s say our score NPS is 50. I’m just giving you a random number. I’m looking at how many people have reported and given feedback that there are issues like bugs [in the software]. And so, I’m looking at how many bugs there are, whether they’re blocking and causing a bad Network Promoter Score. That’s feedback auto-tagged to the software we use. We use this information in talks with our devs to think through the product. So we could take an approach like, “Okay, looking at our product – even though we’re releasing new functionality that customers have requested, it’s getting more and more buggy. Let’s make sure we reduce that.”

“My Sunday morning ritual is reviewing the last week of feedback. […] I want to get a general pulse on the company.”

The other side of this is the qualitative stuff. Most of the time people who have had a really good experience are giving you more fuel – it’s open input for more detail that oftentimes is a testimonial. So that goes straight to your website, we have a slash testimonial page on Mailshake and it can go straight there. We review NPS once a week, usually every Monday. You can dive in deeper by contacting the people who provided feature and functionality requests along with their feedback. Anyone who kind of gives a detractor or the passive score we actually email them as well and we send them an auto email saying like “Hey, what’s going on? Tell me more.” And that response is an automated email that gets sent out from our support team, and responses go back to the support team.

I’ve found that from doing customer interviews and just continually talking and engaging customers that it’s not necessarily solving their problems, it’s showing that you care, right? Some problems are not solvable or a customer might say something like, “I just sent a campaign out and I got horrible results. It’s not your fault but I’m glad you reached out and tried to do something about it.” It’s turning those detractors into advocates in your community. I think one part of what I’m talking about here is a brand, right? When you talk to startups, branding is not necessarily a marketing tactic, a growth tactic, it’s a part of marketing and frankly only larger companies or later stage companies start to focus on brand. I think building a brand is a big part of how you can stand out in today’s market. There’s at least a dozen products for every problem. You can stand out by building a brand with values. In this case, it would be that you show you care.

If you make this kind of human-centric claim, then there better be a person on the other side of communication, right? That’s what feedback has not done well traditionally. It tended to feel like a black hole with people thinking “what’s happened with my feedback, and is there someone actually on the other side reading this?” I guess the advantage of using software and reviewing on a weekly basis, as you said, is that it starts conversations with people, that actually builds good faith.

Exactly, and it’s action too, right? So look, honestly. It’s rare that when somebody requests a feature or functionality, do I email them saying, “Your feature is added, it’s live. Check it out.” But what I do is proactively, weekly, we reach out to customers, proactively talk to customers, create webinars. We create content based on problems. A few dozen people in the last two months have requested videos, and I’m not going to email them saying, “Hey. Videos are live.” But we’re working on creating walkthrough videos. They’re not product demos, but actual videos from our marketing team and sales team using our product. And so, when this goes live, maybe not all those dozen people who gave that feedback will notice but a few people who do will know that we actually did it for them. It’s this repetition of actually taking action and showing that you’re doing something with that data on a proactive basis. That’s really the key there.

It’s funny because when I think of NPS or getting product feedback or customer feedback, I always have to think of banks and car rental companies. They all ask, “Tell us about your experience.” My thoughts are always, “Are you really going to do anything with this?” Because I’m pretty sure if I tell you, you suck, you’re not going to do anything about it. Unless I talk about a banker or specific person, you may have that conversation. But if I’m talking about the bank as a whole, you’re not going to change your practices because of anything I say. However, I think that stigma doesn’t have to be the same for software companies or any other company really.

Yeah, especially if you’re looking at things in terms of a growth mindset where you’re able to process information a lot quicker and bring things into action a lot quicker.

Is NPS always the right question to ask? How often should you be asking?

So I think Net Promoter Score is something that should be done on a regular cadence. 90 days, 120 days, and that number really depends on your product and company and usage, right? So for example, if you’re a pizza company, you probably don’t want to have your NPS scores go out every 90 days. What if people don’t eat pizza every 90 days, or what if they order pizza all the time: then it might not make sense to do it every single time. If you’re Airbnb, they ask about experience and get feedback on every single trip because that’s really, really important. So if you’re Airbnb, NPS every 120 days is maybe irrelevant because of how often people use Airbnb. You have to figure out that cadence for yourself. But just think about it in terms of, say, a dozen or so usages of the product in between the times that you ask. I found that if you ask too frequently under 90 days, it’s overkill. Frankly, you can’t do enough in that timeframe to implement the feedback. You’re going to get people saying, “Well I’ve already told you. Stop emailing. Stop talking to me.” They might get a little annoyed. So you have to take into consideration the annoyance that it brings or the actual extra steps.

There’s something that I fear has crept into feedback now, this culture of over-asking. Does every customer touchpoint or activity need to be evaluated? To give an example – I just moved house and my cable provider asked me would I recommend them to friends or family on day 2... For me, this doesn’t make a lot of sense, because you simply don’t know at that stage if it’s a good service. It’s about finding the right question at the right time.

Feedback reaching the right stakeholders.

So, in terms of feedback culture, how do you bring feedback to life? Beyond the stats, how do you make sure it reaches the right people in your teams?

So we integrate all of our feedback. We have some in-app feedback. Like we ask customers for feedback after they sent a campaign [in Mailshake]. We have product specific feedback- so that product teams use specific feedback, knowing that we asked. We have NPS scores. We have “how’d you hear about us” forms and sign up. For most data, it goes into this channel on Slack called ‘the feedback channel’. Pretty much every weekend, my Sunday morning ritual is reviewing the last week of feedback. I don’t have a document or spreadsheets that my notes go into at this point. I truly take a qualitative view on that week and I just look through what people are saying. I want to get a general pulse on the company. Later I jot down notes. I have this running Google Doc that I share with the whole company. At Mailshake and on Ramp Venture’s side, all of our SaaS companies, I’m the one that’s closest to the customer. Because for us, customer success, customer support rolls up into marketing because it’s a function of marketing for us.

When I talk to the individual teams, or in a weekly founders meeting, or an executive meeting it’s one of the points I always hit on: “Okay. Here’s the pulse for the week of what people are saying.” It’s not qualitative. It’s like, “Look guys, we had a really buggy week. We need to fix this and share the Google Doc and it’s a recurring thing this quarter. Let’s make sure we do a bug sprint or let’s make sure we resolve this.” Lots of features that are coming to light, so when I look at features, I always take every week as a new week. Completely from the perspective as if I didn’t know anything about this company, what are the things people are requesting? And then if people are requesting it over and over and over again, then I can say, “Well, we’re actually ready to build features, prioritize based off of the requests.” But also with things like the impact and the ease of use and whatnot. Same thing with support. We raised our prices a few weeks ago. It went from $19 a user to $29 on Mailshake. We’ve done this before and what we learned was that it’s going to affect people in the current buying cycle negatively, so let’s make sure that we honor that old pricing for people who are evaluating our software. So, we learned from the last time that people got pissed because we forgot about it. It was an oversight. This time around, we proactively solved that and that was just the information we got from our NPS. Not NPS, but like all the feedback mechanisms.

Yeah. The comments that come rolling in with it.


Not investing in feedback? Extremely costly.

On the ROI side of things, feedback software and investing in feedback tooling is often a tough sell because proving the ROI is quite difficult versus something like a comparable sort of mechanism in sales, for example. In the latter case you can answer against the amount of SQLs, leads to customers that you’re bringing in. With feedback, as you’ve noted, it often comes down to qualitative output and it’s quite hard to prove the ROI in direct or convenient ways. What’s you’re thinking on that? Has feedback been ROI positive?

Oh, absolutely. I mean, the cost of the feedback software, time and the investment we put into this are pennies compared to the impact if we didn’t have the tool. So here’s an example, imagine we didn’t talk to our customers or have this feedback mechanism for our company. We would build the wrong thing. Maybe not all the time. But maybe that goes from like 100% accuracy of building the right things to like 75%. That 25% for our three-person dev team, how much time would that be? Like, let’s just quantify it, right? The three devs, they’re over six figures salary. If they each spend one week every month building the wrong thing, and that’s not even considering opportunity costs, we’re talking about thousands of dollars every single month because we don’t want to pay a few hundred dollars for software or we don’t want to spend a few hours a month taking time to really talk to our customers. So I think I look at this in terms of what happens if you don’t have it and you don’t have these mechanisms? The other thing is when you do have these things, you also get laser-focused building things that people want and you get ideas for product, for marketing, and advocacy that you probably wouldn’t get elsewhere. We had a customer that was like, “I’m a big fan. I’ve been referring your business and I run a podcast. I want to mention you guys on our podcast. Can you give us a deal for our podcast listeners?” And that was just a low-hanging marketing opportunity. We gave him a little coupon code and he ended up bringing us like a hundred and something customers from three podcasts episodes.


That’s just free revenue for me. So there’s these opportunities that come around from getting feedback from customers. I think about it like this – what if people hate our experience, and then don’t tell us? That’s worse than hating our experience and knowing what it is. Because one hurts our feelings, the other one kills our business.

TL;DR: Key takeaways.

  • Customer-driven growth is surely one of the most effective growth strategies.

Why? It’s cheaper to retain existing customers than to acquire new ones. Engaging with customers isn’t just beneficial for you – you’re actually helping people get a better experience. Education and content play a huge role.

  • Checking in on your feedback weekly gives the ‘pulse’ of your business.

Feedback should be rolling in on a continuous cadence, the timing of which should be designed intelligently around your customer journey touchpoints.

  • Net Promoter Score (NPS) is an engine for referrals.

NPS is a vital tool in the Growth Marketing stack. It aids in identifying possibilities for referrals in your customer base. ‘9’- and ’10’- scoring customers are very likely to recommend you to others – make sure to follow up with them and thank them.

  • Be sure to follow up negative feedback.

Automation is a big help here: send an automated email to ask what might be going wrong. Have your customer service reply to these emails. Build a dialogue. You won’t be able to fix 100% of issues – but you can ensure every customer feels respected and listened to.

When thinking about the ROI of working with feedback (software), consider the opportunity cost.

What if you built the wrong things even 25% of the time?

Say you have 3 developers, at over six figure salaries each.

Imagine the cost to your business of them spending one week of the month working on the wrong thing.

Compare that cost to a few hundred dollars for software which helps you keep your finger on the pulse of your business.

What’s the ROI on a good Candidate Experience?

What’s the ROI on a good Candidate Experience?

Since the ‘run for talent’ is at its all-time high, the ‘Candidate Experience’ is currently on the lips of everyone working in recruitment. According to the members of The Society for Human Resource Management, in the last decade we saw a trend towards hiring quickly and at low costs rather focusing on a ‘topnotch’ Candidate Experience. While this sounds great in the short term, the hard truth is the fact that it’s hurting businesses’ bottom line in the long term.

This article is for everyone in recruitment having a hard time convincing their Finance Department to spend money on creating a good Candidate Experience. Let’s stop right there: the discussion shouldn’t be about ‘spending money’ on the Candidate Experience, but about ‘how much it will save’, since it will bring a positive ROI. Let’s dive into three main areas where a good Candidate Experience can impact the bottom line of your business.

#1. Good Candidate Experiences increases conversions

Let’s first solely look at the recruitment process itself. Every company is eager to hire ‘A-players’. Since they always want to be the dumbest person in the room (to keep a steep learning curve), they will try to hire even better people. These A-players set the bar high for themselves, but also for the companies that want to hire them. They will extrapolate the impression they get from the Candidate Experience to how the company will be. They will ‘wow’ your hiring team for sure, and therefore they need to be ‘wowed’ in return.

Not providing a great experience? They will withdraw their application and you will be stuck with ‘B-material’. The problem with these people is that they will most likely hire C-players since they’re afraid smarter people will take their jobs. Before you know it, you’ll have a company full of mediocre people and your chances for success will decline rapidly.

Some quick tips on how to increase conversions:

  • Beyond clicking through to jobs and applications, the #1 destination for potential employees to research your company is your career site. Keep the application as short as possible, while capturing the information you need. Someone who can apply to your job without several clicks, pages, or having to answer long, daunting questions is much more likely to fall into your funnel. Extra requirements such as username and password creation complicate the process, and is best served at the end or never at all.
  • If you reduce the time to apply from 15min+ to 1-5 mins you are likely to save 28% on media costs. You will also improve time-to-hire because you’re not losing viable candidates.
  • Try not to keep people in your process for more than 30 days. If your competitor is moving faster than you, chances are big they will choose them over you. Do you really want your competition to land the best talent in the market? Then execute fast(er)!

Cost per hire / employer brand strength graph

#2. Build a superior Employer Brand & get more referrals

A recent LinkedIn Study surveyed 2,250 corporate recruiters in the US to learn more about time to hire, cost per hire metrics and most importantly the impact of a strong employer brand. They found out that companies that have strong employer brands enjoy significant cost savings with lower cost per hire and employee turnover rates.

TalentBoard shows that for most candidates that have an overall 5-star experience, didn’t get the job at the end of the day. Even after this rejection, 64% of the time, candidates are willing to increase the business relationship with that company that they applied to. In real terms, they will buy more and will buy again. And here’s the big one – they will refer you more candidates.

Bonus benefit: Companies with stronger employer brands have 28% lower turnover rates than companies with weaker employer brands.

Candidate Experience making business sense yet?

#3. Candidate Experience means growth in revenue

The easiest way to convince people internally about the importance of a good Candidate Experience is when your candidate is also your customer. People don’t drop off the face of the earth the second they leave your recruitment funnel. They will come across your brand again, with their candidate experience front-of-mind.

What’s the business impact? A global survey by Software Advice revealed that 42% of candidates who have a bad experience are somewhat to highly likely to cease buying goods from that company. 34% are somewhat to highly likely to tell their friends not to buy from that company. Put in plainer language: this means almost half of your candidates who have a bad experience won’t buy from you again. A third of them will tell their friends never to buy from you again.

Take the often-discussed Virgin Media case which did the rounds on LinkedIn about how bad candidate experience cost them over 5 million dollars annually. The calculation was fairly straightforward. There were 123,000 rejected candidates each year, and 6% canceled their monthly Virgin Media subscription because of bad candidate experience, so they ended up with about 7,500 cancellations. Multiply that by the $60 subscription fee and by 12 months. Doesn’t take a lot to see that lost business because of bad candidate experience is costly. Unhappy candidates mean unhappy customers. Quite simple.

Virgin Media managed to turn the ship around and the result is impressive: it’s 10 times cheaper to gain business from the recruiting process (it only costs $50 versus $500 for traditional marketing).

Is Candidate Experience ROI positive?

Let’s be honest, you can find an ‘ROI positive’ article for almost everything on the internet. The ‘problem’ with an article like this one is the fact that there are a number of stats out there, but no actual data. ‘If we can’t measure it, we can’t improve it’ will be a common response from your Finance Department when confronted with ‘yet another ROI case’.

The answer to this is easy: Start measuring your Candidate Experience in an automated way. Establish a baseline Candidate Net Promoter Score, and start optimizing from there. Combine these results with several of your own recruitment metrics:

  • The time candidates are in the process
  • The acceptance Rate
  • Number of people that withdrew
  • Money spent per applicant

Keep a close eye on these metrics and how they are evolving (and hopefully, improving over time once you start measuring and optimising the Candidate Experience)

Quantifying the importance of Candidate Experience has been a challenge for recruiters until now. Try explaining that giving candidates the ‘white glove’ treatment (especially rejected ones) can make or break your reputation and your recruitment pipeline. In your efforts to get buy-in for your CX project you’ll inevitably run into objects that these efforts have few clear benefits.

Therefore ‘now is the time’ to take action on this topic and convince all relevant stakeholders to invest in a great Candidate Experience.

As I’ve shown here. First – You can prove that superior Candidate Experience increases conversions. Sales funnels are constantly under scrutiny in efforts to optimize their effectiveness. It’s time to think the same way about your recruitment funnel. Second – building an employer brand in this age is vitally important, and it earns you more referrals – one of your primary growth levers. Thirdly – Candidate Experience forces you to consider the consumer-side impact of good and bad experience. Good candidate experience drives increases in revenue.

Basing ROI calculations on lost business will depend largely on the type of business you run. It requires complex analysis. When it comes to CX lost business can range from nothing to millions annually. Here I hope to have given you an idea of what this all boils down to: bad Candidate Experience harms your bottom line, and positive CX drives expansion of your core business. Combine these investments in Candidate Experience with a far smaller investment in a solution to measure the impact of CX, and you’ll be surprised what a positive ROI impact this will have!

Read more about Candidate Experience on Starred:

Candidate Experience is clearly important, but who’s responsible?

Why feedback is the gamechanger in building a great Candidate Journey

Serious about measuring your Candidate Experience? Starred helps you go even further – we’ll show you the drivers of your cNPS so you’ll know how to improve Candidate Experience.

Get in touch and let’s discuss your challenges.

3 Best Practices for Feedback in 2019

3 Best Practices for Feedback in 2019

A new year means new years resolutions and new business goals. Why not double down and set yourself up with some healthy habits when it comes to setting your business goals as well?

When setting your feedback goals and implementing feedback projects for 2019 there’s a few super important things you need to be taking into account, if you want to make it a success. That goes for boosting customer loyalty, increasing employee engagement, or improving candidate experience.

Regardless of your target audience, here are the 3 best practices for working with feedback in 2019.

1. Set realistic goals

If you’re working with feedback then now’s the time you’ll be defining your goals for 2019. It’s tempting to keep it overly simple and just say you’ll boost your NPS 10 points and assume your loyalty increases. By being this arbitrary with your goals you’re likely to miss the mark. You’re more likely to make significant progress with realistic goals.

Who and when are you comparing yourself to? Be smart in your goal-setting. If you have competitors in your industry you’re looking to benchmark against then be sure they’re actually comparable. If that’s not possible then use your own internal benchmarks: high performers in your team can provide you the ideal benchmark to progress with. You’ve also likely got months where you performed better than others last year. Set a target that is too generic and that doesn’t make use of something realistic in your own data and you’ll run the risk of holding on to a bad target all year.

2. Automating feedback

One of the biggest traps you can fall into with feedback is spending time and energy sending out surveys. If it’s not a one-off- and you’re set on getting continuous insights, then it’s time to automate. It’s 2019 so words like ‘automation’ and ‘integration’ shouldn’t be hair-raisers anymore. Everyone should be able to set up a basic automation, and here at Starred we believe strongly in the value of automated feedback: let the automation gather feedback in the background so you can focus on analyzing it. We’re releasing an entirely self-service feature within Starred soon, called Starred Connect, which will allow you to do exactly this.

3. Build yourself good habits following up feedback

This one’s closely linked with the two best practices above. With good goals in place, and hands freed to do something with your feedback data, you need to be looking into your qualitative data. These include respondent’s comments in response to your questions. In Starred they’re grouped by Detractors, Passives and Promoters, as well as per question topic you’ve set up. Diving in here regularly will show you emergent trends. Your biggest improvements might be hiding in plain sight. You can have individual teams and their members looking at their own results, and base your monthly and quarterly improvements on these trends. Feedback is the perfect point of departure when you’ve turned opinions into data.

All the best with your feedback goal-setting in 2019! If you’re in need of some inspiration reach out to us here at Starred and we’ll happily help out.

Kicking off your year like an overachiever? Check out our guide on how to get the highest response rates for feedback.

What’s the business impact of a bad Candidate Experience?

What’s the business impact of a bad Candidate Experience?

Candidate Experience matters, it can directly hit your bottom line.

It has never been easier for individuals to have a voice. Social media, blogging and review sites are now widely used across all industries. Whole businesses have been built upon great reviews, while others have almost been ruined by poor experiences being shared. While this has now become commonplace in consumer markets, changing buying behaviours forever, the recruitment industry is only just starting to fully understand how this can affect the candidate space. The cost of a poor customer experience is often very clear and tangible – loss of sales – but a poor candidate experience is often harder to quantify. However, if you dig a little a worrying picture starts to surface.

Let’s take a look at the ways poor Candidate Experience affects your business.

People will talk about it

Sharing experiences has become the norm. Taking to sites like Tripadvisor for travel, Feefo for products and Glassdoor for workplace reviews has become commonplace. More importantly, people actively search for reviews in the workplace, ensuring you company culture is a good fit.

Loss of revenue

Remember that in the case of inhouse recruitment, candidates could be your customers and in staffing, they are your biggest source of referrals. 42% of people would not buy a companies product if they received a bad candidate experience, so a bad candidate experience can be a costly mistake.

Unhappy candidates will not reapply

We all know that just because someone isn’t a fit for one role, it doesn’t mean they can’t be suitable elsewhere. However, it stands to reason, if you have a bad candidate experience you are less likely to re-apply for another role with that company. In fact according to Carrer Builder, 42% would not seek employment again at a company after a bad candidate experience.

Hiring is costly and that increases the longer it takes

The cost of hiring can be looked at in a number of ways: posting on job boards, staff time to search, agency support, lost time of not having someone in the role, etc. So ensuring the shortest time to hire is important for both businesses and agencies alike. A good candidate reputation can help reduce this greatly. If potential candidates avoid the company, then it reduces the talent pool available to you.

Increase the quality of who you recruit

As the time to hire increases, so does the pressure to fill roles. Should this be the case, inevitably the pressure will lead to rushed hires and the wrong candidates being placed in a role. The cost of a wrong hire could be huge to a business (cost or training, less productive, less productive team, wages and ultimately re-hiring). So much so Calco estimate it could be up to £132,000.

The Candidate Experience is something that is often hard to equate because so many of the costs are not easy to calculate, but it clear that they are very real.

The candidate experience can be directly related to business success, much like customer experience and staff experience. Successful businesses will take all three of these areas seriously and in part two of this blog we will explore how you can do this to good effect.

Once you’ve come round to thinking about the negative impact of bad Candidate Experience – time to consider the ROI positive impact of good Candidate Experience.