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One of the most important parts of being a successful recruitment team is the ability to reflect on the current quality of your processes, identify areas that can be improved, and then actively work on improving them. 

In recent years, many talent acquisition teams have invested heavily in boosting their operational strengths, so much so that dedicated Recruitment Operations roles or departments are now increasingly commonplace.

Continuously making your process more efficient and effective is a recipe for success, but it can’t be done without solid data to base your efforts on. Candidate Experience surveys are perfect for making the invisible parts of recruitment visible, providing tangible data to drive Recruitment Operations.

This article explains why every Recruitment Operations professional needs to leverage Candidate Experience surveys, and how these can make previously invisible areas visible and allow them  to facilitate new improvements in the hiring process.

What is Recruitment Operations?

In short, Recruitment Operations is a role or department that is tasked with continuously optimizing the recruitment process and cutting out as much waste as possible. Recruitment Operations professionals are also responsible for keeping the process moving (e.g. scheduling interviews smoothly), and play a crucial role in making sure that nothing falls through the cracks, and no candidates are left behind. Naturally, this continuous process of optimization involves heavy use of various data analytics.

One key set of metrics that Recruitment Operations professionals pay a lot of attention to is drawn from Candidate Experience data. Candidate Experience refers to the entire experience that candidates have during the recruitment process, and acts as a good barometer for how they feel about going through your process. 

Effectively measuring each facet of Candidate Experience provides you with a large variety of useful metrics, many of which reveal various insights into the operational efficiency of your hiring process. The best way to collect Candidate Experience data is through a Candidate Experience survey. 

What is a Candidate Experience Survey?

A Candidate Experience survey is a type of survey that is specifically designed to be sent to candidates, shortly after they’ve left the pipeline, which guarantees the highest response rates. There are many different types of Candidate Experience surveys, but they all provide data that is incredibly useful for Recruitment Operations. 

You can read more about the how’s, what’s and when’s of Candidate Experience in our Ultimate Guide to Candidate Experience. 

Benefits of Candidate Experience Data for Recruitment Operations

Candidate Experience is an essential part of understanding how candidates feel about your hiring process, and excelling at Candidate Experience results in a range of benefits when it comes to standard operational metrics like time-to-fill, withdrawal rates, and cost-per-hire. 

It also expands the size of your talent pool. 66% of candidates state that a positive Candidate Experience raises their likelihood of referring other candidates. Plus, an excellent candidate experience also results in a highly improved quality of hire.

Since Candidate Experience surveys cover a wide variety of topics, they’re an excellent source of valuable information and constructive feedback that is highly relevant to Recruitment Operations. Here are some practical examples of how this data can be used:

Making the Invisible Visible

Candidate Experience data allows TA teams to have access to tangible feedback that might otherwise be missed. Specific questions result in specific answers, and can sometimes reveal issues and potential areas for optimization that weren’t spotted internally. You can’t improve what you don’t measure, and Candidate Experience data allows you to measure your outcomes.

One example of this is Twilio, a large tech company who hires for many technical roles and is constantly on the lookout for skilled developers. A key part of Twilio’s hiring process for technical roles is a skills assessment, which is carried out using HackerRank.

However, some of Twilio’s hiring managers expressed concerns about the effectiveness of the tool, and were worried that candidates disliked using it, or perceived it as biased. Since Twilio was actively measuring Candidate Experience data, their TA team was able to dive into the numbers to see if this was the case.

They found that not only did candidates prefer HackerRank, scoring it 13% higher than other tools, but specific data from their Indian branch revealed that holding a 5/10-minute explanatory session before the assessment began would result in a further boost to candidate satisfaction scores. Twilio adopted this practice globally and saw candidate satisfaction with the assessment grow substantially. 

Structured, Granular Insights

Another benefit of leveraging Candidate Experience insights for Recruitment Operations is that the data is inherently structured around specific parts of the process. This allows Recruitment Operations professionals to identify issues around these particular fields.

For example, Adevinta started measuring Candidate Experience data, and quickly noticed that many of their candidates were complaining about the length of the process. Adevinta responded to this feedback by cutting the amount of interviews by 40%. This saved both the candidates and TA team around 4 hours of work per candidate, and sped up the time-to-hire. Additionally, Candidate Experience scores went up, and Adevinta managed to prevent further premature withdrawals.

The scale of these changes can result in massive savings. Taking Adevinta as an example, consider that they have around 12,000 candidates a year. 4 hours of saved time per candidate translates to around 48,000 saved hours. Factoring in the fact that both recruiters and hiring managers can easily cost around $40/hour, this simple change can result in almost $2m in savings. 

Considering that satisfied candidates are 38% more likely to accept a job offer, and that 58% of candidates report turning down a job offer due to a poor Candidate Experience, it makes sense why keeping track of Candidate Experience data helped Adevinta cut time-to-hire and raise their acceptance rates. 

Process Evaluation

One other way in which Candidate Experience data can aid Recruitment Operations is by giving context to other changes that are being made to the process. Understanding whether a given operational change produces the expected results, and how it impacts the candidates, is a key part of successful optimization. 

In this vein, Wolt used Candidate Experience data in an innovative way. They needed to scale tenfold while investing in their tech stack, but needed to make sure that their changes were having the desired result without harming efficiency,

They used Candidate Experience data to A/B pilot different changes to their process, carefully comparing Candidate Experience scores between groups whenever new tools or solutions were added. This allowed Wolt to pinpoint the effects of new additions to the tech stack, and discern exactly which additions were the most worthwhile for both their efficiency as well as Candidate Experience. Carefully examining the effects of changes to their process let them consistently understand the effects their efforts were having, and what they should include in their process to maximize efficiency. 

Further Benefits of Premium Solutions

All of these benefits result from simply measuring Candidate Experience data in a granular, structured fashion and applying those takeaways to your optimization strategy. However, there are also a number of benefits that come with the use of premium tools that will give even more context and weight to these figures.

Benchmarks & Competitive Context

One example of these benefits is the ability to benchmark your results against competitors, based on industry, company size, and where the candidates are in the process. Knowing where you stand is dependent on this form of accurate context, which can only be achieved using premium tools like Starred

Efficiency Gains & Automation

Another benefit of using a premium tool is automation, which is an immense efficiency booster. Measuring Candidate Experience has a lot of benefits, but it can also be time intensive if done by hand. However, leveraging the use of a premium solution allows you to automate scheduling, sending, data collection and data visualization tasks, saving a lot of time and improving the breadth and depth of your Candidate Experience insights. Most of our customers see a reduction in time spent on Candidate Experience of at least 66%. 

Identification of Priorities and Next Steps

Finally, a good efficiency booster specifically offered by Starred is the Priority Matrix. In a nutshell, it automatically analyzes your Candidate Experience data and calculates which areas have the best potential for improvement. This allows Recruitment Operations to understand where different areas are at a glance, and receive a specific breakdown of which ones should be targeted for immediate improvements. You can see an example of this down below: 


Recruitment Operations is an up-and-coming department in many talent acquisition teams. It’s growing importance and consistent dedication to improvements is helping to drive an additional need for increasingly deep and granular metrics. Recruitment Operations professionals stand to gain many different benefits from paying attention to Candidate Experience data, and the wealth of insights it brings.

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