Candidate Experience


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Experiencing Recruitment Challenges?

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ATS Integration
Taleo (Oracle)
12,000 each year

The outcome

  • Improved candidate experience by 20% for hired candidates
  • Improved candidate experience by 25% for rejected candidates
  • Up to $142,000 in revenue savings

Experiencing Recruitment Challenges?

Learn more

During the Summer School event of Recruiters United, Marco Leijenhorst talked about measuring and improving their Candidate Experience using the Candidate Experience survey software of Starred. Marco is the Senior Manager of Talent Resourcing at VodafoneZiggo. 

VodafoneZiggo is a provider of cable television, internet, and mobile telephony. The company is a Dutch joint venture between Liberty Global and Vodafone. They employ around 7,500 people and they have an annual revenue of around €4 billion. 12,000 people apply at VodafoneZiggo each year, from which they hire 1,300 new employees with a team of 18 recruiters.

During his presentation, Marco explained how they were able to significantly improve Candidate Experience in just a few months’ time, and how Candidate Experience can impact the company’s revenue, especially since their candidate is oftentimes also their customer.

Marco opened his talk with the photo of a Google search that you can see below. The picture shows that the public’s current view of recruiters is oftentimes negative. Marco underlined that it’s a sad but underserved perception of the field of recruitment and that this convinced him to focus on Candidate Experience.

After a brief introduction to VodafoneZiggo, Marco carried on sharing the company’s purpose and how beautifully it connects to Candidate Experience.

“It is interesting to see what you can accomplish in three and a half months.”

After a brief introduction to VodafoneZiggo, Marco carried on sharing the company’s purpose and how beautifully it connects to Candidate Experience.

“Enjoyment and progress with every connection”

“There are three elements in our purpose that are nicely applicable to Candidate Experience, and we try our hardest to incorporate those,” says Marco. “Firstly, ‘enjoyment’. How beautiful would it be if we could give every candidate an enjoyable experience?”. “Progress is another one, and progress means there should be an improvement. I would love it if every candidate that applies, said they learned something new along the way.”. The final element that Marco mentioned is ‘every connection’, which means they want to make a sincere connection with everyone that applies.

Before going into VodafoneZiggo’s numbers, Marco referred to the Virgin Media case, which is also part of Liberty Global. Graeme Johnson, the former Head of Resourcing at the British cable and mobile provider calculated that a bad Candidate Experience cost Virgin Media $5M annually. As a broadband provider themselves, this case study inspired Marco and his team to start investing in Candidate Experience.  

VodafoneZiggo decided to go data-driven and measure several key moments of the Candidate Journey using our Candidate Experience feedback software. They decided they wanted to send out surveys at key stages and measure how candidates experience their recruitment process. Marco stressed that they do this for all candidates, not just the ones they hire. In his view, the rejected candidates are the ones who bear the highest risk for business impact. “That means that we have to investigate what we can learn from the feedback and experience of our candidates, even when it’s those people from which we expect a more or less lower score.”. Besides measuring their Candidate Experience, VodafoneZiggo uses Starred to measure the experience of their hiring managers. They send out customized surveys at the stages detailed below.

Marco and his team started using our software in early 2020, a mere 3.5 months before this presentation. The graph below shows the results that VodafoneZiggo has accomplished in this short span of time. The results are measured in the Candidate Net Promoter Score.

The first thing we see in this graph is that VodafoneZiggo has been able to significantly improve the experiences of both rejected and hired candidates. The experience of candidates that have been rejected after a CV screening has improved by 10 points. However, Marco mentioned that this group needs a lot more attention. “Even though the NPS of this group rose by 10 points, it’s still a negative score – this stage has the highest risk. In volume, this group has the most candidates and, moreover, this group is the least positive. This shows me there is work to do here. These are the potential customers who can leave us.”

The second line shows the candidates who have been rejected after having a conversation with the company – they are the ones who made a deeper connection with the organization and the recruiters. This line shows a great improvement which resulted in VodafoneZiggo scoring above the Starred Candidate Experience Benchmarks. This means that, for this stage, VodafoneZiggo scores higher than other companies. “What is especially great to see is the upward trend.”

The upper line shows the people VodafoneZiggo has hired. VodafoneZiggo scores above the benchmark on this stage in the candidate journey, too.

“I think it’s an amazing result in only 3 months”

But how did Marco and his team manage to improve this much in only three months? “To be honest, I was a bit surprised by this score. We only recently started measuring, so we didn’t even have much time to think of improvements we could make in our recruitment process.”

Marco looked at these numbers and concluded: “When you decide to measure Candidate Experience and make sure that it becomes a vital part of your way of working, this will automatically stimulate the entire team to focus on this. It becomes top of mind and a priority for everyone.”. Which is also what Marco heard from his team. Every recruiter is very busy, and often recruiters’ agendas are fully booked. Because of this, it’s easy to sometimes forget about giving that extra bit of personal attention to a candidate. Marco’s team mentioned that, since it is now top-of-mind, they pay attention to the little things, like sending that extra text or WhatsApp message before an interview to wish their candidates good luck. Marco is extremely proud of the recruitment team, who show their strong commitment to making a real difference for the candidates. Technical solutions enable you to do a lot to improve the candidate experience, but the recruiters show that they are the real key to success.

Another thing the team agreed to do is to call everyone who has given a low score. The recruiters will try to get in touch with all candidates that had a negative experience to understand what they can learn from their experience and how they can improve. It’s considered ‘damage control’. “These are the potential leaving customers, so we want to control the situation with a personal approach. It started for the purpose of damage control, but we see that this is a huge source for valuable learnings.”

In short, there are two main drivers that increased the Candidate Experience at VodafoneZiggo. First of all, it becomes top of mind and a priority for the entire team, which automatically makes everyone go that extra mile. Secondly, understanding the experience of your candidates allows you to reach out to the negative ones and give them that extra personal attention.

Marco uses the Starred Recruiter Matrix to give every recruiter their own dashboard. “In this recruiter matrix, all our recruiters can see what improvements they can make. Our recruiters can easily read back all the feedback that was given by the candidates they managed themselves. We can make great trend analysis from this, so every recruiter can understand what he or she has to work on in an easily accessible way.”

At this point in the presentation, Marco dove into the financial results of measuring Candidate Experience. He referred back to the Virgin Media case and plotted their numbers against the numbers they achieved in this short period. “You’ve seen how much our Candidate Experience has improved across all candidates. If we connect these results to the data of the Virgin Media case, we can determine that we saved € 117,000 ($142,000) in 3.5 months’ time.”. Marco continued: “If we continue our current performance, thus we do not improve further, we can save up to half a million euros a year. And that is what produces a business case”.

Marco mentioned that for this financial result, they only took into account the negative effect. “But there is also a positive effect. It could be that people that had a very pleasant Candidate Experience, will consider purchasing VodafoneZiggo as their next provider. I actually think the commercial impact goes beyond the €117,000, but this number already shows you can make a great business case as to why you should invest in Candidate Experience. And always keep in mind this wonderful quote of Maya Angelou: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

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