How to measure candidate experience and improve it effectively

February 20, 2024

How to measure candidate experience and improve it effectively

Candidate experience refers to the impression of a company and its brand that someone takes away during or after the hiring process. When a company has a positive candidate experience, this means that most people who apply to work there feel satisfied and supported during the application process, whether they receive a job offer or not. By measuring your company's candidate experience, you can ensure your hiring process is effective while showing your employees and new hires that you care about their satisfaction. Here's a deeper look into the importance of measuring candidate experience.

How to measure candidate experience

Here are a few key performance indicators you can use to measure candidate experience:

Interview-to-offer ratio

One of the best ways to measure candidate experience is to review your interview-to-offer ratio. This is the number of candidates you offer a position to versus the number of candidates who complete interviews. By looking at how many applicants you pass on after interviews, you can also evaluate the efficiency of your hiring process, which contributes directly to candidate experience. 

For example, if you notice a high volume of candidates getting interviews but not job offers, this can indicate that your hiring process may not be comprehensive enough or specific enough. Then, you can determine how to improve your application process to appeal to the prospective job seekers you want to attract and provide them with a better overall experience.


Time-to-hire is a KPI that can be helpful for both measuring and improving the candidate experience. To track this KPI, evaluate the number of days that pass from the time you first post a job opening to the time you fill it. This includes the time for applications, interviewing, and accepting offers. By paying attention to your company's time-to-hire, you can determine which parts of the candidate experience need enhancing by identifying bottlenecks. 

For example, if you notice that the most days pass between the initial job posting and the time when you have enough candidates to interview, there may be an issue with your application process. Similarly, if you spend too much time in the interview stage, you can figure out which aspects of the candidate experience to improve during these interviews. When you notice that the time-to-hire is getting shorter as you post more open jobs, count that as a success, and identify the candidate experience improvements that were most effective.

Offer acceptance rate

The offer acceptance rate that your company experiences during the hiring process can also help you measure candidate experience. This refers to the number of people who accept job offers in relation to the total number of offers you send out. For example, if you notice that most of the job offers you send get accepted, you can conclude that the candidate experience for these applications was positive. In contrast, a low offer acceptance rate may indicate issues with your application or interview process.

It's often ideal to have an acceptance rate of at least 90%, as this typically shows a positive candidate experience. When your offer acceptance rate drops lower than that, it's beneficial to find out why candidates are rejecting your offers. You can do this through a survey or by asking politely about what parts of the application experience you can improve.

Candidate drop-off

To evaluate the candidate experience that people have while completing your applications, keep track of candidate drop-off. Candidate drop-off occurs when someone abandons the application without completing it. When this occurs, it often indicates that something about the application process is negatively affecting their experience, perhaps by taking too long to complete or asking inappropriate questions. If your application is too complex or too long, prospective employees are more likely to stop before they finish, moving on to a different, easier application.

Ways to mitigate candidate drop-off include making your application more user-friendly. Ensure there's a quick way to fill out your application, and try to make it mobile-friendly so candidates can complete it using their phones or other personal devices.

Net Promoter Score

Another KPI you can use to track candidate experiences is the Net Promoter Score. An NPS uses a rating system to let candidates rate their application experiences, usually on a scale from 0 to 10. Then, you can evaluate the entire batch of ratings to determine the total NPS for your round of applications. When a candidate provides a rating of 9 or 10, consider them promoters. If they rate the company between 1 and 6, count them as detractors. For ratings between 7 and 8, list them as passive. 

The actual NPS ranges from -100 to 100, and you subtract the number of detractors from the total of 100 to determine your score. For example, if you only have promoters in a group, your score will be 100, and if you only have detractors, your score will be -100. When your score equals a figure that's near 100, it's considered a positive score. In contrast, scores that go into the negatives are negative scores.

"Measuring candidate experience is important because it highlights the most effective parts of a company's hiring process and identifies areas to improve."

Importance of measuring candidate experience

Measuring candidate experience is important because it highlights the most effective parts of a company's hiring process and identifies areas to improve. When a company has a positive candidate experience overall, it's more likely to retain new hires, as they'll already have a great experience with the company from their application process. Having a great candidate experience can also minimize the drop-off rates you see during the application process, as people who have a positive candidate experience will be more likely to finish an application than those who encounter obstacles or frustrations.

Benefits of improving candidate experience

When you take time to improve your company's candidate experience, you can see multiple benefits for potential new hires, as well as current employees. One of the most immediate benefits is an increase in top talent applying to your open roles. This is because when a company has a notably positive candidate experience, it's more likely to attract qualified candidates who hear great things from other people who apply. 

You'll also usually have an easier time getting prospective employees to accept job offers, as they'll be more inclined to accept a role with a company where they had a positive experience during the application and interviewing stages. When a company has a poor candidate experience, it's harder to get candidates to finish their applications, so taking time to improve the application process can mitigate this problem and allow the company to appeal to more people who will follow through.

By devoting time and effort to measuring your candidate experience, you can find ways to improve it. This will benefit anyone who applies to work with your company, as they'll leave with a positive impression of the organization, even if they don't receive a job offer. Use these methods to measure your own company's candidate experience and determine how you can improve it to get the most out of your application processes every time.

More tips for improving the candidate experience:

If you're building your own website, read about tips for creating a career site that improves the prospective employee experience.

To learn about the ongoing importance of the hiring experience, read about why the application process doesn't stop after you hire.

If you want to learn how to improve the recruiting process through online research, read about ways to research job candidates online.

For insight about background checks and recruiting, learn about the ways to enhance the hiring process through background checks.

If you're curious about how improving the applicant experience helps you, read about how hiring experience enhancements benefit recruiters.

Previous Article
8 recruiting strategies for hard-to-fill positions
8 recruiting strategies for hard-to-fill positions

If you're searching for the right candidate for a hard-to-fill role, use these recruiting strategies to boo...

Next Article
How to integrate data-driven hiring into your company's recruitment efforts
How to integrate data-driven hiring into your company's recruitment efforts

Learn what data-driven recruitment is and explore how to integrate data collection into your company's recr...

View 140+ million resumes and save BIG with our value plans

View Plans