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A Case Study on Elevating Hiring Experiences - Revamping Talent Acquisition for Better cNPS

Updated: Oct 20, 2023

Imagine if every candidate who applied to your company became a raving fan of your employer brand 👀. Imagine if they told their friends, family, and network how great it was to work for you. Imagine if they gave you glowing reviews on social media, Glassdoor and job boards.


For organisations, the challenge is not just to attract top talent, but to ensure a seamless, inclusive, and personalised hiring experience at scale. The goal is to be known for an excellent end-to-end experience for all stakeholders involved: candidates, hiring managers, interviewers, and your fellow recruiters.


In this case study, I will show you how to develop and launch a new program to improve your cNPS in the talent acquisition department. I will follow a basic case study framework, which consists of 4 steps: define the problem, analyse the data, develop solutions, and implement recommendations.


Important note: This is a project was delivered in 3 months, with a large amount of content and artefacts. This project did not look at the end to end candidate journey and did not utilise the recruitment funnel and conversion ratios as data points. For this, I will create a separate Case Study. Instead, this project focused on immediate ROI and scalability.

 

Definitions: Candidate Net Promoter Score (cNPS) is a metric that measures how likely candidates are to recommend your company as a place to work. It is calculated by subtracting the percentage of detractors (those who rate their experience as 6 or lower on a scale of 0 to 10) from the percentage of promoters (those who rate their experience as 9 or 10). A positive cNPS indicates that you have more promoters than detractors, and a negative CNPS indicates the opposite.

cNPS is important because it reflects how well you are attracting and engaging talent, and how your employer brand is perceived in the market.

  • A high cNPS can help you reduce hiring costs, increase retention, and improve quality of hire.

  • A low cNPS can hurt your reputation, increase turnover, and lower employee satisfaction.

 
cNPS as defined by the AIHR detractors and promoters
 

Step 0: Build a project team

Project Management & Timeline:

  • Team Composition: One project lead (me) and 4 dedicated team members.

  • Working Model: As a side project, the team dedicated 1 to 2 hours per week.

  • Duration: The project spanned approximately 2 months.

  • Outcome: Delivery of highly customisable content and artifacts suitable for adaptation by any TA team, revamp of the automated email content, creating a "Centre of Excellence" for the entire EU HQ talent team, a group who would act as guardians and ambassadors for the updated hiring experiences.

Step 1: Define the problem.

We are considering a global organisation of over 17,000 employees, which, despite a recently minted Employee Value Proposition (EVP) and standardized recruitment processes, the cNPS swung wildly from a dismal -20 to an encouraging +80pp across different departments.

This discrepancy meant that some of the roles were being filled in a timely manner and that the candidates were happy with their processes, while other roles were nearly impossible to fill.

The expectation was to first improve the cNPS in the affected areas by 20pp in 6-12 months and second, to build a scalable framework which can be deployed and utilised by all the EU HQ Talent Acquisition teams, in 2-3 months.

Question:

How can we revamp the hiring documentation and practices to ensure a consistent, inclusive, and top-notch experience for all our candidates, while also ensuring scalability and adaptability for future needs?


Step 2: Analyse the data.

With such a short time frame, we made the decision not to analyse the depth of the recruitment funnel, but to focus on the proverbial “low hanging fruit”.

It is important to mention that the candidate survey was being redesigned at this point and our team was not involved in that exercise.

We identified several pain points and opportunities for improvement in the candidate journey. Some of the key findings were:

  • The communication with candidates was inconsistent and unclear, with many candidates reporting that they did not receive timely or relevant feedback or updates on their status.

  • Some of the automated communication going out to the candidates was out of date and / or lacked any empathy (eg,. Rejection emails)

  • The candidates did not receive consistent interview preparation for the different types of roles

  • The feedback loops were inconsistent, some areas of the business performing better than others

  • The EVP was not properly activated and there was a lack of appealing documentation showcasing the organisations’ culture, values, and vision.

Step 3: Develop solutions to improve the cNPS.

The group proposed, designed and delivered a new program that would address the root causes of the low cNPS and create a positive and memorable candidate experience. The program consisted of the following components:


Key Deliverables and Their Value Add:


1. Incorporation of EVP in all the Documentation:

  • Deliverables: Revamped Offer Templates, Info Packs, Pre-onboarding materials, Interview preparation documentation, and all the ATS email templates.

  • Value Add: By weaving the EVP throughout the candidate journey, we ensured a consistent brand message, enhancing the candidate's connection and understanding of our company's values.

2. Inclusive Communication:

  • Deliverables: Reviewed and revised communication tone and language.

  • Value Add: Ensured our communications are free from biases, promoting a more inclusive and welcoming environment for all candidates.

3. Establishment of the “Excellence Group”:

  • Deliverables: A dedicated team responsible for quarterly documentation updates, for training the wider team and the business stakeholders and audit the usage of the new materials.

  • Value Add: Ensured up-to-date, scalable, and consistent information, benefiting teams across the EU..

4. Candidate Intro Info Packs & Interview Guides:

  • Deliverables: Comprehensive and customisable guides and materials for candidates and the talent acquisition team.

  • Value Add: Enhanced candidate preparedness and cohesive candidate experiences across all the business domains.

5. Operational Excellence & Automation:

  • Deliverables: Automated and redesigned the "we received your application" emails in our ATS, monthly reporting, and potential automated emails for interview process delays.

  • Value Add: Streamlined communication, reduced drop-off rates, and increased transparency for the leadership team.

6. Training & Support:

  • Deliverables: Training modules for the entire EU talent acquisition team and continuous support from the "Excellence Group".

  • Value Add: Upskilled TA team, reduced downtime, and ensured scalability.

7. Feedback Mechanisms:

  • Deliverables: these included surveys, feedback forms, and the introduction of targeted questions to pinpoint areas for enhancement. While our team wasn't directly engaged in the global survey's redesign, post-delivery for the EU sector, we meticulously integrated our research and findings. We diligently monitored to ensure that our materials and initiatives aligned with the insights targeted by the survey.

  • Value Add: Continuous improvement of the hiring experience based on real-time feedback.

Step 4. Implement the recommendations.

Once the entire documentation was redesigned and built in a highly customisable manner, we released it to the entire EU talent acquisition team, to be used for all and any roles.

The recruiters and leads were provided with templates, an accessible shared drive, a new excellence group slack channel and dedicated email address and scheduled training sessions.


the principal recruiter image from the improve the cnps case study

The program is set to be monitored bi-annually in order to track the progress and impact of the revamped approach.

Some of the metrics used to measure the success of this release are:

  • The employee net promoter score (looking at the ease with which the can utilise the resources)

  • The cNPS

  • Adoption rate by recruiters (usage)

  • Interview pass-through rates (conversions) at final stages.

Results:

  • The initiatives led to a more streamlined and consistent hiring process, elevating the hiring experience, with a focus on inclusivity and personalisation.

  • Early indicators show positive feedback from recruiters and candidates alike, with increased adoption rates and improvements in both eNPS and cNPS. The establishment of the “Excellence Group” ensures that the documentation remains updated, scalable, and relevant, benefiting the diverse talent acquisition teams and the leadership.

 

Call to action:

Did this journey resonate with your current challenges? Whether you're a business leader seeking to improve your company’s cNPS, or an individual looking to learn the ropes of elevating the hiring process, I’m here to help. I offer personalised coaching and consultancy based on real-world experiences like the one shared in this case study.

Reach out to me for a tailored discussion on how we can address your specific needs to better your talent acquisition process. Let’s work together to create positive hiring experiences and build you a stronger employer brand.

 


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