10 recruitment survey questions to boost your hiring process

Every company wants to improve its customer brand, and for good reason. Customers usually have many options when they’re looking for a product or service, and a powerful brand can help attract them.

The same can be said for job seekers. Competitive companies also want to build a strong “employer brand.” Since qualified applicants have their pick of where to apply, it’s important for employers to improve their recruitment processes so that they can attract these applicants.

Asking everyone who goes through your hiring process for feedback can give you insight into your employer brand. Surveying the candidates who get the job as well as those who don’t sends a positive message that your company values people’s time. It also gives your company a view of its recruitment and hiring process from the outside looking in. This helps identify where you need to make adjustments to compete for top talent.

A recruitment survey allows job candidates to give feedback anonymously about their experience of your hiring process. Anonymous recruitment surveys give candidates the freedom to be candid.

You’ll want to focus on developing a well-rounded recruitment survey that applicants can complete quickly and easily. One way to do that is by asking multiple choice questions as often as possible and limiting the number of open-ended questions that require written responses. Using a Likert scale format also makes it much easier to analyze the answers.

These 10 recruitment survey questions can provide you with a starting point for evaluating your hiring process from the candidate’s perspective.

  1. Which position did you apply for? This is a cornerstone question. Companies need to know if they’re attracting candidates for the jobs they need to fill most.
  2. Describe the interview process. Provide the candidates with a selection of adjectives, such as “interesting,” “informative,” and “well-organized” on the positive side and “tedious” and “discouraging” at the negative end of the spectrum.
  3. Did we answer your phone and email communications promptly? Just as you need to know how customers are reacting to your customer service staff, you need to know how job candidates are interacting with hiring personnel. You could also present it as a statement like: “The recruiter returned phone and email messages within 24 hours.” Then you can offer a five-point Likert scale with options from “never” to “always.”
  4. How well did you understand the requirements of the job at the conclusion of the hiring process? The team overseeing hiring can’t select the best candidates if they aren’t clearly explaining the requirements of the open position. Clear communication is essential to sound decision making.
  5. Was the information you received during the interview and hiring process consistent with the job description? This question will help you determine if your hiring process is providing consistent information, which is essential for attracting qualified candidates.
  6. How well prepared were the people who conducted your interview? The job application process often asks candidates to provide a lot of materials, such as resumes, references, and certificates — in addition to filling out the application. An interviewer who has reviewed all of a candidate’s relevant information before the interview demonstrates respect for the candidates and their time.
  7. Did we tell you everything you needed to know to prepare for your interview? While it’s fair to expect job candidates to think on their feet, it’s unfair to blindside people with questions or information requests they can’t anticipate. 
  8. How likely are you to recommend a friend apply to our company? Hiring is basically a numbers game. Whatever the job, the employer needs many people to apply just to hire one right person. It will hurt your employer brand if candidates feel that you wasted their time in the hiring process.
  9. What suggestions do you have for improving our hiring process? This is a natural follow-up to the previous question about recommending the company to a friend. This question tells applicants that you are sincere about improving the hiring experience and that you welcome all types of feedback.
  10. Is there anything else you want to say about our hiring process? Sometimes there’s no substitute for an open-ended question. While many people will leave this blank, those who take the time to write out their thoughts are doing you a valuable service.

Build a recruitment survey with Jotform

Jotform has tools designed specifically for conducting surveys. Start building your recruitment survey using Jotform’s drag-and-drop survey maker. You can easily add questions, set up conditional logic, and collect survey data online. Jotform also offers more than 300 free table templates to manage and store the survey question answers to chart trends revealed by the answers.

The real value in conducting any sort of survey comes from asking a consistent set of questions over a sufficiently long period of time. National surveys of public attitudes on a long list of subjects have asked the identical questions for years, even decades, to reveal shifts in public opinion.

You can do the same — on a more modest scale, of course — to chart the reactions of job applicants to your hiring process and use their responses to more effectively recruit, select, and retain top employees.

Photo by Edmond Dantès

Peter Page is a professional writer whose career began in print. He has worked with hundreds of entrepreneurs and business leaders as an editor at Entrepreneur.com and Green Entrepreneur. He is now editor for contributed content at Grit Daily News.

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