How to Collect Candidate Net Promoter Score (CNPS)


Pete Randall


min read


17 Jun 2024

You're trying to understand and improve the experience of your job candidates. Just like customers, candidates go through various touch points during their interaction with your organisation. Tracking the feedback of these candidates using a Candidate Net Promoter Score (CNPS) can provide valuable insights. But how does CNPS work, and why is it important for your recruitment process? Let's dive into the essentials of CNPS to give you a clearer picture.

Understanding CNPS

What is CNPS?

Candidate Net Promoter Score (CNPS) is a metric specifically designed to measure the satisfaction and loyalty of job candidates who have interacted with your recruitment processes. Unlike general feedback, CNPS provides a focused assessment and gives you a numerical value that is easy to interpret.

Important elements of CNPS:

  • Single question: Typically, candidates are asked, "On a scale from 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend our recruitment process to others?"

  • Simple interpretation: The score separates candidates into promoters (score 9-10), passives (score 7-8), or detractors (score 0-6).

Pro-tip: Use CNPS surveys immediately after the recruitment process ends to ensure candidates' experiences are fresh in their minds.

Why is CNPS Important?

CNPS is crucial because it offers a clear, actionable metric that reflects how well your recruitment process meets candidates’ expectations. A high CNPS indicates that candidates had a positive experience, which can improve your employer brand. Conversely, a low CNPS can highlight areas needing improvement, assisting you in refining your recruitment strategy.

Key benefits of CNPS:

  • Enhance candidate experience: Understanding candidates' perspectives can help you make data-driven decisions.

  • Attract top talent: Positive candidate experiences can make your organisation more appealing to future applicants.

Pro-tip: Regularly track and review your CNPS scores to measure the impact of changes in the recruitment process over time.

How Does CNPS Work?

CNPS operates by collecting feedback from candidates via a simple survey that rates their likelihood to recommend your recruitment process. This feedback is then analysed to provide a score that reflects overall candidate satisfaction and loyalty.

Steps for CNPS implementation:

  1. Survey distribution: Send the CNPS survey immediately after a candidate has gone through your hiring process.

  2. Score calculation: Subtract the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters.

  3. Analysis: Analyse the feedback to identify common themes or areas for improvement.

Pro-tip: Use digital platforms like SurveyMonkey or Typeform to easily distribute and manage your CNPS surveys.

By understanding CNPS, its importance, and the mechanics behind it, you can begin to leverage this powerful metric to continually improve your recruitment process and candidate experience.

Collecting CNPS Effectively

How to Prepare Your Survey

To prepare your CNPS survey, start by defining clear objectives. Know what you want to learn from candidates, such as their satisfaction or suggestions for improvement. Choose the right moment to send out the survey, ideally after a key milestone like an interview or job offer.

When creating the survey, make sure it is short and to the point. Include the essential Net Promoter Score question: “How likely are you to recommend our company to other job seekers?” on a scale from 0-10. Supplement with a couple of open-ended questions to gather more detailed feedback.

Engaging Candidates in the Survey

To engage candidates, send personalised invitations that explain the survey's purpose and assure confidentiality. Mention how their feedback will help improve the recruitment process and show your appreciation for their time.

Send reminders if needed, but avoid being intrusive. Choosing the right time to send the survey, such as immediately after an interaction, can also increase participation rates. Also, make sure your survey is mobile-friendly to capture responses on the go.

Pro-tip: Check whether your ATS offers the ability to capture candidate feedback this way.

Analysing CNPS Results

Once you collect the responses, categorise them into Promoters (9-10), Passives (7-8), and Detractors (0-6). Calculate your CNPS by subtracting the percentage of Detractors from the percentage of Promoters. This score will give you a clear picture of candidate satisfaction.

After calculating your score, thoroughly examine the feedback for trends or recurring themes. Address the concerns raised by the Detractors and try to replicate the positive experiences for more Promoters. Present your findings in a clear and actionable format that helps your team implement improvements.

Pro-tip: Regularly track your CNPS over time to measure the impact of any changes you make to your recruitment process.

Alternatives to CNPS

Drawbacks of CNPS

Net promoter score surveys use a question which can sometimes sound a bit strange in the context they’re asked. Candidates might not be thinking about “recommending” a recruitment process to others, so as a result might not be interested in answering the question. Or worse, they’re confused by the question and don’t answer it consistently.

The timeliness of asking the question is important too, many CNPS tools only capture this information after the hiring process is complete. Which means candidates who were unsuccessful are more likely to provide negative feedback, despite parts of the process being well run and useful.

This skewed or inconsistent feedback is less useful for pinpointing which interviews or interviewers are causing issues in your process.

Evidenced’s “Candidate Satisfaction Score (CSAT)”

Evidenced uses a lighter touch approach to gathering candidate feedback, we capture insight immediately after each interview with a simple question “How was [Company Name]’s interviewing this time?”. The candidate has 5 emoji faces to choose from and depending on which they chose, are asked a follow up question of “What could they do better?” or “What did they do well?”.

CSAT survey example

Benefits of tracking directly after the interview

Capturing this information in a lighter way directly after the interview results in better insights into how the interviewers and that interview performed. Evidenced also shows clear messaging about the anonymity of the data captured to increase trust that any rating and comments provided won’t impact the hiring decision.

Interviewers are unable to identify ratings from specific candidates and comments are provided in a round up report at a later date so that hiring decisions aren't impacted.

Working with the results

Each emoji on the survey is tied to a number between 1 and 5, allowing us to create an Uber style rating score for each interviewer out of 5.

If you have a relatively healthy interviewing process, you might see that most of your interviewers sit in the range of 4.6 - 4.8, but there could be a number of people in the 4.1 - 4.5 range. These this is where you want to focus your effort, these are the interviews which you should review and look for training opportunities.

Evidenced allows you to track this score over time so you can see whether your interview coaching and training are having a positive impact on your CSAT scores.

CSAT score breakdown by interviewer

Whatever your decide to track, the main thing is to start gathering feedback from your candidates about your interviewing and hiring process. Consistent feedback collection and analysis helps you understand where best to focus your efforts, which results in a better overall candidate experience.

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Evidenced's candidate satisfaction score

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is CNPS?

CNPS stands for Candidate Net Promoter Score. It is a metric used to measure the satisfaction and loyalty of job candidates who have gone through your company's recruitment process.

How is CNPS calculated?

CNPS is calculated by asking candidates one question: "On a scale from 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend our recruitment process to others?"

Candidates scoring 9-10 are considered Promoters, 7-8 are Passives, and 0-6 are Detractors. The CNPS is calculated by subtracting the percentage of Detractors from the percentage of Promoters.

Why is tracking CNPS important?

Tracking CNPS is important because it provides a clear, quantifiable metric on how well your recruitment process meets candidate expectations. A high CNPS indicates a positive candidate experience, while a low score highlights areas for improvement in your hiring process.

What are good alternatives to CNPS?

One alternative is Evidenced's Candidate Satisfaction Score (CSAT), which captures feedback immediately after each interview stage with a simple emoji rating scale. This provides more granular insights into specific interviews and interviewers.

How can I improve a low CNPS score?

Analyse the feedback from Detractors to identify common pain points or areas of dissatisfaction in your process. Then implement changes to address those issues and improve the overall candidate experience.