When you’re looking to deliver the best possible experience to your candidates, asking what they and your current employees think is essential.

Here’s how you can collect their thoughts.

  1. Send an online survey to candidates

Send candidates a link to complete a survey after their interview or at offer stage.

Create two versions – one for hired candidates and another for unsuccessful ones. Ensure you’re sensitive with the wording of both, and highlight the reasons why you’re asking unsuccessful candidates to feed back, and why you value their opinions.

Although you should expect a fairly low response rate, those who do take the time to complete a survey tend to include worthwhile feedback.

  1. Combine ‘just hired’ feedback with ‘6 months in’

Ask new hires to complete a feedback form about their candidate and interview experience as part of your on-boarding process.

It can be illuminating to receive feedback from people who are new to your organisation. A fresh perspective can be very valuable.

Ask for feedback again once your new starter has been in post for six months. Their insight will be equally as useful, but different now they are more immersed in your organisation and working culture.

They may also feel more comfortable providing honest feedback once they’re settled in, rather than in their first few days as a newbie!

  1. Try the ‘Refer a friend’ test

Circulate an annual or even bi-annual survey to staff for further insights into your candidate and employee touch points.

Ask if staff would recommend your organisation as an employer to a friend. And, importantly, would they recommend your product or service to a friend?

These survey results can strengthen your understanding of employees’ perceptions of your organisation. This knowledge can, in turn, further shape the way you develop your employer brand and value proposition.

 How can you encourage candidates and staff to provide feedback? 

Be transparent and positive about the purpose of collecting feedback.

Explain to candidates that you’ll use their insights to improve the processes they’ve experienced, and make it better for them (if they apply again) and multiple other jobseekers in the future.

And explain to your employees that you want their feedback because you value them and want to enhance their time working with you.


When you’re trying to attract and engage talented candidates, it’s essential to promote an authentic employer brand, and to communicate this through every touch point you have with candidates.

Using feedback from different pools – hired candidates, unsuccessful applicants, new employees and longer-term team members – offers you a range of perspectives to help you strengthen that employer brand, improve your hiring process and create happier candidates in the future.

Find out more

How to improve your interviews

The secret to great candidate experience

Is your ATS ready for passive candidates?

About the author

Tristan Potter

Tristan has a decade's worth of experience writing content and copy for organisations across Bristol and the Southwest of England. He has written on a diverse range of topics, including technology, philosophy, politics, and recruitment. His writing has appeared in The Drum, HR Grapevine, and The Guardian, among other publications. He joined Hireserve in March 2022.