A poor candidate experience can cost your company big time. In 2014 alone, more than 7,500 candidates canceled their subscriptions with Virgin Media following a bad recruitment experience. That’s a loss of €4.8 million in revenue! What happened to Virgin Media is not an isolated event — a study by Ph.Creative, an employer branding company, found that “two in three job candidates are more likely to apply for a job at a brand where they’re an existing customer.” By letting bad hiring practices slip into the system you’re not just losing talent — you’re losing your customers.
The good news is that there’s a growing interest in improving the candidate experience. One Dutch company working hard to make the candidate journey better is Starred. Founded in 2012 by Lars van Wieren, the feedback software scale-up helps you with all things feedback-related from designing a customized survey to providing in-depth analytical insights, so you can easily interpret the data you’ve collected to identify and improve on your weak points.
A big step for Starred towards promoting the importance of good candidate experience was the recent integration with Bullhorn recruitment software used by 8,000 recruitment companies globally. Recruiters can now automate Starred feedback from within their Bullhorn environment and choose feedback invites to be triggered at important touchpoints during the recruitment process. This allows recruitment companies to track candidate experience in a more organized and consistent way, with little extra work.
Make feedback count
The idea for Starred was born from Lars’ reflection on how inefficient collecting feedback was. Firstly, the completion rate of feedback forms is notoriously low. Secondly, once a company collects feedback, they rarely spend enough time or energy to draw any decent conclusions and implement changes based on the results. This is why Starred is on a double mission: They want to make surveys more engaging for respondents, but also more actionable for companies who send them out.
So, how exactly does it work? Starred has three possible use cases: customer feedback, candidate experience, and employee engagement. You choose the one that best fits your needs, customize it, and get it to send personalized invites automatically at trigger points that you select. Starred’s UX team is constantly working on optimizing the forms to be as user-friendly as possible so you can expect two to four times more responses than usual.
It’s not just the feedback invites that are automated — most of the data analysis is done for you by software, too. As Alex Jost, Head of Words at Starred, explained to me, “Feedback is not the end goal. It should be the starting point for implementing change.” Doing just that becomes easier when the platform automatically prioritizes insights and shows you which aspects of the candidate or customer experience you need to work on first.
Drawing the right conclusions from data is not easy when you’re a newcomer to collecting feedback. A big part of Starred’s business is consulting companies on how to best align feedback with business goals and tell important data apart from vanity metrics.
Growing fast, learning faster
Out of five company values that are the driving force behind Starred, the one that speaks to me most is “start with a human.” In the age of automation, it’s easy to forget that at the other end of our actions there’s another person, be it a job candidate, an employee or a customer. Even though automation is a big part of what Starred is doing, the end goal is to empower conversation and drive change.
Looking at Starred’s exponential growth (they came 5th in Deloitte’s Fast 50 ranking this year), it seems that this approach resonates strongly with recruiters and businesses worldwide. They’re moving forward fast and handling the growing pains with a company culture that’s honest and takes feedback really serious.
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