Employee Experience
4 min read

5 reasons to use candidate surveys (with example questions)


Alexis Croswell

Senior Content Marketing Manager, Culture Amp

Reading Time: 4 minutes

A consistent challenge for recruiters today is finding the best candidates consistently. Just as marketing needs to consistently deliver qualified leads to sales, recruiters are tasked with identifying the best candidates, nurturing them and delivering the most qualified candidates to hiring managers across the organization.

It’s imperative for recruiters to understand what’s driving candidates to your company and how your current processes, brand and culture are perceived. The more data you collect, the better you can become at improving those critical elements in your recruiting and hiring processes. This will ensure you’re getting the best candidates in your pipeline and that you maintain the engagement of those that become employees.


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Here are five great reasons recruiters should use candidate surveys: getting insight on your brand awareness, the recruiting process, feedback for interviewers, perceptions of culture, and data over time. 

1. Brand Awareness: How well do candidates know the brand?

Brand awareness plays a big part in recruiting new employees. Both general brand awareness and perceptions of your brand stem from your organizations overall culture. Your company culture defines the brand and how it’s translated externally to both potential employees and customers alike. 

As it relates to brand awareness, you’d want to collect data on things like:

  • How did the candidate hear about the role at your company? 
  • Before applying, was the candidate aware of your company? 
  • What most attracted them to applying for a role at your company? 

2. The recruitment experience

It seems that the recruiting process is getting shorter, some of our customers, for example, are hiring within 3-4 weeks. If you’re trying to shorten your recruiting process, constant feedback loops can be used to track progress and keep communications timely for everyone involved. Communication and transparency within these processes are two major factors that will affect the candidate experience here.

Surveying around process, you’ll want to get insights into:

  • If the recruitment team was organized and professional to work with 
  • If they were provided clear information  about the company and what it would be like to work there 
  • If the communication with the recruitment team was consistent 
  • If the recruitment process gave them good insight into the company’s culture and values

3. Feedback for interviewers and hiring managers 

Surveying candidates and new hires can be a great coaching opportunity. While it’s not a direct part of the recruiting groups role, they do work closely with hiring managers as well as the broader HR organization. To maintain a more closed-loop process, and to make sure that candidates don’t get turned off by a bad interview, take this opportunity to coach new managers on how to interview candidates, or bring their attention to areas which you are trying to improve across the organization.

Again, here you might find that managers in different departments have different interview styles, and perhaps some groups are better than others at recruiting, and maybe this is because of how they interview. If so, what can other groups in the organization learn from those that are consistently bringing on top talent?

In the context of interviewing, dig deeper into things like:

  • Did the candidate feel comfortable? 
  • Did the interview start on time? 
  • Were interviewers prepared? 
  • Did the interview increase their excitement for the role?

4. Perceptions of company culture

With company culture, it’s easy to believe that yours is ideal. Especially when you’re always in “sales-mode” when it comes to potential employees. You want them to see all the great things your organization has to offer, and walk away understanding what the company values. 

Surveying candidates on their experiences as they relate to culture can be very insightful. When collecting this type of data, you might find there are micro-cultures within your company, it’s good to understand this as it will help you call awareness to how candidates in different departments perceive the brand and culture.

Here you’d be looking to better understand:

  • From what the candidate saw, is your company a place they would love to work? 
  • Would they encourage other people to apply to your company? 

5. Data over time for benchmarks and trends

One of the biggest benefits of new hire and candidate surveying is the steadily increasing amount of data you’d be collecting. You’ll get feedback about your recruiting processes, but also how that experience and those processes relate to the organization at-large. Surveying candidates will help you connect the dots throughout the organization to see how all of these things are interconnected and how engagement and culture are going to continue to be key to sustaining high performing employees and recruiting the best candidates out there.

Culture Amp’s employee experience surveys help you create remarkable experiences from candidate interactions and beyond.