3 Tips for Executing on an Ongoing Talent Engagement Survey Program

As the Director of Client Services for ClearlyRated, I work closely with hundreds of staffing firms who leverage client and talent satisfaction surveys to improve the experience of what it’s like working with their business. Most staffing firm clients easily recognize the importance of client-based feedback, yet fail to realize that keeping an ongoing pulse on talent satisfaction is an equally important (and beneficial) opportunity.

Why does this matter? Your talent plays a significant role in your firm’s reputation (and a majority of them aren’t satisfied). 76% of candidates find a new firm or don’t return for a second assignment after working with a staffing firm. A concerning statistic when you begin to think about the loyalty of your own talent pool.

But there’s a solution – ongoing check-in points throughout assignments allow you to identify your dissatisfied talent before it’s too late.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the task of building out a strategy that creates regular check-in points with your talent – you’re not alone. I often am asked questions about best practices, survey cadence, and success metrics when it comes to building a sustainable talent pipeline and capitalizing on the candidate experience.

Below are some best practices that I’ve shared with staffing firms of all shapes and sizes to help them navigate the decision and strategy for surveying their talent on an ongoing basis.

1. Take the pulse of your talent early and often

As I previously touched on, many staffing firms fall short when it comes to supporting their candidates throughout the entirety of their employment journey. What’s more, most firms are only surveying annually – if at all.

All of the staffing firms that I work with utilize the Net Promoter® Score to measure talent satisfaction and differentiate on the quality of service they provide – but the question of survey cadence is incredibly important when it comes to building a sustainable talent pipeline and capitalizing on the candidate experience. (First time hearing about Net Promoter Score? Click here to learn more about NPS).

Surveying once or even twice a year means that you are going 6 to 9 months without reaching out to your talent again. That’s a long time to fester – or worse – get snatched up by another staffing firm if they’ve had a negative experience with you. Real-time feedback allows you to promptly identify and resolve a service issue – which, in turn, creates a positive experience for your candidate and possibly transforms that candidate into your firm’s biggest promoter. And we all know staffing firms rely heavily on referrals.

2. Capitalize on critical moments

The 2017 Staffing Advantage Report – an industry study we conducted in partnership with CareerBuilder – finds that 1 in 3 staffing firms make no attempt to engage with candidates in the time between a candidate accepting a position and their start date in that placement.

This is just one (of many) examples showcasing how firms fail to capitalize on critical moments in the candidate’s employment journey.

So what does a comprehensive strategy that capitalizes on critical moments look like? We recommend a 3-part survey strategy to create insight and connection with candidates throughout 3 main milestones during their engagement with your firm:

  • Onboarding – one week after the start date of an assignment
  • Mid-assignment – usually 30-60 days into an assignment (this can be modified depending on the length of an assignment)
  • End-of-assignment – one week after the completion of an assignment

At first glance, a 3 touch-point survey strategy may seem overwhelming, but a closer look demonstrates that each of these surveys not only empower you to engage with 3 critical moments in the talent experience, they also have a significant impact on firm success.

What’s more, the mid-assignment and end-of-assignment surveys increase a firm’s rehire rates. Because you’ve initiated an engagement within a week of their start date, you’ve already fostered a positive experience for your candidate by showing them you care about their experience and continue to carry that throughout the entirety of their assignment.

3. Be proactive

In today’s tight labor market, your company has a real opportunity to differentiate and add value with strategic talent engagement. Capitalizing on critical moments allows you to gain visibility into your process and your candidates’ employment journey. But being proactive means going beyond identifying and addressing blind spots in the talent experience.

Did you measure NPS and ask for feedback regularly from your talent pool? What changes did you implement to begin to fill in the talent experience gaps and create a meaningful service experience for your candidates?

Remember: information is potential and action fuels that potential for firm growth.

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