Trustpilot: The road to candidate transparency

Learn why and how Trustpilot use to get meaningful data from their 1000s of candidates to improve their recruitment process.

To be the best company possible, you need all aspects firing. And with so much competition, nationally and globally, small changes can bring about massive gains for everything.

None more than in the recruitment process.

By switching to a more personal approach to candidate experience, Trustpilot could better connect with candidates. 

So, what did they do? How? What were the improvements they saw as a result? 

In this article, we will explain Trustpilot’s process, their reasoning, and the consequences of their actions.

An introduction to Trustpilot

Trustpilot, very simply, provides the user an easy and open way of finding information on products or services.

With millions of users, Trustpilot’s online library of customer reviews on companies worldwide provides a voice for you. 🎤 

You might be unsure about what new car to get, whether you should buy a PS5 or may need a person to fix your downstairs toilet. 🤔

Trustpilot gathers localized feedback and reviews of companies and products from across the Internet to support your choices.

Transparency, transparency, transparency

For Trustpilot, the mission is to act in the most transparent way possible.

They want their users to have the freedom of choice that a library of customer reviews provides honest, unfiltered feedback.

And so, this desire to further improve transparency has prompted a long, hard look at ways to improve as a company.

In particular, eyes were drawn towards the recruitment process and people joining the Trustpilot family. 👪

Trustpilot wanted to further align their process with the open principles they are built on and are so proud of.

And so, Marie Møgelvang, Global Head of Talent Acquisition at Trustpilot, kindly told us how they are seeking to improve candidate experience.

The world pauses, Trustpilot evolves

Like many businesses, COVID-19 forced Trustpilot to hit the brakes in 2020. And as Marie explained it brought a recruitment freeze at Trustpilot.

But, in this time rather than hibernate and wait for the world to wake up 😴, Marie saw this as a golden opportunity to reassess. ⏰

“It obviously wasn’t planned, but it became the perfect opportunity to evaluate and streamline our recruitment processes.” Marie said.

This was the lightbulb moment 💡.

 A chance to make small changes to the way recruitment is done to achieve big gains. 💪

Marie had focused on candidate experience in a previous role and was aware of its immense potential value for companies. 

“I wanted to have the right tools to make the most of all the candidate feedback we collect and centralize all the information about the recruitment experience.”

Listen, think, action

Trustpilot has always sent surveys to candidates to collect information about the recruitment process 📝. However, Marie admits that although the feedback is great, it needed to be better organised so it can be acted on.

“I wanted quantitative and qualitative data to get actionable feedback and numbers we could use to benchmark internally and with the market. It makes it much easier to spot trends or what we need to improve.”

Typical constructive feedback companies receive

For Marie, candidate feedback is key to preserving brand integrity:

🙋 Really? Why though? They don’t work for the company?

Eyes in the process 👀

 “Candidates know best what works and what doesn’t. They tell us exactly where to focus so we don’t waste time and effort on something that’s not broken.”

Having been part of the recruitment process, candidates can provide excellent insider information.

From going through the job listing online or in a newspaper, to researching the company, the application, emails between the company and the candidate, and the interview stage.

Whenever you apply for a job you are a detective learning about a potential workplace. 🕵️‍♀️

So, communicating with these candidates, provides incredible access to things that may get overlooked. And what is great or needs to change about the recruitment process.

In particular amongst those who may not have made the cut.

Line Lindholm, Candidate Experience Consultant at Talenthub, agrees. “Unsuccessful candidates are usually more willing to identify gaps than successful candidates, who may think it could hurt them in their new job.”

Good candidate experience = Good business

Marie points out that a negative candidate experience can mean losing customers. Not good! 🤥

As the saying goes, bad news spreads faster than good news.📰

Human beings talk 🗣️. We like to hear news about our friends and family. So, an unhappy candidate could mean trouble. Sad about rejection or the hours they put in to make an application but weren’t quite right for.

It can be a tough pill to swallow. 💊

And news of their rejection or bad reviews of a company can quickly spread amongst present and potential customers.

 “50% of a company’s candidates are potential detractors. And each candidate who had a negative experience will tell 5 other people on average.”

Those numbers don’t lie. 

Protect your business

As the great Warren Buffett said, “It takes 20 years to build a good reputation and five minutes to ruin it.” ⌛

All that hard work, time and effort you put into building your business from nothing, your customer base and livelihood, lost by an impersonal, disconnected rejection email. 👎

That doesn’t seem right.

And so, companies can’t afford to ignore candidate experience

Word of mouth and online comments can hurt a brand and make attracting the best talent harder as they won’t want to work for a company that doesn’t match their values.

But an increased focus on candidate experience, can lead to some serious positives.👍

A good reputation, an open and friendly tone can improve your brand recognition like crazy! 

And this as a result, could create an increased desire to buy your companies products or services.

Marie sees another advantage to gathering candidate feedback: “Unsuccessful candidates could be frustrated and want to vent. Centralizing negative feedback in internal company tools will keep it offline. That can protect a brand.”

By keeping the feedback, positive and negative, within a company-owned space, you maintain control. 🌐

This is far better than having your dirty laundry splashed across social media for the world to see.🙊

Change with the times

Marie admits that candidate expectations are evolving. Especially in this new COVID reality.

Candidates want and need the personal touch, the feeling of being connected with those around them. 🤗

Paying attention to candidate experience is now crucial to staying competitive. Word spreads fast, and candidates know which companies excel. 

For these companies, an excellent reputation allows them to attract the brightest and best candidates.

For example, businesses like Spotify and Procter & Gamble are models in terms of providing an outstanding recruitment experience 🤩. And are renowned for their diverse and inclusive approach to recruitment. ✔️✔️ 

Sometimes, to be the best, you need to take a leaf out of other’s books. 🧐

These companies set the bar high, and wanting to keep up with the best in the industry is an excellent way to improve. It sets clear goals and stimulates continuous improvement. 

And leveling up your candidate experience is one way you can drive change and growth 📈. You can build transparency and trust between yourselves and candidates or potential customers. This open approach may potentially lead to the creation of brand ambassadors among candidates.

Who can bring the good news about your company to the masses!

You can never stop learning....📘

With all this fantastic feedback acquired, it is essential to share the discoveries with your teams and departments.

Marie admits, "Most comments we receive become part of training sessions or employee development plans."

For the sake of your company's ongoing development, feedback, good and bad, should be made available. We learn from our mistakes 😞, and we appreciate praise as it lets us know we are doing our job right 🙌. 

Use the feedback to educate, inform and drive positive improvements. 

This will allow a company to improve holistically, putting smiles on the faces of employees, candidates, and customers alike.😇

Dear Trustpilot ✉️… A few comments and what was done to find solutions 

Marie shared these 4 comments Trustpilot received from candidate feedback. For Trustpilot, the feedback gave them some much needed ideas on how they can do better. 

They could apply to your company and help you start improving your process now!

“Candidates wanted more specific job advertisements, a precise task description with a percentage of time spent on each task on a typical working day. They basically wanted an idea of their working day instead of reading about tasks they would rarely perform. Oh, and less bullets!”

Response: “We changed the way we write job descriptions. We now focus on everyday tasks, leaving aside those that are not part of day-to-day activities. Our descriptions are also shorter and to the point.”

“Candidates wanted to be able to attach more documents, in addition to the CV.”

Response: “We added fields to upload a cover letter or other documents candidates felt were relevant.”

“In terms of the interview process, candidates wanted fewer people to attend interviews. They found that having too many interviewers made interviews drag on.”

Response: “Our interviews have fewer people and the most relevant stakeholders. Candidates appreciate the better flow.”

“Some candidates criticized long recruitment processes.”

Response: “Our hiring managers now follow SLAs that dictate the timeline for communicating with candidates. That way, everyone is always informed and knows what to expect.”

In conclusion: let candidates speak and listen to them

As we hear throughout our hour with Marie Møgelvang, candidates have many of the answers companies need. Our most important advice is simple:

  1. Give your candidates a way to open up about their experience ✔️
  2. Listen, it’s important! ✔️
  3. Take the feedback and use the suggestions to improve recruitment experience ✔️

That’s what Marie and Trustpilot are doing, with the help of a specialized online platform. Considering candidate experience pays off big time, helping companies achieve goals like:

  • attract top talent
  • increase engagement among new staff
  • improve brand reputation
  • increase CPS score
  • get better Glassdoor reviews

Stay tuned for the next chapter of our client case studies series! 👍👍👍