Mystery Applicant surveys jobseekers to help organisations improve the candidate experience
The candidate experience is being put centre stage thanks to a recently launched piece of software that provides employers with anonymous feedback at the start and finish of the recruitment process.
Mystery Applicant is a software-as-a-service based application, which surveys candidates whether they have been accepted or rejected for a job. The founder is Nick Price, who in the past has worked in the research teams of TMP Worldwide and ThirtyThree and who has considerable experience of employer branding projects. He told Recruiter that the company is aiming to capture the spirit of the “feedback society” in which we currently live. “People have perhaps voiced opinions through Facebook or another social channel, but there hasn’t been a structured method for giving feedback directly to an employer,” said Price. “A lot of people have been talking about improving the candidate experience for a long time and now we can actually measure it.”
Mystery Applicant typically integrates with an applicant tracking system (ATS) or can be bought as a standalone plug-and-play system. When a person applies for a job, they are automatically asked to rate the experience via a number of online questions and once they are either appointed or rejected, they are asked another set of questions. The data is aggregated, so candidates remain anonymous, and fed back to the recruiter or hiring manager to view on a dashboard. “One of the key things about the system is that we’ve spent a lot of time developing questions that are relevant to a wide audience. We ask a C-suite [executive] the same question as we ask a truck driver,” explained Price. “Everything is standardised so the data can be benchmarked with other industries and sectors.” He added that clients can ask two or three additional tailored questions.
The feedback survey is optional but so far Mystery Applicant has received a good response rate, considerably above the 7-10% average for a traditional online survey. It might be natural to assume that feedback from a rejected candidate may be prejudiced but Price reports that in many of these cases it is highly constructive.
One of the early adopters of Mystery Applicant is global security solutions company G4S. Global head of resourcing Colin Minto told Recruiter that it has given the company the ability to identify what really matters to its jobseeking audience. “What candidates think about our career centre and employer branding messaging and what they thought about our application process,” he said. “This in turn gives us the opportunity to develop all facets of our end-to-end candidate journey to remain competitive for the very best talent and ensure we remain the employer of choice in the security solutions industry.”
Mystery Applicant is working with a number of large corporations and is looking to roll out globally. It recently won the Start Up award at the Recruiting Innovation Summit in Mountain View, California, US. “In the US, they have the same appetite for the candidate experience as we do here,” said Price. “If not more so.”