What You Need to Know About Employee Survey Questions

Excellent on customer surveyTalent acquisition is becoming a tool for developing competitive advantage, and the most successful talent acquisition strategies include hiring manager and employee survey questions. Successful talent acquisition doesn’t happen at the recruiter’s desk, behind closed doors, as a singular and solitary activity. It’s the result of meeting with employees, hiring managers, and other stakeholders to find out how they work, see what is happening in their departments, and understanding staffing needs. One very effective way to accomplish this is through manager and employee survey questions.

When You Need Answers, Ask the Right Questions

Employee survey questions will give you more detailed information to act on than complaints from managers or direction from the VP of HR to “hire better engineers that won’t leave in six months.”If your recruiting has been criticized, if your company or certain departments experience high turnover, or if you find good candidates that you want to hire but continually lose them after the offer, you need to start asking employee survey questions. Employee and hiring manager surveys can reveal the pain points in your recruiting and provide a road map for improving talent acquisition process. For example, if the engineering department has high turnover and loses new hires within the first six months to a year, surveying the hiring managers in engineering may reveal management frustration with the quality of hires, enabling you to do a more thorough technical screening of candidates or sourcing candidates from top engineering schools and competitors.

Build Surveys into your Talent Acquisition Strategy

When planning how to find, attract, and hire the right people for your business needs, plan to use manager and employee survey questions. Talent acquisition efforts without the right input won’t be as successful as those with the inside understanding that comes from asking those involved what their experience is and how it can be improved. Build mini surveys into the job requisition process, adding these three questions of hiring managers on the requisition forms:

  • Have you had problems filling this type of position in the past?
  • What are the top three things you want in candidates for this position?
  • Why have past employees failed in this job?

Other ways to build surveys into the recruitment process include adding them to the application for candidate experience information, on the company website employment page, and in email communications to hiring managers.

Get Social with Surveys

Don’t overlook the power of social media to get the valuable information and direction you need to improve your talent acquisition function. Informal polling on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter can be a goldmine of ideas and information about your recruiting and how to improve it. Employee survey questions about the company’s intranet or having a contest on Facebook for recruiting improvement ideas are just a couple of ways to “socialize” your talent acquisition function with surveys.

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To Write or Not to Write

Writing candidate, new hire, manager, and employee survey questions yourself is not rocket science, but it may take more time than you have to do it well. And it’s only the first step in using surveys as part of your talent acquisition process. You also have to administer the survey, collect results, analyze results, and decide how to use the results to improve your recruiting processes, employer branding, and candidate and employee experiences. It may be more cost-effective and efficient to use an outside survey company.

Don’t underestimate the value of information from employee and hiring manager surveys to improve your talent acquisition process. Incorporate surveys by standardizing them at key points in your recruiting process and season, such as surveying candidates, new hires, and hiring managers, at the end of the year and at mid-year. Whether you write and administer surveys yourself, or use an outside company, hiring manager and employee survey questions can reveal actionable gaps or weaknesses in your recruiting process.


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