The 3 Pillars of Talent Acquisition (Part 1): The Candidate Experience

This is a guest blog post by Shauna Geraghty, Head of Talent at Talkdesk. Join Shauna this week as she hosts Teamable’s January webinar: Planning for Success: Setting Your 2018 Recruiting Metrics and KPIs Strategy.

The start of a new year is the perfect time to assess your Talent Acquisition team’s performance from the previous year and refine your KPI strategy for the upcoming year. At Talkdesk, we are doing just that. We had an incredible 2017, expanding into new markets, opening a new office and growing at breakneck pace. As such, it is important for us to step back and take a comprehensive approach to analyzing our Talent Acquisition team’s performance so that we can accurately plan for the new fiscal year and maintain this incredible momentum.

Talkdesk is a hypergrowth (10x YoY) startup that is the leader in the cloud-based contact center space. We have 300 employees with offices in San Francisco, Lisbon and Porto. This year, we plan to add 180 people to our team – the vast majority will be engineers and individuals at the director level and above. Meeting these headcount goals will be challenging because we are a relatively young organization (the average tenure on the Talent Team is less than one year), we do not use agencies and we have a high bar for talent quality. In order for us to remain focused as a team, execute on our aggressive headcount goals and hire world-class talent, we created the “Three Pillars of Talent at Talkdesk,” in which we aim to optimize:



  • Efficiency
  • Effectiveness
  • Candidate Experience

These pillars not only keep us aligned as a team, but also provide a framework from which we developed our recruiting metrics and KPI strategy.

I’m excited to share Talkdesk’s comprehensive approach to measuring our team’s performance at our webinar: Planning for Success: Setting Your 2018 Recruiting Metrics and KPIs Strategy. In this webinar, I will discuss how we developed our talent metrics and KPI strategy as well as how we define specific metrics and KPIs that we track over time. In this blog post, I’ll share more about the third pillar – candidate experience.

At Talkdesk, it is crucial that we provide each candidate with a world-class experience. It is one of our strategic advantages in a competitive market and our secret sauce for reducing candidate-initiated dropoff throughout the recruitment funnel. Additionally, for each hire, we typically reject 199 candidates. We view the talent process as our opportunity to showcase our brand, our world-class employees and our product to some of the greatest talent in Silicon Valley and Europe. If we provide this elite talent with an exceptional experience, rejected candidates will go on to be our customers, brand advocates, business partners, referral sources and even return candidates. This is so important to us that we invest in tools, create processes and train the entire team to provide a white-glove experience for each candidate. Measuring the impact of these efforts is important so we can refine our approach and strive to continually improve how we interact with each candidate.

In order to measure our candidate experience, we collect qualitative and quantitative data from candidates who were rejected after onsite interviews as well as new hires.

Candidate Surveys

For rejected candidates, we send a follow-up survey with nine Likert Scale items as well as an open-ended question soliciting general feedback or thoughts on the recruitment process at Talkdesk. A few of these items include:

  • The interviewers gained an accurate sense of my strengths and weaknesses
  • I found the interview to be challenging
  • My experience with the recruiter was positive
  • I have a more positive impression of Talkdesk after the interview than I did before

After collecting the data, we segment it across four different categories:

  • Department
  • Hiring manager
  • Recruiter
  • Role


We then compare data from the current time frame to previous results and track data from each subgroup against the results of the whole. This allows us to assess the candidate experience generally for Talkdesk and identify patterns both across and within groups. We present this data to all key stakeholders on a quarterly and yearly cadence.

New Hire Surveys and Interviews

In addition to collecting data from rejected candidates, we also collect qualitative and quantitative data from new hires after their 30th day of employment. They are sent a survey that asks about their candidate experience as well as the critical period between when the offer letter is signed and their first day of employment. After their surveys have been submitted, we hold a focus group with a representative sample of new hires and ask them to discuss their experience interviewing with Talkdesk. This rich data is then coded, analyzed and presented to key stakeholders on a quarterly and annual basis.

Collecting qualitative and quantitative data from rejected candidates and new hires helps to ensure that we are taking a balanced approach to assessing the candidate experience. Collectively, this data allows us to keep our finger on the pulse of how candidates perceive our brand, team and process. We use that feedback to optimize the experience of future candidates and maintain our competitive advantage in an aggressive talent market.

Building Your 2018 Talent Acquisition Strategy

Candidate experience is just one of three pillars that Talkdesk uses to define our recruiting metrics and KPI strategy. On January 24th, 2018, I’ll discuss all three pillars with Daniil Karp, Director of Marketing at Teamable, at our webinar: Planning for Success: Setting Your 2018 Recruiting Metrics and KPIs StrategyJoin me to learn how you can refine your recruiting metrics and KPIs strategy for 2018!

Recent posts

Ready to fulfill your team?

Achieve your business's strategic goals by building the perfect team with Teamable's complete talent solution