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Driving Candidate and Onboarding Experience with SAP SuccessFactors and Qualtrics

Driving Candidate and Onboarding Experience with SAP SuccessFactors and Qualtrics

Candidate and Onboarding experience drives Employer Brand as well as Product/Service Brand

Most organisations are aware of the need for a positive candidate experience in their recruiting process to drive a positive employer brand and make sure they keep getting the best candidates. Some organisations are also seeing the impact of candidate experience on their overall brand image (“If we reject little Peter as an apprentice, the whole family stops buying our cars”). So, there certainly is a return on investment into a good experience for all candidates to:

  • Make sure candidates don’t drop out of the process, because they have a frustrating experience
  • Encourage even rejected candidates to spread a positive employer image of your organisation
  • Keep rejected candidates as loyal customers
  • Make sure new hires don’t start with doubts about the organisation due to a poor recruiting process, but with a positive attitude

Include hiring managers and onboarded employees for a world class Recruiting Experience

But then there are two more aspects to consider for a world class recruiting function:

  • When thinking about your recruiting process, you should go beyond “positive” candidate experience and add “consistent”. New starters in their onboarding period shouldn’t ask themselves “Is this really the same company I applied for?”, because the messaging during the recruiting process was completely different from the experience as new employees. Think beyond “Time to fill” and “Offer acceptance ratio” to “Time to engage” and “Retention ratio”.
  • We mustn’t forget another major stakeholder group: Hiring managers, who some may say are HR’s real customer for recruiting. So, wouldn’t it make sense to get a good picture about their experience during the process as well as satisfaction with the results? They are human, too, after all. So, a positive experience will make them easier to collaborate with, when recruiters compete for line managers’ scarce time.

So, to round off a great experience along your recruiting process you need to add onboarding experience and line manager experience. You can call it candidate experience on steroids or CandX3

Get feedback using Qualtrics Employee Experience!

To manage the experience of the 3 stakeholder groups candidates, new employees and hiring managers, you need to understand their experience first. So, asking for feedback is the first step. Then you need to analyse the results thoroughly and plan actions for continuous improvement. The Qualtrics employee experience solution does cover all 3 steps, so is the perfect tool to understand and manage the experience.

Gain extra value from integrating SAP SuccessFactors with Qualtrics!

However, with Qualtrics only, there are some gaps in the process and this is where you can benefit a lot from integration with SAP SuccessFactors:

  • Check, whether candidates agree on receiving a feedback survey
  • Automatically trigger feedback requests (surveys) based on the relevant events – the moments that matter – for the right target groups
  • Automatically provide operational data (O-Data) to complement the experience data (X-data) in Qualtrics
  • Make sure every stakeholder receives the survey that matches their actual journey. E.g. a candidate, who withdraws the application after an interview is asked different questions from someone, who’s not invited to an interview at all.

Automate survey triggers based on Moments that Matter

As a great starting point, we have identified 8 key moments that matter for the 3 stakeholder groups mentioned above:

  • For candidates:
    • Being rejected before the first interview
    • Withdrawing application before the first interview
    • Being rejected after an interview
    • Withdrawing application after an interview
    • Accepting a job offer
  • For new employees:
    • First day at work
    • Finishing the onboarding period
  • For hiring managers:
    • Job requisition is closed

With a little configuration, these moments can trigger intelligent services in SAP SuccessFactors Recruiting and then get a survey sent to the candidate from Qualtrics using integration technology like SAP SuccessFactors Integration Centre and sftp data transfer. But the integration should go beyond triggering the same survey for everybody. Some more configuration utilising SuccessFactors data fields and the Qualtrics Survey Flow allows us to make sure that the survey content is matching the actual journey of each candidate. For example:

  • A candidate, who didn’t have an interview is not asked about the interview. Questions like “If you had an interview, please rate…” are bad practice and actually create a bad experience.
  • Candidates, who withdrew their application, receive different questions and a different welcome message from candidates, who were rejected.
  • New apprentices receive a special set of questions after onboarding rather than the same as all other new employees

It is easy to add more moments, such as:

  • Further events based on the bespoke candidate journey of your organisation, e.g. to differentiate between interviews and assessment centres.
  • Particular points during the onboarding journey such as “off-site weekend” could be added.
  • For hiring managers further feedback could be requested one week before the end of the probation period and if that feedback is below a certain threshold an automatic email to the HR manager can be sent.

So, the integration between Qualtrics and SAP SuccessFactors can automate the survey triggers and create a survey flow matching the actual candidate or employee journey. This improves the response rate, the quality of the data collected and the experience our stakeholders have with the survey itself.

Enrich experience data with operational recruiting data for better analytics insights

However, that’s not where the value added by the Qualtrics-SuccessFactors integration ends. It can also add operational candidate data, application data or job requisition data from SuccessFactors Recruiting to the experience data in Qualtrics. When we use this data in Stats iQ and role based dashboards in Qualtrics, it creates valuable insights like:

  • The average experience rating is ok, but candidates younger than 30 years have a poor experience
  • Female candidates are more likely to find the job advert wording overly aggressive
  • Candidates, who interviewed for positions with a particular line manager are much less likely to recommend the organisation to friends than candidates interviewing with other line managers

This screenshot from a dashboard in Qualtrics shows survey results (experience data) filtered by the department they applied for (operational data).

So, integrating SAP SuccessFactors with Qualtrics does:

  • Improve survey data and survey experience
  • Automate survey triggering
  • Improve insights from analytics, which can eventually be acted upon using Qualtrics action planning

There is a package for that!

Adessa’s Qualtrics and SAP SuccessFactors teams have packaged up the configuration needed in both systems to use the integration scenario described above:

  • 3 stakeholder groups
  • 8 moments that matter triggering surveys
  • Filter on candidates, who agreed to receive the survey
  • Bespoke survey flows matching the individual journey
  • Role based, interactive dashboards in Qualtrics for insights enriched by selected data fields from SuccessFactors

This can be used with an existing SuccessFactors Recruiting implementation or combined with the pre-configured delivery of SuccessFactors Recruiting in the SAP Qualified Partner-Packaged solution Adessa EZ (speak: “easy” with a French accent).

This integration package can be used as described with minor adjustments to fit into the customer environment or as a template to build upon or amend. Either way, it’s a low-cost, low-risk implementation that gives you a jump start in Human Experience Management (HXM) starting at the beginning of the Talent journey with recruiting and onboarding.

If you are interested in implementing an extended Candidate and Onboarding Experience solution with SAP SuccessFactors and Qualtrics, please reach out: or contact us through 

Watch our introduction video as well, to learn how the combination of SAP SuccessFactors and Qualtrics can achieve a smooth and successful Candidate & OnBoarding Experience Management.

Post by Sven Ringling – SAP HCM solutions expert


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