How Kforce Measures the Candidate and Consultant Experience Using the Net Promoter Score℠
It’s one thing to say you care about employee experience. But can you prove it?
Sure, you may have a good idea of what it takes to provide exceptional care for your employees, candidates and consultants. You realize fostering a positive work environment is important. But how do you know your intentions match reality? Is there a way to measure the service you provide and its impact on your business?
Management consultant and business visionary Peter Drucker famously said, “What gets measured, gets done.” He probably wasn’t referring to measuring the consultant experience when he said this—though this approach is precisely what’s happening at Kforce because of their partnership with ClearlyRated.
ClearlyRated partners with organizations that are invested in data-based strategies and doing right by those they employ. ClearlyRated’s survey program measures the candidate and consultant experience in real-time, at scale, through the Net Promoter Score (NPS®). It has fueled a commitment to service excellence and created a culture of accountability and transparency at Kforce.
To understand how ClearlyRated and NPS have fundamentally and irreversibly changed consultant care at Kforce, we spoke with ClearlyRated CEO and Founder Eric Gregg and Kforce Chief Marketing Officer Andrew Thomas.
Meet ClearlyRated: Kforce’s Trusted Ally
Founded by Eric Gregg in 2003, ClearlyRated is a leading provider of Net Promoter® based satisfaction survey tools and expertise for professional service firms.
When ClearlyRated, previously known as Inavero, began working with Kforce in 2015, Kforce didn’t have a way to systematically and transparently measure the experience of the consultants that were placed with their clients. ClearlyRated worked with the Kforce team to deploy a talent engagement survey program.
“NPS is the voice of the customer sanctioned by a credible source. Our partnership with ClearlyRated has been a game changer for us,” Thomas says.
The program enables the Kforce team to ask their consultants to rate their experience (utilizing the Net Promoter survey methodology) at key points in their employment:
- Following onboarding to a new assignment
- At assignment mid-point
- After completion of an assignment
In addition to receiving quantifiable metrics about the consultant experience at each of these critical moments, Kforce gains further insight through open-ended comments (in a reporting dashboard) that clarify the reasons behind the ratings, providing a daily stream of comments from consultants in the field. The feedback is used to both address and resolve concerns while inspiring Kforce employees to generate more promoters by celebrating service wins.
“By partnering with ClearlyRated, Kforce is empowered to provide exceptional service to our consultants,” says Thomas. “In the staffing industry, there’s often a disconnect between corporate and field offices, resulting in variances within the consultant experience. Fortunately, NPS offers data, transparency and actionable insights to enable organizations like us to deliver consistent service in consultant care.”
“As much as I would like to say that our software powers NPS for the staffing space, what makes a difference is when we have clients like Kforce that take information and do something with it at scale,” says Gregg.
Gregg explains that many organizations don’t ground their consultant care strategy in data. “I can’t tell you how many people sit on a treasure trove of data and never use it to impact change in the field. Many people focus on their NPS score, but their score doesn’t shape their strategy.” He further explains how Kforce leverages NPS to drive insight, accountability and strategy while providing objective proof points to share with current and prospective clients.
NPS: Three Areas of Impact
ClearlyRated and NPS have shaped Kforce’s consultant care strategy in several critical ways:
1. It is a diagnostic tool. NPS allows Kforce to capture a candidate’s or consultant’s voice, facilitate improvements by providing real-time information to leaders in the field and recognize leaders for delivering a culture of service excellence using this data.
2. It is an accountability tool. Rankings are shared across the firm to allow employees to see everyone’s composite scores, providing opportunities to improve as well as celebrate positive feedback.
3. It provides proof points. NPS supplies data that firms can share with prospective and current customers, which is especially important in this era of service transparency.
NPS is a diagnostic tool: moving beyond cherry picking
In today’s transparent world, we can publicly review places, events and even individuals—have you ever checked your Uber rider rating? Everyone has a voice, and employers are not immune to this deluge of information. Today’s job seekers post detailed reviews about their managers, co-workers and work experiences.
“Reputation today is not just in your neighborhood, and it’s not just in your city,” Gregg says. “Your reputation extends worldwide because of the power of social media, along with review sites like Glassdoor and Indeed. Every person has a voice that shapes the perception people have of your firm.”
Thomas explains people often crowdsource their career decisions, and that employers cannot escape a bad reputation. “Today’s candidate is well informed, and 95% of job seekers surveyed say an employer’s reputation impacts their decision on whether or not to apply to jobs.”
“Relationships built on transparency and trust ultimately mean repeat business, more jobs and further opportunities for our consultants and clients who are doing great things,” Thomas added.
Through NPS, Kforce receives real-time feedback from their consultants. The feedback serves as a powerful diagnostic tool. “Even the best case study tends to say, ‘We have done this once or we can do this occasionally,’” says Thomas. “If you look within staffing, sales or services in general, there is a lot of cherry-picking of selling points. A case study tends to be proof of capability at a given time on an isolated instance,” Thomas explains.
NPS empowers firms to measure their reputation over time—something that has never been more important.
NPS is an accountability tool in the era of service transparency
The partnership with ClearlyRated provides Kforce with a layer of accountability with associates across the firm. “NPS gives our people transparency around whether our associates are doing great with their consultants and clients, or if there is some humbling feedback that they need to diligently follow up on,” Thomas says. The feedback Kforce associates receive is openly shared with Kforce’s clients—making NPS a powerful accountability tool.
Gregg says receiving positive feedback provides an opportunity that often is missed. “People look at a Net Promoter Score survey as wanting to understand what they are doing wrong with their service, so they can fix it. That’s such a narrow view.”
“At ClearlyRated, we pay close attention to Kforce’s scores. For every consultant that comes through that has an issue and is a detractor, Kforce has eight, nine, 10 that come through who are not just happy, but love their experience and are Kforce ambassadors,” Gregg says.
Gregg encourages firms to not only focus on the detractors but to celebrate the promotors—those fans who love working with you. “A lot of NPS programs have a feeling of Big Brother in the field because the field only hears about it when something goes wrong, and someone is upset.” He says it is important to consistently celebrate positive feedback to develop an environment where everyone is accountable for providing excellent service.
Proof points are your differentiator
“We’re in this era of service transparency where people are demanding more and more that you don’t just tell them how you’re different, but that you prove that difference,” Gregg says. “There’s so much information available online for prospective candidates. Behind a personal referral, when deciding to apply to a job, the second factor candidates trust is online ratings.”
Thomas agrees and says these dynamics are only going to intensify over time. He explains Kforce’s NPS scores serve as proof points of their level of consultant care, which is a powerful differentiator for the firm.
“We want the ultimate proof points, sanctioned by a third party. It’s not Kforce saying we provide excellent consultant care. NPS gives our consultants an easy way to give us feedback, and this significantly influences our brand strategy”, Thomas explains.
"As opposed to the cherry-picking of an isolated victory, as told through a case study, we empower our associates with a tool that authentically proves we consistently provide exemplary consultant care." — Andrew Thomas
Gregg adds these proof points provide confidence to a recruiter or salesperson who is in front of a candidate or a client. “You give them data that demonstrates your work with similar consultants or clients.”
"A staffing firm can say anything. However, NPS allows you to prove it. The staffing industry is differentiated on service, and Kforce has exemplified that organization-wide." — Eric Gregg
Using NPS to Your Advantage
“Loyalty with our consultants and our clients is earned over time,” says Thomas. “Today’s job candidate makes informed decisions based on an unprecedented amount of available information online. On top of that, our clients’ standards will continue to rise. Successful firms will share proof points, and not just make hollow claims.”
NPS has allowed firms to transform their candidate and consultant experience into the best that it can be. By coming together as a team and using ClearlyRated’s survey program, service excellence between Kforce leadership and associates is at an all-time high.
What gets measured tends to get done—and get done right. Measuring employee satisfaction at scale, and grounding your strategy in data, is what differentiates you from your competition.
Visit ClearlyRated’s case study to learn more about how Kforce utilized the NPS tool to their advantage, and find out how you too can leverage ClearlyRated’s survey program to build a successful model for your firm.