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How HR can best use Qualtrics in the employee lifecycle

To improve the employee experience, the problems must first be understood. Here's a look at how HR can delve into sentiment and the best moments to do so.

Although the entire employee lifecycle matters, good strategy calls for understanding how well moments that matter most are working.

HR leaders can use Qualtrics survey software to listen to candidates and employees, aggregate data, view trends and discover actionable insights about workforce sentiment. Understanding which moments matter to employees during the employee lifecycle, why they matter and how well they deliver on expectations is critical to understanding which actions leaders should take to make improvements.

Here are a few moments that matter during the employee lifecycle where Qualtrics surveys might be especially helpful, and why HR leaders should consider them.

Candidate experience

Job hunting is rarely an easy or fun endeavor, but a number of strategies can help improve the candidate experience. For example, an organization's career site should be easy to navigate and enable candidates to quickly and effortlessly set up a profile, find jobs that are relevant for them and apply for those jobs.

HR and recruiting leaders can use Qualtrics surveys to gather feedback on different parts of the career site. They can add a survey -- either created based on a preconfigured template or from scratch -- that will display after profile creation, within the job search or after a candidate applies for a job. These different areas will give a holistic overview of how successful the career site and the candidate experience really are. If companies want talent to keep coming back to their career site and have those individuals apply for jobs, then the experience of the candidate has to match the expectations.

However, companies should be cognizant of how many surveys they push to candidates. Survey fatigue can mean you might end up with fewer responses to each of the surveys than if you had fewer surveys.


Once candidates have navigated through the career site and the organization accepts them into the job pool, they have moved into the recruiting process. The interaction between candidate and company becomes closer at this point, and each party can get to know one other.

Candidates who don't have a good experience during the recruiting process can react in many different ways. They may choose to accept the job, but come into it without excitement or commitment. Those employees are unlikely to be productive and are more likely to leave the company. If they choose not to take the job, they may not choose to apply for other roles in the organization and they may recommend that friends avoid the company. Across enough candidates, that will reduce the size of the pool of candidates that are available for open jobs.

employee lifecycle
HR can choose to use Qualtrics at various points along the employee lifecycle.

Gathering feedback and analyzing feedback trends in Qualtrics can help organizations identify areas of improvement throughout the process. Surveys can gather feedback about rejection letters, the interview setup interaction, the interview process and how candidates are treated after an interview. HR can create surveys at all these steps to better understand candidate sentiment and which moments mattered.


The onboarding process is the first taste new hires get of their new company. Research shows that a majority of hires decide whether to stay or leave a company within the first six months of employment, so the onboarding process is critical to maximizing employee retention and keeping rehire costs down. The onboarding process also gives organizations the chance to show new hires that the company is well organized, professional and can go above and beyond what employees have experienced at other employers.

HR teams can use Qualtrics surveys to understand how effective and seamless an onboarding process is. They can use employee feedback to prioritize and improve activities with the biggest effect on the employee experience and those that maximize the speed at which new hires become productive.

Performance management

A good performance management program is a means of helping employees learn and grow, and employees, in turn, are more likely to view it positively. Yet, at many companies, employees see the performance management program negatively. For example, the "program" may primarily be the annual review process, which few employees look forward to, and it could be the deciding factor for whether an employee gets a raise or bonus.

HR leaders can use Qualtrics feedback surveys to understand which areas in the process most need improvement and how to make those improvements. Qualtrics also has a 360-degree performance feedback review capability.

HR can use Qualtrics in two different ways:

  • to facilitate continuous feedback as part of the performance management cycle; and
  • to give employees a survey to understand how the performance process is working for them.

Training and education

Training is beneficial to both employee and employer, but subpar training methods can make it hard for employees to learn. Such training, therefore, fails in its ability to give employees the skills and education needed.

HR can use Qualtrics surveys to find out whether the learning management system is working the way it should and if training programs and courses are having their desired impact. This feedback can show how effective training programs are and if learners are gaining the requisite knowledge from taking these courses. Feedback trends can show which courses are more successful and point to ways to make training more effective and learning content more stimulating.

The typical time to send out surveys or make them available is immediately after a learner has taken a course.

Transfers and job changes

Employees want to leave their roles for any number of reasons. For example, in some cases, the employees simply want to progress in their career. Some employees like their employer but don't particularly like their manager or team. Sometimes they like the team, but the work itself is not satisfying enough. Using Qualtrics surveys can help HR and managers understand the reasons employees have transferred to other roles.

That understanding provides a number of benefits.

First, HR can learn how well internal mobility and talent management processes are working. Employees might have moved to roles they wanted, but it's also the case they moved for other reasons and the job they wanted just wasn't available. Maybe the job description didn't match the job reality, which points to communication issues, or maybe there isn't enough employee input into creating a great internal mobility process.

Second, HR can learn whether attrition in one team or department has a deeper underlying cause that needs to be investigated. Is a particular department head or team leader negatively affecting the employee experience? Or are departmental processes or policies in need of sprucing up?

HR should send out a Qualtrics survey after the employees have changed jobs. However, periodic or regular pulse surveys and surveys sent through other processes -- such as performance management or training -- can also be useful to identify and mitigate issues that impact employee movement and help point the way to upskilling and reskilling strategies.


Employee retention is important, especially given the high costs of filling open vacancies. The disruption of employees leaving can be costly, not just for a financial perspective, but by interrupting everyday business operations. As with transfers and job changes, a Qualtrics survey -- ideally, sent before the employees leave -- can help identify the underlying trends behind why employees decide to leave their jobs and what aspects of the employee experience the organization's leaders can work on to improve retention across the workforce.

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