Netlify doubles candidate NPS and engagement with Guide.

Darla Downing, Head of Talent Operations at Netlify


326 admin hours saved annually


39% candidate feedback response rate


Candidate NPS of 86

The Challenge: Building While Pivoting to Remote

Netlify knew that in order to secure top talent that would help them build the future of the web, they had to quickly scale up from one recruiter while also improving the candidate experience. How could they use automation without losing the care and sincerity that recruiters provide, and extend the true character of the company culture?

Netlify hired Darla Downing as Head of Talent Operations to grow the talent team, create processes, and streamline operational workflows. That included working with hiring managers to standardize the interview process and improve all candidate communications.

“Beyond quickly scaling the talent team, my initial charter was to create processes, with an emphasis on employer branding—to standardize our interview process and how we speak to candidates, and to create communications templates that aligned with our brand marketing,” says Downing.

Then Covid hit.

With the shutdown putting everyone remote, new challenges immediately arose: how to adapt from in-office and location-based interviews to fully-remote, and appeal to candidates in an incredibly uncertain and unpredictable time.

The Guide Experience: Cultivating Candidate Love

“While I was wary that any automated solution could really bring the love of the candidate experience that we were after, I knew that we couldn’t achieve our goals using our current tools and manual processes,” says Downing.

Downing got a walkthrough of Guide and was impressed by how well it addressed what talent teams really need.

“We want to deliver candidates a white glove experience, and the Guide team understands the real problems that interview coordinators face and designed a solution that reduces manual lift in logistics and auditing, while bringing the love for the candidate experience,” says Downing.

“While I was wary that any automated solution could really bring the love of the candidate experience that we were after, I knew that we couldn’t achieve our goals using our current tools and manual processes,”

– Darla Downing

What’s more, it was easy to deploy: “Guide is built specifically to work with your current ATS system,” says Downing. “We were up and running in an hour and any new employee can be fully ramped up in a day.”

How It Works

The Netlify team uses Guide to efficiently and accurately communicate to candidates, optimize back-end scheduling and time zone management, and gather important candidate NPS scores and feedback—all in a single hub.

“Our talent team can now provide candidates everything they need to feel prepared - from personalized timelines and interviewer bios, to branded company materials, YouTube videos, and more,” says Downing. “And with the candidate engagement analytics, we gain valuable insights into which candidates are most engaged, and who’s at risk to drop out.”

Post-interview, the process for gathering and reporting on candidate experience feedback is also now automated. Instead of having to email one-off surveys, grind the data, and calculate NPS manually, the Netlify team can now access an executive dashboard that displays NPS and other KPIs automatically, in real time.

They’re benchmarking now at the impressive NPS score of 86.

“As a young, growing company, NPS scores are a key part of our talent operations,” says Downing. “Guide’s fun, one-click emoji ratings and commenting options have helped us significantly increase our candidate feedback response rates. Industry average is 2%-15% and over a six-month period we achieved 39%. Now, without a lot of data wrangling, we can see our pass-through rates, NPS, offer details, and more in real-time on the Guide dashboard.”

Having more qualitative NPS feedback also provides a gut-check on the engineering interview process, says Downing. “We get valuable insight into whether it’s too hard or too easy. Are the questions right? Are people comfortable? It helps us to modify our interview behavior and continually improve our processes.”

Results: Time Savings, Improved Accuracy, and More

Guide provides Netlify a massive competitive advantage by empowering them to effectively scale candidate-facing processes and content, as well as up-level and differentiate their candidate experience.

“In addition to it being bland and un-engaging to candidates, our old workflow via email was incredibly restrictive and time-consuming,” continued Downing. “Complex confirmations that previously took 15-30 minutes we can now do in three to five. Guide has saved our team over 326 hours in the past year! We freed up 17% in administrative time, which we redirected to other key initiatives, like auditing.”

“Guide is career-changing because it gets you out of the weeds so you can focus on business needs and other methodologies for scale,” says Downing. “It’s delivered extraordinary value to me as head of our Talent Operations, as well as to our organization as a whole.”