Net Promoter Scores: What Do the Numbers Really Mean?

What is the meaning of an NPS score, and why does it matter? A company’s NPS or Net Promoter Score is a measurement of customer satisfaction.1 These scores are especially useful in the staffing industry, in which feedback isn’t linked to a tangible product, but is instead related to a more subjective service or experience. For example, when a client says their experience with us was “good,” it’s difficult to derive true meaning from that response, especially as the definition of “good” likely varies vastly from client to client. Thus, the staffing industry was in need of a universally understood, tangible measure of a subjective experience. Enter NPS. While NPS surveys can ask a number of questions, the concept truly focuses on only one:

 How likely are you to recommend your firm to a friend or colleague? 1

The concept of the Net Promoter Score was invented by Frederick F. Reichheld, who introduced the idea in a 2003 article for the Harvard Business Review. As Reichheld explains:

 “It turned out that a single survey question can, in fact, serve as a useful predictor of growth. But that question isn’t about customer satisfaction or even loyalty- at least in so many words. Rather, it’s about customers’ willingness to recommend a product or service to someone else.” 2

The Net Promoter Score is a useful tool in a number of industries. In the staffing industry, an NPS can be calculated for both the client and the consultant side of the business, and it is deeply revealing of the quality of service provided to each.

How Are Net Promoter Scores Measured?

When asked how likely someone is to recommend your firm to a friend or colleague, the client or consultant uses a numeric scale of 0-10 (ten = extremely likely, zero = not likely at all), which introduces a universal value measurement to further derive satisfaction beyond a simple “yes” or “no.” As explained in “NPS® 101 for Staffing and Recruiting Firms, “Your firm’s NPS ‘score’ is calculated by subtracting the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters.3 The full range of identities, including Promoters, Passives, and Detractors, are connected to a selected 0-10 scale:


EGBlog_Net-Promoter-Scores-What-Do-The-Numbers-Really-Mean-Identities_OK_(041921) Figure 1 – Explanation of Promoters, Passives, and Detractors 3


Using this system of classification and the accompanying formula, Reichheld has proven that “firms with the highest net-promoter scores consistently garner the lion’s share of industry growth.”2

Eliassen Group’s Net Promoter Scores

At Eliassen Group, we take great pride in consistently maintaining world-class Net Promoter Scores. In the staffing industry, an NPS of 50% is considered excellent, and a score of 70% or above is lauded as “world-class.” It should also be noted that the average NPS score for staffing consultants is 22.2%, based on overall satisfaction with their firm.2

Eliassen Group’s NPS is 82.2% based on over 15,000 surveys, differentiating us from the rest of the industry and classifying us as a world-class staffing provider.

Eliassen Group excels when compared to acclaimed brands outside of the staffing industry that are highly regarded for their customer service.


NPS Score and Competitor Chart

Figure 2 – Some of the highest NPS scores among Popular Brands 4


What Do the Highest NPS Scores Tell Us?

We know that Net Promoter Scores give us an indication of customer satisfaction, but why is it essential that the customer be satisfied? It seems like a silly question- obviously you want your customers to be satisfied with your product or service to ensure that they continue to engage with your product or service, right?

That’s true, but a healthy NPS is actually indicative of so much more. Eric Gregg of ClearlyRated, a company that administers client satisfaction surveys, explains that a correlation exists across NPS, customer retention, AND revenue growth. In a 2022 blog post, he explains, “By quantifying intangible concepts like client satisfaction, talent satisfaction, and service quality, NPS provides staffing and recruiting firms with a singular metric to weigh performance, set improvement goals, and to rally the team around.”3 

In short…

Net Promoter Scores are a simple and universal third-party measure of excellence. In order to maintain a world-class NPS, and more importantly, in order to effectively support our consultants, Eliassen Group has created an entire talent engagement program. Our Consultant Advocate Program, or CAP, is available to support our consultants 24/7, and this commitment to excellent service to our consultants, and thereby exceptional service to our clients, is proven by our world-class Net Promoter Score.

And did you know there are also employee Net Promoter Scores (eNPS)? Read our blog post about how Employee Net Promoter scores work and where Eliassen Group ranks.


  1. Gregg, Eric. “2022 Staffing Industry NPS® Benchmarks.” Accessed 9 February 2023. 
  2. Reichheld, Frederick F. “The One Number You Need to Grow.” Harvard Business Review, Dec. 2003, Accessed 9 February 2023.

3. Gregg, Eric. “NPS® 101 for Staffing and Recruiting Firms.” Accessed 9 February 2023.

4. Goodey, Ben. "Highest NPS Scores: Best NPS Scores From Top Companies In 2022." Accessed 9 February 2023.

Eliassen Group

Written by Eliassen Group

Eliassen Group delivers strategic consulting and talent solutions that fuel your innovation and business results. We partner with you to marry your business objectives with our expertise, empowering your company to execute business strategy and scale your business effectively and efficiently. Where many consulting and talent solutions providers are focused on “the transaction," we believe in establishing and maintaining long-term partnerships so that we can meet your strategic needs and enable your organization to glean greater business value over time.

Topics: CAP

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