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Self-Reported Demographic Questions: Smart Examples for Your Survey

Demographic survey data allows you to dig deeper and find more interesting insights than only viewing feedback from the entire population.

We recommend pre-loading demographics about the population you’re surveying whenever possible. However, there are times self-reported demographic questions are either necessary or should be included to make survey feedback even more valuable.

But what does that look like in application? 

Here are four examples that can get you thinking about what these questions look like, and how they can influence your survey strategy.

Survey type: EXIT SURVEY

Question: What shift do you work?

Sample response options: Early morning, daytime, evening, overnight

We find that the shift an employee works is typically not tracked in HRIS, so this question supplies new data to help you understand turnover. If you suspect turnover rate is higher for a certain shift, asking this question helps you to confirm or deny your hypothesis, and better yet, understand why. Maybe some changes need to be made to create a better employee experience during that particular shift.

Survey type: NEW HIRE SURVEY

Question: How long have you been in the workforce?

Sample response options: Less than 1 year, 1-3 years, 3-5 years, 5-10 years, 10+ years

Successfully onboarding employees fresh out of college may look very different versus those who have spent a decade in the workforce. This question helps you evaluate onboarding challenges and needs by different populations so you can tailor unique onboarding experiences accordingly.


Question: Where do you look for jobs?

Sample response options: Indeed.com, LinkedIn.com, Ladders.com, other

Even if the perfect candidate doesn’t end up accepting your job offer, you can still get valuable information from them. By learning where your ideal candidates are searching for employment, you can choose to advertise more heavily in those places and attract more talent.


Question: How often do you use our software?

Sample response options: Daily, weekly, monthly, a few times a year

If you don’t readily have access to customer usage data, this simple question separates your most loyal users from everyone else, allowing you to isolate their feedback.

In general, we find that customer surveys tend to include more self-reported demographic survey questions compared to internal employee surveys because you may not know who you’re hearing from. Our shareable pulse survey link combined with self-reported demographic questions is a great fit for these surveys!