Four out of five candidates attending interview receive no feedback if their application isn’t successful.
This revelation promoted careeres app Debut to launch its recent Fight For Feedback campaign to make it a legal requirement for employers to offer post-interview feedback to unsuccessful candidates.
Irrespective of the outcome of this campaign, providing feedback offers a number of benefits to your hiring process, including:-
- It enhances your relationship with close match candidates who can be transferred into your talent pool and considered for future vacancies.
- Your reputation as an employer is directly linked to the quality of applicants attracted to your vacancies. Candidates rejected without explanation are quick to share their experiences of your company on social media. Glassdoor’s newly published candidates’ choice of the Best Places To Interview 2017 emphasises the importance of a positive brand.
- In a competitive job-hoarding, candidate-driven market it enhances your overall candidate experience.
Committing 15 minutes to preparing and delivering feedback, which should ideally be provided to candidates within three working days. For harassed HR teams, automating time consuming admin tasks frees up the time to focus on an area that could transform your entire talent acquisition strategy.
Preparing post-interview feedback
In preparing your feedback, consider the following:-
- Ensure all feedback is objective. You may not have personally felt able to work with a candidate but that is not the same as them not meeting the technical requirements of a job. Use neutral, not emotive language and treat everyone with respect.
- Align your feedback with the skills of the job description to ensure you offer constructive advice which your candidate can act on (for example, recommending the development of digital skills that would assist in achieving their career goals).
- Provide specific examples of responses to interview questions which could have been stronger, such as a response that suggested a lack of research into your company. Highlight any areas where the experience described on their CV did not match what was conveyed at interview.
- For candidates participating in pre-hire assessments include feedback on how to improve their performance. This may include tips on improving their responses during a video interview. It will enable candidates to focus on acquiring new skills for future job applications.
- Avoid comparisons with other candidates. People are interested in what actions they can personally take to improve their job search, not what skills they lack in comparison to the successful applicant.
- Ask permission to stay in contact with ‘close match’ candidates for future vacancies before adding them to your talent pool. Regular updates on developments and upcoming opportunities in your business that may match their skillset will offset any concerns that you are ‘making excuses’.
- The nature and extent of your feedback may be affected by potential concerns over discrimination, highlighting the need for an objective, uniform approach. Decide how you will provide the feedback, either via e-mail or a telephone call and allocate responsibility for providing it to a member of your hiring team.
Feedback works two ways
The personal touch : Offering feedback will go some way to restoring your overall candidate experience but that feedback must be two way. Recruitment metrics highlight problematic areas in your hiring process but cannot convey a candidate’s personal viewpoint.
Ask for feedback too : Providing constructive feedback also assumes a structured interview process but for many applicants that is not the case. Many hiring managers are poor at interviewing or lack formal training. Building a picture that accurately reflects your candidate experience requires feedback from those candidates at the end of your hiring process. Incorporate a request for feedback form in your recruitment software. The data gathered can be used to streamline your overall hiring process.
Additional points to consider
HR can’t afford complacency in today’s jobs market. The CIPD notes that “unprecedented levels of change and uncertainty” facing many employers require a ‘fair, consistent and coherent’ HR function.
Those same principles also apply to the interview process.
In considering the entire candidate experience:-
- Set expectations for all job applicants at the outset and deliver on them. Automate regular updates through your recruitment software and in the event of unavoidable delays advise your candidates immediately.
- Do not ‘ghost’ your candidates. The practice of abruptly ceasing all communication with your candidates after an encouraging e-mail, telephone call or face-to-face interview doesn’t reflect best practice in hiring.
- Acknowledge every applicant and inform them of your decision. For candidates who don’t meet your initial screening criteria, automate personalised messages to inform them of the outcome of their application.
- To ensure your new hire doesn’t renege on their acceptance of your job offer, start the onboarding process on the day of that acceptance.