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Why Feedback Makes the Difference to a Candidate’s Experience

Communication is a foundation of a positive candidate experience, and employers go a long way toward building a favorable impression with prospective employees when they provide even simple feedback after every interview.

When candidates make the effort to visit your offices – taking time off from work, preparing for their discussions – and then hear nothing after they’ve gone on their way, they’re not only frustrated but left with an impression that yours is just another business that doesn’t put much value in what its workers bring to the table.

The bottom line: It’s always important to close the loop, even when that means informing the candidate they just weren’t right for the position.

While disappointing, the conversation doesn’t have to be totally negative. By including observations about their interview performance, you’ll help candidates improve their presentation to the next potential employer they meet. In addition, it demonstrates you gave them your full attention and you understand the value people add to your business. Every time you do, you strengthen your reputation among professionals in your industry.

Feedback doesn’t have to be time-consuming. No one expects a blow-by-blow critique of their interview performance. But, letting someone know – either directly or through their recruiter –they merely skimmed the surface on their answers, for example, or didn’t do their homework on your business not only tells candidates where they fell short but helps recruiters coach them to do better next time.

Even if the candidate doesn’t agree with what you say, they’ll appreciate your response. Job hunters are rarely bothered by negative feedback; it’s a lack of feedback and communication that makes them feel unsettled and discouraged and, in turn, feel negatively about your company.

Unfortunately, most employers don’t provide feedback. Both hiring managers and HR staffers are busy, and they can feel taking the time to critique an unsuccessful candidate is a bad use of time.

However, that’s shortsighted. In an employment market as competitive as today’s, everything you do to build the candidate experience matters for your company. Candidates compare notes on their experiences, and providing feedback makes you unique. It also keeps the door open to further communication should a new role open up for which you think a candidate would be right.

Providing feedback is a simple thing, and it’s worth your time. Whether you reach out to the candidate directly or channel your thoughts through their recruiter, providing feedback proves everything you say about the importance of people to your culture.


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