No feedback after an interview is catastrophic to the hiring process. In this post I want to take a look at the 3 parties affected by a lack of interview feedback and hope – nay pray – that in some small way this article might just help people understand quite how important interview feedback is.

I’m going to refer to the company as XYZ Co during this article so that you might follow the process.

The Candidate

Today’s connected candidate (Bob) knows the world. If they’re not on Facebook / Twitter / LinkedIn then, to be honest, they’re living under a rock.

So, Bob is contacted by many recruiters about positions – the majority of the time they won’t have heard of the company, so the recruiter has to do their job in explaining why it’s a good place to work AND get them interested in the position. Bob enjoys the call, gives permission for CV to be sent to client, is sent job spec / URL (FYI this is the correct way to recruit!) and wanders off to research a little more.

A few days later they actually get an interview request and they hit the social channels hard – checking LinkedIn profiles, Twitter accounts, Google, Facebook, the lot. They absorb the company information so that they can be fully prepared for the interview. They may even look at your product offerings and be interested in purchasing them – for those not following my trail of thought here; interviewees are potential customers. Their friends are potential customers. Their friends friends who tweet and get retweeted are potential customers.

Bob takes time off work. Bob goes to the interview. Bob spends a couple of hours in XYZ offices, comes out and calls the recruiter to tell them how he got on. Bob’s looking forward to his feedback.

Bob…never…heard…back – the recruiter tried for feedback and got none. Bob’s future custom is lost. His friends’ custom is lost. And so on. Also, if anyone ever tells Bob that they have an interview with XYZ company, he’ll likely say ‘I wouldn’t bother, they don’t get back to you’.

I feel sorry for Bob. He’ll get another job, but he’ll always remember XYZ as a company who didn’t care enough about his time to even let him know why he wasn’t right.

The Recruiter

The recruiter has a vested interest in the entire interview process – they want to live and breath your vacancy so that they can earn their fee. The majority of recruiters I know (in the UK) don’t work on any kind of retainer – we literally earn nothing until people such as Bob start a job.

If we send a candidate to a job who isn’t right, it’s not a problem, but structured feedback is crucial. For instance, if you’re recruiting for a C# developer and I send one your way who is a C# / ASP.Net developer, and unfortunately something has been misunderstood, then we massively appreciate you telling us that you need a C# / WPF developer instead means that we wont send any further ASP.Net guys, instead focussing on WPF devs – see how much easier it makes the process for everyone concerned? By giving the recruiter some constructive feedback you are able to cut your CVs received down dramatically.

The Client

So, moving on to Mr / Mrs client nicely from the line above. The recruiter is trying to make his / her money – they want to provide you a service that will ensure that you make a placement through them. If you don’t provide constructive feedback you will spend so much of your time seeing poor matching CVs, or even CVs that are pretty much a zero match to your requirement.

By not giving Bob his interview feedback (positive or negative) you are risking alienating people from a company that I am sure you will have spent time and effort in building up a positive image of.

Summary

Put yourself in the shoes of the interviewee – how would you feel if you didn’t get any feedback, yet took ½ day holiday and paid money to attend the interview? Annoyed – yep. Upset – likely. Interested in purchasing goods from XYZ – not a chance.

If you think about feedback as a form of constructive criticism for interviews, you’ll very quickly see your time to hire fall and placement ratios drop.

Adam Bolton

Adam Bolton is a Technical Recruiter for AB Recruit Ltd who specialises in recruiting for .Net developers. If you would like to get in touch with Adam feel free to leave a comment below and/or tweet him at @ABRecruitLtd.