Interview feedback is proving to be one of the more contentious issues facing our industry today. Candidates are keen to receive it, yet some employers are reluctant to give it – so what should be done? A recent white paper from a group of HR stakeholders, backed by several leading international organisations, aims to address this.
The paper, Fight for Feedback, has been put to the Department of Work and Pensions to initiate a major development in the jobs market: it calls for interview feedback to become a mandatory requirement for employers.
As recruiters, we are often left in a tricky position if our client provides no explanation as to why one of our candidates was not hired after attending an interview. In fact, the report finds that 83% of people claim that they have never received any feedback following an interview. We are then left to smooth over the relationship with disgruntled candidates when their efforts are met with boilerplate rejections.
And yet you can’t not empathise with time-poor hiring managers and interviewers, especially if they are mass recruiting. They may also be worried about potential legal risks if they give feedback in the wrong way or they might be concerned about causing offence.
Giving feedback, however, does not only aid the candidate’s future job search; it can also be positive for the organisation. Here are the top five reasons why you should encourage your clients to give feedback after every interview:
1. A PR opportunity
Word of mouth and personal recommendations are some of the most effective marketing tools for an employer’s brand. As unbiased candidates share positive recruitment experiences – regardless of whether or not they were successful in securing the role – clients could attract even more applicants for future positions.
On the flip side, instances of individuals using a public platform to air grievances about an organisation are increasingly common. If a candidate is left in the dark, organisations risk having to field negative comments on social media, which can be extremely damaging to a brand.
2. Candidate courtesy
We all know how much time it takes to prepare for interviews, in addition to any tasks or tests that the organisation may require you to complete. It is important that this is recognised and that the candidate is thanked for the time they spent on the application process, because these individuals are already investing in the role. This will also help to boost the client’s reputation. Sharing constructive feedback following any tests is advisable, although overly negative comments could have an adverse effect.
3. Repeat jobseekers
Candidates might miss out on a role because they lack certain skills or experience in a particular area. However, with a few more years’ work experience they could be a perfect fit. If your client runs a robust recruitment process and offers constructive feedback, it is likely that a candidate will return when they have acquired the requisite skills, securing the employer a tailor-made future employee.
4. Economic boost
As well as having a positive impact on the individual organisation, feedback will eventually lead to a better-equipped labour market. High calibre candidates will generally be easier to come by if individuals know where their strengths lie and the areas in which they need to improve. As a result, future hiring for all employers may become significantly more efficient.
5. It’s not time-consuming
Many clients say they lack the time to provide detailed feedback following an interview, but it needn’t be as burdensome as they expect. Notes are often taken during interviews and then circulated. These can be easily repurposed for the interviewee, ensuring that the comments are constructive. Failing that, a quick call with us can easily be translated into constructive and considered feedback on their behalf!
About the author: David Morel is the CEO/Founder of Tiger Recruitment, one of London’s leading secretarial/administrative recruitment agencies. David founded Tiger in 2001 and has written extensively in the press and wider media advising both employers and job seekers on best recruitment practice.