Tips to Giving Candidate Feedback at Every Stage

What’s the one thing job seekers hate most about the recruitment process?  It’s the lack of feedback.  Zoho, who offer beautifully smart recruitment software to help you grow your business, share tips on how best to give feedback at every stage.  We’ll have more great content from them over the coming months.

Whilst applicants do know they can’t all be successful they need to hear at what point they are no longer a contender.

At screening stage

Every candidate not taken forward for interview should be politely rejected by email.  A simple standard email should suffice.  It’s nice to give them the option of further feedback but non essential.  Thank them for their time, specify the role they applied for by name and let them know you will be keeping their details on file.   Why not also include a link to where they can keep in touch with you (ie, via social media, a newsletter you send, etc).

Post interview with you

The next level is candidates you have interviewed but aren’t going forward to the client/hiring manager.  These guys deserve something more personal.  Ideally if you’ve met with someone you’ll give them verbal feedback, however, the aim is for a personal touch with some useful feedback.  A happy candidate is one who feels they’ve not wasted their time and understands why they aren’t being progressed.  Be as honest as you can about why they’ve not gone further in the process whether that be a shortfall in skills in a particular area or just better fitting candidates. Again offer additional resources where possible and let them know if you’ll be keeping their details on file.

After hiring manager interview

Finally, giving feedback to a candidate to a candidate who has interviewed with the hiring manager but been unsuccessful is something that many recruiters shy away from but which is really essential. If you are an agency recruiter ensure your client understands that you expect feedback for every candidate.  Tempting as it is try and avoid the “feedback sandwich” technique you should aim to:

Be constructive (give actionable feedback around skill areas or interview techniques they can improve upon), be honest (don’t think being “soft” or “kind” will help them long term), be specific where you can (eg, “the client was disappointed you’d not done any research on their organisation and felt that showed a lack of commercial acumen which is essential for the role”) and stick to the facts. If the candidate just wasn’t as strong as others that were interviewed then despite it sounding like a stock answer – give that feedback.

By giving unambiguous feedback rather than sharing feelings or opinions you are helping your candidate understand the process and to move on, maybe with some tips, to their next potential opportunity.

In essence make sure you are giving feedback at every stage, candidates do appreciate you taking the time to do so and it can even set you apart from your competition and other organisations.  For agency recruiters remember the old adage; today’s candidate is tomorrow’s client!

More from Zoho next month!

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