Employers need to ensure they remain true to their values and business ethics by recognising the value of providing interview feedback.
Have you ever heard someone say: “I was really impressed by the company that never came back to me following my interview.” I’m happy to gamble a sizeable sum, not. In fact, I frequently hear the exact opposite.
The most planned and robust recruitment processes can turn sour, damaging your employer brand and reputation if an unsuccessful candidate is left feeling alienated rather than engaged and professionally respected. A disaffected candidate is more likely to inform their peer group, network, colleagues and social circle of their poor experience. This may be communicated not only verbally but also over social media platforms, widening the audience. This negative message in the candidate market is all the more damaging when recruiting for senior, board or specialist roles within a defined sector.
It is not just large organisations that need to be mindful of the power of feedback, but growing SMEs and specialist organisations need to be equally aware. A survey of 1,600 adults in the UK found that the biggest bugbears of jobseekers was not having a job application recognised (46%), closely followed by the lack of feedback (39%).
A professional recruitment process should not be short-sighted and be just about offering the chosen candidate. A strong employer will demonstrate its values by communicating with unsuccessful candidates to enhance their branding. It is employers who understand the value in feedback that will ultimately stand out in the crowd in an increasingly candidate short market.
Here are some key points for interview feedback:
1. Recruitment process. Define and implement clear criteria on how you will assess and record every candidate throughout the recruitment process including testing, interviews and presentations.
2. Timelines. Aim to have, and explain your timeline for interviews, decisions and feedback and the format of this (email/phone). This will help manage candidate expectations, so you have control.
3. Honest feedback. Provide informed feedback on the candidate’s performance based on your selection criteria. If they gave a poor answer to a critical question, provide constructive feedback and suggestions for improvement.
4. No delegation. Ensure that one or more of the interviewers (HR or decision maker) provides feedback.
5. Consider the future. If the candidate could be of interest to the business in the future, explain this and likely timeframe. Equally, if there will never be a place for the candidate don’t promise to keep their records for future reference.
6. Empathise. Would “not what we are looking for” suffice for you? If the answer is no, then think about the way you would like to be treated if you were in the same position.
7. Thank you. Simply acknowledging that someone has taken time off work and invested time and interest in business and recruitment can be very powerful.
If you would like advice on how to improve your interview process or provide constructive interview feedback which reflects your company values and at the same time protect and enhance your brand please get in touch.
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