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Are you damaging your organisation's reputation during the hiring process?
How to give feedback to unsuccessful candidates and enhance your organisation's reputation.
Candidates applying to work for your organisation and with your team are often your biggest supporters. They’ve watched your organisation from afar and want to be involved. Whether you hire them or not. If you manage this well, they will continue to support you. If you fail to communicate effectively (or at all in many cases) what message do you think they will share with the world?
Why would they go out of their way to support an organisation they once respected that made them feel insignficant during a recruitment process?
What I’m talking about here is really just common courtesy in the recruitment process and a wonderful opportunity to build a positive reputation. When I worked in recruitment, it was shocking how often I asked for feedback on behalf of my candidates and either get no feedback or weak feedback. It’s such a missed opportunity!
When I helped my candidates prepare for interview, I invited them to step into your shoes, it see things from your perspective.
I invite you to do the same with your candidates. Imagine you have spent days, weeks, maybe even months preparing for an interview with your dream organisation. You’ve researched and sifted through your career history brainstorming and preparing answers. Surfed social media to keep abreast of the latest and your family and friends are wondering where you’ve disappeared to. Then the big day arrives, and you show up, giving it your all.
Then … nothing.
Nada. Zilch. Tumbleweed.
How would you feel?
Whether or not someone is a good fit for your role these people know all about your organisation and they are going to talk to other people about their interview experience, the panel, and what your organisation does. What do you want them to say and how do you want them to say it?
Candidates I talk to are not looking for fluffy feedback and they know when feedback is genuine or not. I repeatedly hear comments along the lines of ‘I wish they had told me something…anything...so I know what to work on next time’
If you give considered, genuine and useful feedback, candidates can learn and move forward. Why not factor in a little additional time straight after the interview to note down at least three great things and three suggestions for improvement.
If you’re a bit unsure, ask for permission. When you get back to a candidate with the outcome simply ask “would you like some feedback?”
Timing is also key, don’t let days and weeks roll by before you say anything at all (!). People really appreciate being kept in the loop. When candidates don’t hear a peep out of you, they’ll start trying to work out for themselves what’s happening, begin disengaging and think less of you.
How you invite people to join your team (or not) matters. Reputation can be boosted or shattered by how you communicate with candidates.
What sort of feedback should you give?
In my view – specific, honest, professional and balanced. I also believe you should only give feedback if your intention is to help the individual understand what they did well, the areas where they can improve with enough detail that they’re able to do something useful with it. If you’re not able to give well rounded feedback for whatever reason it’s much better to take responsibility for the fact that you’re choosing not to give feedback rather than providing weak non-feedback.
Here are some questions to stimulate your thinking around feedback topics:
Get this right and you’ll create ambassadors every time you go through a recruitment process; you might even find people learn from your advice and return months or even years later ready and excited to join your team!
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