One of the many complaints I hear from candidates that have unsuccessfully been through a recruitment process is the lack of detailed interview feedback. The interviewer usually makes a judgement quickly as to whether they are going to progress to the next stage or to an offer of employment, so there should be no excuse not to give prompt feedback.
No-one likes to hear that they have been unsuccessful, but being given a valid reason delivered in a positive manner means that the candidate doesn’t lose self-confidence or they learn something that can help them with future interviews. Alternatively, HR and external recruiters don’t enjoy giving bad news so it can be difficult to pick up the telephone and deliver this feedback.
Apart from the fact that the candidate has invested time and energy in to applying, researching and attending an interview, not delivering interview feedback can greatly damage the employer’s reputation. A positive candidate experience can enhance your employer brand however through word of mouth (and now social media), a negative experience can spread like wildfire.
As a recruiter, I speak to candidates all day every day and I hear about those companies who have fallen out of favour and are no longer employers of choice. They say elephants have long memories, well the saying could also be that ‘scorned candidates have long memories’. Candidates who have been treated unprofessionally can be lost as potential employees forever.
The ongoing challenge for any company is to attract the best talent and by developing a poor reputation will only make things harder when it comes to getting the best people for your business.
Now if I am to put my recruiter hat on for a moment, a lack of interview feedback for someone that I am representing can make life bloody difficult!
By providing a simple ‘no’ when I have screened and assessed them as being suitable only makes me start second guessing myself. However, if I receive detailed feedback as to why they are deemed unsuitable, this helps me sharpen my focus and you can be assured that the next candidate presented will better fit the brief.
Also, if I introduce and represent a candidate who attends an interview with one of my clients, more often than not the responsibility falls on me to deliver interview feedback. If I am unable to give them specifics, my reputation and brand suffers as much as the employers.
In this age of political correctness, perhaps it is difficult to deliver detailed feedback for fear of being accused of discrimination or opening yourself to legal issues. I would hope that if you have given a thorough and fair interview, you should be able to constructively highlight the areas that the person didn’t meet the criteria.
My advice to give solid reasons and simple suggestions as to why the persons experience wasn’t right rather than expressing opinions or feelings.
I suggest that all employers create and maintain a policy whereby every candidate that is considered for your organisation exits the process in a professional manner that protects and enhances your employer brand.