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Why Feedback Matters

Feedback matters. It matters at every stage of the hiring process, not just at the end. If you are a company that doesn’t even communicate with applicants who aren’t shortlisted, what does it do for your employer brand or your ranking on Glassdoor?
Woman watching phone anxiously

Feedback matters. It matters at every stage of the hiring process, not just at the end.

If you are a company that doesn’t even communicate with applicants who aren’t shortlisted, what does it do for your employer brand or your ranking on Glassdoor?

Through the process, good feedback helps those who haven’t progressed understand why and think about any growth points they may have for future processes. It also helps those who do proceed to ready themselves for the next round.

This is all the more true at the final stage.

Here are five things to do as you complete your hire:

  1. Prepare to communicate with those who don’t get an interview. There will be a relatively small number of reasons for this, usually based around the fact that you had more applications that fit the job description. A simple email would do, and can be baked into the technology many firms use to manage applications. Even if you don’t have this in your firm, it is a moment’s work and says a lot about you and your firm.
  2. Make sure interviews are a two-way process. Make time for questions and discussion driven by the applicant. After all, they are choosing whether to go for you, too.
  3. Formalise recording feedback straight after the interview. This means the work is done when memories are fresh, and it is more likely to be based on the structured decision-making process you are using.
  4. Proactively offer this structured, objective feedback to all candidates. Remember that less experienced candidates, or those from different backgrounds, may be less willing to ask, or even not know that they can. Do your bit for awareness and inclusion by getting onto the front foot!
  5. Don’t make feedback a consolation prize. Feedback is for all candidates at all stages, not to soften the blow of rejection alone. Even when you make the offer, you can offer feedback. In fact, that is probably one of the most important times, as it is the beginning of onboarding your new staff member.

A critical part of each of these five things is doing it well:

  • Prepare for the conversation
  • Keep the judgements objective, evidence-based and proportionate.
  • Offer a view on where the candidate did well, as well as areas where they were less effective.
  • Give your feedback with the warmth and humanity that will make it feel like a growth experience for the candidate. This means that it will be well received and reflect positively on your employer brand.

Over to you

  • What is your experience in delivering negative feedback?
  • What advice would you share with your fellow learners about how to best deliver feedback?
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