I was speaking with a former colleague of mine who has been working in the staffing industry for some time. Recently they started working more on the client side and has experienced the difficulty at times in getting feedback on candidates. Even when we’re pushing for feedback it can be difficult to get so it made me think about all the candidates who never receive any feedback at all.

With so many people looking for work and currently going through the interview process I wanted to give some advice to organizations. Through this article I want to take an in-depth look at why providing feedback helps you attract talent.  

Lack of feedback

This lack of feedback is especially true for candidates who are rejected as almost 70% of candidates who are rejected in the interview process don’t receive any feedback. What’s worse is that even of those who do receive feedback around 77% feel it wasn’t useful. The thing is it isn’t only the candidate who are rejected who lack feedback as around 53% of candidates in the process don’t receive any either. There are multiple reasons why this happens but for the most part it comes down to a lack of time to deliver the feedback or a fear of delivering bad news.

While I can understand that hiring managers are busy and they don’t want to deliver bad news this is not a good practice to employ. While you might not think it is important, I can definitely tell you there is an impact on your business. It also doesn’t just come down to giving feedback to a candidate but to do it in a timely manner.

Most people are guilty at one time or another of not giving proper feedback, but most don’t know the true impact of that. There are many scenarios that can have an impact on your organization, so I think it’s best to break down each one. This can give a better view of why I believe feedback is so important in an interview process.

Scenarios

Not giving timely feedback

In this scenario a manager has interviewed a candidate who is aligned but isn’t 100% sold and has other upcoming interviews. They can’t give a final answer to the candidate so hold off giving feedback until they have their final decision which can sometimes take weeks.

Impact- There are 2 problems with this scenario that could end up making you lose the candidate. The most obvious in a competitive market is that another organization moves faster and by the time you come back the candidate is no longer available. The second issue is that 70% of candidates lose interest in an opportunity after 1 week without receiving feedback. There are numerous reasons as to why but in a market where most people are working you need to show that candidate how important they are to your organization. Moving slowly tells them they are important and they’re less likely to accept a future offer.

Solution- My suggestion for managers in these situations is that you don’t need to give a final answer to keep people engaged. For any candidate who is in process make sure you give them initial feedback within 2 days. Be open and honest with them about the situation and make sure you highlight why you think they are a fit as well as your concerns. Let them know your timeline which makes them feel valued and keeps them engaged. Making this touchpoint usually opens them up to giving insight into what other processes they are in as well as their timeline. It also gives you more insight into them, they might be able to give you additional information to overcome your concern. Even better you can judge their interest in your role and for me the best candidate is the one who will fight to be on your team.

Not giving feedback when making an offer

In this scenario you’ve put a candidate through the interview process and believe they would make a great fit for your team. However, you only reach out to them to make them an offer without much in terms of feedback.

Impact- Candidates that are interviewing typically have more than a few options including just staying in their current role. Not giving them insight into why you think they are a fit and how they fit into your team could hurt your chances of bringing them onto your team. Just as the best candidate is the one fighting for your role, the same can be said for a company fighting for the candidate. Many rejected offers could be avoided if provided with feedback.  

Solution- An interview is a 2-sided event and as much as they need to sell you why they are a fit, you need to sell them why you are a fit for them. When making an offer to a candidate jump on a call and walk them through why you think they would be a fit for their team. Show them your vision for them in the organization and potential challenges they’ll work on. They might not know what you saw in them and by letting them know they will be that much more likely to accept your offer.

Not giving detailed feedback for rejected candidates

In this scenario you at least let a candidate who interviewed know they haven’t been chosen for the role. However, you don’t let them know the reason behind your decision or are vague about it. This often leaves candidates without much of an idea of why they weren’t a fit and more questions than answers.  

Impact- Often times a candidate might not be a fit for the team or role they interviewed for. However, they could be a good fit for a different team or role within the same organization. I have seen this happen often within organizations as every manager has a different perspective on candidates. By not providing them feedback they leave the experience thinking they are not a fit for the organization as a whole and will not apply again. In a tight market you can’t afford to let a quality candidates to slip through the cracks.

Solution- Giving detailed feedback around the gaps as to why they weren’t a fit is important. This way a candidate will know if they should apply to other roles within the organization. It will also encourage them to close those gaps and potentially apply again in the future. This keeps good candidates engaged in your organization and can have them work to find their way in. With limited resources available in the market this is how you increase your candidate pool for the future.

Giving no feedback to rejected candidates

As we saw above majority of people who are not selected for a role are not given any feedback at all. Too often I have spoken with candidates who are waiting on another opportunity and they just don’t hear anything at which point they assume they were disqualified. For the most part these are candidates who just aren’t a fit for your organization now and maybe in the future.

Impact- A manager might think the time and effort to provide the feedback would not be worth it since they would never hire this candidate. This could not be further from the truth and the impact could be greater than you think. What we end up with is a candidate leaving their interaction with a negative experience and over 70% will share that experience online. This is creating a negative brand online and among that candidates’ network. In market where finding quality IT professionals is tough the last thing you want is hurting your own brand. This will make recruiting that much more difficult and cost your organization in the long term.

Solution- Having a quality brand on the market is one more way to help attract top talent. Most people do research ahead of applying and don’t want to waste their time. The best way to do this is to treat every candidate in your interview process with respect. As tough and time-consuming letting people know they didn’t get the role might be it is vital. Being honest and open with them will allow them to improve and make them feel great about their experience. I have seen many rejected candidates become advocates for companies that denied them.

Communication is key

All this comes down to communication and respect for the candidates who take the time to apply and interview for your organization. I know how difficult it can be to deliver bad news but in the end people will value that feedback far more than silence. In a market where finding talent can be very competitive you need to have every advantage on your side. Having candidates leaving with a negative experience will only hurt your brand. That’s why providing feedback helps attract talent.

As a recruiter I have had my struggles with getting timely feedback for candidates. No one is perfect and having some candidates slip through the cracks can happen. My advice for candidates is to have some persistence in your own follow ups. Touching base with an organization or recruiter for feedback can help them in providing it to you. You won’t be fit for every role but using that feedback to improve will be critical for advancing your career.

How avansai can help?

We are consistently working with our clients to provide feedback to our candidates. If we have let anything slip feel free to remind us and we will work to get you detailed feedback. If you’re an organization looking for how to improve your recruitment brand we can help. Reach out to Corey or me for advice. If you’re a candidate looking for something new fill out our Career Matrix or check out our Career Advice.