Interview feedback is more important than ever
Working in recruitment has been pretty tough this year but it’s been interesting too. We’ve been covering each others work loads and have had to adapt very quickly to a sudden change on the job market.
On the positives, I’ve been able to get involved in projects I would not have done normally. I’ve loved the way people have been much more respectful and mindful of others generally and open to talking about what really counts. I really hope this continues. It felt like people suddenly had the time to talk and listen or just be human.
The year has also been overwhelmed with negative emotions too: fear, loss, anger, frustration and cynicism. Whilst some things are out of our hands, it saddens me to hear how companies are reverting to the old ways of doing things when they are hiring.
I’ve already heard about situations where applicants have been rejected after lengthy interview processes (sometimes 3 or 4 stages ) and have not had any feedback as to why they weren’t selected, beyond the “we chose another candidate”.
It’s really important for hirers to understand that if you interview someone then you should also feedback to rejected candidates constructively. Giving them nothing to work with, in terms of how they might improve is soul destroying, and will also reflect badly on your business.
Part of me suspects that the reason for not giving feedback is down to the lack of allocating time to invest in this part of the process. What a relief to have found someone who will join you, now back to the day job… Another part of me suspects it may also have something to do with fear of how the feedback will be taken. Will the rejected person be offended, and how will I feel if they don’t take kindly to what I say?
Whilst it is inevitable that you’re likely to receive more job applications than ever before; if you decide to invite someone to attend an interview or do an assessment, then you should always allocate time to give detailed feedback.
If your decision boiled down to the results of an assessment, then let the applicant know. If there were other reasons that came out when you were interviewing, such as personality traits or competencies (or lack of) or the inability to demonstrate experience in any way, then tell them; explain what the reservations were and how that affected your final decision. In some instances it is very helpful to understand the background of the person you did hire, why you chose your final hire, what it was that made them stand out in the end and why this worked for you.
Please please don’t ever forget to pass on positive feedback as well. Any tips as to how they could improve performance in the next job search are also welcome. It’s so important to be mindful of the situation job seekers are in and help them come away feeling positive about their experience with you as well as learn how they could grow as individuals. It doesn’t take much to be helpful.