Candidate Interview

The Importance of Providing Candidate Feedback

Failing to provide candidates with feedback on the progress of their application has to be one of my ultimate pet peeves in the recruitment industry. In this post I’ll look at the detrimental short and long term impacts this bad habit can have and with a bit of luck hopefully change some of the worst practices used in recruitment.

The Candidate

Good candidates are frequently contacted by many recruiters to see whether they would be interested in the position they are hiring for. More often than not the candidate will not have heard of the company in question and therefore the recruiter spends time explaining what they do, the company’s culture and why it’s a great place to work in order to drum up interest in the position.

If the candidate likes the sound of the opportunity, permission is granted for their CV to be sent to the employer and they are put forward for the position. If the recruiter has done a good job and the candidate matches the brief the candidate is invited for an interview by the company.

Good candidates will then often spend time absorbing as much information as possible about the company and their products to adequately prepare for the interview. The candidate will often also have to also take time off work to go to the interview, time which they could have used to go on holiday. After the interview the candidate must wait for the company to respond with the final outcome on whether their application will be progressed further or not.

Now let’s say either the company or the recruiter never gives the candidate feedback, they didn’t care about the candidates time and didn’t let him them know why they were not suitable for the position. The candidate is left with a sour taste for the company and will always associate the company’s name with a failure to respond. The company’s reputation is effectively tarnished and the candidate will no longer be likely to recommend the company to their network of friends and family and the company could potentially lose out on a number of customers.

The Recruiter and Client

Recruiters need to know every possible detail about the vacancy in order to find the perfect candidate for the role and subsequently earn their fee by providing clients with top quality candidates matching the requirements of the client.

If recruiters don’t have the exact details regarding what clients are looking for in the perfect candidate they may sometimes send inappropriate candidates for an interview.

Mistakes happen, it is however vital clients provide recruiters with feedback on what made that candidate not suitable in order for recruiters to avoid the same mistake in the future.

By not providing feedback on the candidates the client receives the recruiter is likely to send the client more CVs of candidates that don’t fit the clients requirements. Providing feedback on the candidates submitted allows recruiters to provide CVs that more accurately fit the job spec.

The Take-Home

Have you ever not received feedback from an interviewed you spent time preparing for, time travelling to and used up some of your holiday allowance? I know I certainly have. How did you feel when you were left to assume you hadn’t got the job? If you have never been in this situation I can tell you the feeling is not a good one. Would you recommend or use the services provided by the company you interviewed with? Most probably not.

It’s clear that providing structured feedback facilitates the recruitment process for everyone involved. Have the courtesy to start providing feedback for every candidate that takes the time to interview with your company and you’ll begin to see roles get filled quicker and your company’s reputation improve.