Are You Providing Feedback To Unsuccessful Candidates?

Providing feedback to unsuccessful candidates can be challenging due to factors such as time and dreading to be the bearer of bad news, however, it is remarkably important for not only the candidates but also your organisation’s brand and reputation.

Feedback is the process of conveying information about a person’s performance so they can use it for improvement. It can be done in the form of an email or telephonically. Feedback can be positive, negative or both.

The interview process can be a thrilling experience for candidates due to the amount of preparation they have to go through and the time they invest to avail themselves for job opportunities in order to fulfil their career advancements; however, this still doesn’t guarantee them a successful outcome.


Why Candidates Appreciate Feedback

The issue of feedback to unsuccessful candidates remains a big problem that leaves many prospective candidates disappointed.

Apart from value for their time and preparation invested in the interview process; candidates also appreciate feedback because they want to know why they were unsuccessful and understand how to improve as the information could be useful for their next interview or better yet, their overall personal life.

How To Give Feedback To Unsuccessful Candidates Effectively

Despite the value of feedback, most companies either do not give feedback to unsuccessful candidates after interviewing them or those who do, don’t execute it effectively.

Granted you may receive hundreds of applications for one single role – which means, from a company perspective, you have had to also spend time going through each CV, shortlisting them, then interviewing them, making an offer, and you have achieved your goal, as an organisation, and hired the right person for the role but the candidates who took the time to apply need to be acknowledged too for the time that it has taken for them to apply and take an interest in your organisation.

As an HR professional, giving feedback to unsuccessful candidates is the least you could do. You should also remember that candidates are interviewing you too. Let us explore how you can give feedback to unsuccessful candidates effectively.

  • Feedback should be constructive and specific. Something they can use to better themselves.
  • Feedback should be aligned with the job description. Linking the two helps candidates understand where they can improve in the particular role.
  • Be transparent about your hiring process by ensuring open communication channels.
  • Be clear and honest. Give positive feedback followed by negative and wrap up with positive. It is important to close off with something positive. For example, you could advise them if the need arises for new talent, you will let them know of any openings in the future.
  • Be objective. Ensure feedback is balanced and non-discriminatory.
  • Provide feedback as soon as possible to avoid candidates from waiting, it shows you value their time.
  • Be genuine. Ask feedback from candidates too. It shows you value their views despite the outcome of their interview.


Final Thoughts On Providing Feedback To Unsuccessful Candidates

Feedback is vital and ought to be taken seriously. It should be incorporated into your talent acquisition strategy regardless of the candidate’s position/job level or the outcome of the interview – positive or negative. Whatever your feedback entails; do it gracefully and avoid burning bridges because as mentioned above, candidates are interviewing you too. Their opinion about you can hurt your brand and reputation thus make the interview process experience worthwhile. And remember, feedback goes beyond  proof of what impact it will have on your company’s image – it’s the least you can do for candidates; acknowledge their effort.

Do you provide feedback to unsuccessful candidates, if so or not, why? Let us know in the comment section.

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