Legally no potential employer is required to offer candidates feedback but in all honesty its just the polite thing to do. So what happens when you don’t give candidates interview feedback? Sure, as the HR or hiring manager, you may run a pretty tight schedule and your time is precious but so is the candidates time. Candidates spend as much energy if not more preparing their CV, researching the company, researching the role, preparing for the interview and getting there on time. Interviews are tough and nerve-wracking. So when all this effort and anxiety is followed by the sound of crickets and tumbleweeds, it’s all pretty disheartening. The results of this indiscretion may continue to have a ripple effect for a long time too.
Your Reputation Suffers
So you think your start-up, tech giant or niche agency is awesome? Well, don’t get ahead of yourself. The real cool kid at school was actually the kind, approachable and honest kid. As adults, we come to understand that no one enjoys being disregarded and the mere thought of it sends many of us into a state of apathy. Your company is no longer this cool place, brimming with opportunity, it is now a standoffish entity which doesn’t appreciate people. What’s more, candidates will tell their colleagues in the industry about their ill-treatment at your hands. Is it worth it?
Candidates Won’t Come Back
So you interviewed that one developer a few years ago. At the time you didn’t think he or she was quite the right fit, skillset or experience so you rejected his or her application without telling them why. What good does that do? They may never improve without this feedback, worse still, if you invite them for another interview they are less likely to accept your invitation. You’ve possibly put them off your company for good when the circumstances we possibly just not entirely right for the candidate at this point in time.
Candidates Want to Improve
Candidates who are serious about their careers are always looking for ways to improve. Interviews are difficult, they take practice and even bad interviews contribute to our job-seeking arsenal in that when we know what went wrong, we can avoid making the same mistakes. It’s pretty hard to improve when you are rejected seemingly without a reason. Providing feedback after an interview is a way to build rapport with both your candidate and your recruiter which will only serve you well going forward.
How to Provide Constructive Interview Feedback
Dishing out bad news is uncomfortable at best, in reality however, we tend to hype things up in our minds. The chances of things going very badly are unlikely; especially when you have a great recruitment company mediating the whole process. Your recruiter will know the best way to break the news to the candidate without souring the relationship. Provided the feedback is given in a respectful and helpful way, a mature and confident candidate will appreciate it; even if its hard to swallow. Everyone wants to be respected and providing it means that you respect them enough to tell them.
What Type of Feedback Should You Give?
When all is said and done, you still need to carefully consider the kind of feedback you are giving a candidate. Being honest and respectful of what it was that actually affected your decision to reject the candidate is of utmost importance. The feedback needs to correlate with the job spec while still being clear and concise as to not dilute the message. To further clarify your decision, stick with the facts and provide the candidate with examples of instances where their answers to questions may not have been as strong as those of other candidates. Even when declining a candidate , you’ll want to keep the door open for future opportunities. Recruitment.com recently published an excellent article on “How to reject a candidate and write a job rejection letter” , where they make the following useful points when it comes to rejecting a client:
- Decline at the right stage
- Provide helpful feedback
- Stay in communication
- Get their opinion
- Keep them in your pipeline
So many employers don’t provide feedback – don’t be that person! Respect the developer community, help them learn, grow, help them be better and appreciate the time they have taken to see you. Ultimately it’s for the greater good. Having taken your feedback into account, in a year or two they may accept your invitation for another interview and become an awesome employee. So now you know what happens when you don’t give candidates interview feedback. It’s simple, be one of those companies who are admired for your HR practices!