After weeks and possibly months of recruiting, scheduling, and conducting interviews — you’ve found your new hire. What next? For many companies that’s it. They share the good news with their selected candidate, extend an offer, and begin the onboarding process. Most of the time, the candidates who did not make the cut don’t hear anything at all. At most, they receive an automated rejection email. These candidates go on to apply to other positions without ever really knowing why they weren’t selected — a missed opportunity for both the candidate and the employer.
Providing interview feedback to candidates benefits both you and the candidates. Despite the concern that candidates may take a rejection letter or interview feedback and use it as proof of discrimination, this is very rarely the case. The reality is that over 90% of candidates want to know why they didn’t move forward — and less than 50% actually receive those answers. Today we’ll be going over 4 reasons why you should provide interview feedback to candidates.
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While ghosting candidates without a response is universally recognized as bad practice, an automated rejection letter isn’t much better. The finality of a rejection letter, even one that tells them to reapply in the future, is unlikely to strike a positive chord with the candidate.
An interview feedback email, however, can act as a stepping stone. If a candidate is a talent that you want to keep around, interview feedback can start a genuine conversation, and cement your organization in their memory.
Inform Candidates of Strengths and Weaknesses
One of the greatest benefits of interview feedback is that the candidate is made aware of their strengths and weaknesses in regard to the role. Being aware of their weaknesses as a candidate pushes them to improve in ways that will genuinely benefit them if they choose to reapply. If they lack specific experience for the position, could enhance their qualification with certifications, or need to spend more time in the workforce, let them know. Keep these recommendations impersonal, and you’ll not only provide benefit to the individual but your own talent pool over time.
The same goes for their strengths. If candidates are made aware of what makes them stand out, they’ll lean into those attributes in future applications. Feedback on strengths can be more specific, as candidates are unlikely to take offense from genuine praise.
Solidify Your Hiring Process
Keeping in-depth and categorized interview feedback reports can help to improve your interview process — as well as your hiring plan. Going over how individual candidates do once they reach the interview allows your team to evaluate the quality of your talent pool. If too many “low-quality” candidates are making it to the interview, your sourcing or screening may need to be reexamined. Conversely, if your talent pool is filled with quality candidates, finding ways to keep that talent close should be prioritized.
Improve Reputation Among Job Seekers
For jobseekers new to your industry, even a little bit of feedback on how they could improve for future interviews can help them grow. The feedback you provide does not need to be extensive in order to have a lasting impact, and they will be more likely to spread the word that you’re a company that cares about the careers of its candidates.
Over time, this will create an environment that rewards experienced candidates for reapplying and improving themselves. At the same time, you’ll be instilling a sense of loyalty in those who do make it through the interview process. They’ll know that the advice you gave them improved their careers noticeably, and can expect to understand the industry more thoroughly after joining your organization.
Interview feedback is an important part of building a talent pool and bettering your recruitment process. The extra effort may be daunting at first, but the investment in a candidate’s growth and in your reputation is well worth it.