It’s one of the most common questions that I receive from candidates who are participating in recruitment processes. What does feedback actually mean? For some people, it’s a simple “No- you have not been chosen for this position”. And that’s it. For a candidate it represents an important information which helps to close that subject in his mind. This kind of information is useful especially when he’s in active search, namely the moment when he wants to change his job. This way he can orientate towards other opportunities. The candidate focuses his attention and energy on that place where he can capitalize on all his experience and knowledge.
I believe that the reason some of the recruiters don’t offer feedback is the lack of vision and the impact that their work could have.
They reach their goal, close the position with the person who fits in the best, and happily announce their boss the result in a report.
But our part (I include myself together with the Psihoselect team, my colleagues) is much bigger. We contribute to the training part of the candidates we come into contact with and even more, to their development. We are the ones who can see the weaknesses that need improvement, whether we refer to their competencies or issues related to emotional control. It’s such a valuable information, which if you know how to communicate, and if beside you there is a receptive candidate who is willing to improve his performance, he will know how to apply it.
It’s one of the most important aspects implemented in our company- feedback for the candidates. However, I am aware that it’s useless to implement this in the internal procedure, if my colleagues wouldn’t understand the impact of their work. Your feedback contributes to the candidate’s future and helps him to be more aware of his value and where is a need for that value. He will know, then, to make the best decisions on his way ahead.
Reactions are different and I was aware of this aspect when I decided to give feedback to each candidate who participated to one of the Psihoselect recruitment processes. Some people are more receptive than the others and they quickly integrate and implement information. Then, at the next interview- not necessarily at Psihoselect- they know how to better highlight their strengths and how to apply for the jobs where their skills are most appreciated.
Others prefer to listen and to think about the received feedback, without direct implementation. This is ok too. If this approach helps them in their actions, it’s a win. As for the ones that don’t accept feedback, they are not a few, due to the fact that it takes them out of their comfort zone. It is the choice of each of us and I believe that we must respect everyone’s decision. Even if the information we have tell us that it would be better if the candidate changes the direction of his searches towards a job which is a better fit (another type of company, another industry, etc.), the final decision is exclusive to that candidate.
But how do we give this feedback?
And not just that. How do we give this feedback in order to make sure it’s constructively received, having the objective to help the person in front of us grow.
The rules below can apply even if you offer feedback to your colleague or to a member of the team. We use this structure when we give feedback to our candidates, but also within the Psihoselect team. 😊
- Describe de context- mention dates about the context in which the discussion or the action to which you want to refer took place. Moreover, you can mention the moments with emotional charge for any of the parties involved in the interview.
- What you have observed- However difficult it may be, this is the stage when you remain objective, you refer to facts/ actions/ statements and have a neutral tone, without an emotional charge. In no way should you judge or accuse.
- Mention the impact- I mean what determines your decision as a recruiter, whether we are talking about positive or negative reactions. This is the time to mention the causes. You can refer to the interlocutor’s reaction or the interpretation that he gave to the action mentioned in point 2. Provide clear descriptions using accurate information.
- Next steps- decide together with the candidate which are the next steps. You can help and guide him with the information you have about the labor market. If the feedback provided is for a colleague/ subordinate this stage is much better structured. In the sense that you can agree upon exact actions and deadlines for their realization, all of them being assumed by both parties.
It’s not difficult. With little exercise, giving feedback is almost natural, and your contribution is significant to the development of the person in front of you.
Why give feedback to the candidates?
Why would the company CEO agree to this action – especially as it takes time and financial resources? Because they form their employer brand! You can allocate money from the budget to promote the company’s brand on media channels, online, etc. However, if the candidate who participated to the interview, eager to work at your company does not receive even a phone call with a response, the money is thrown out the window. That candidate is the real promoter of your company.
P.S. If you think these rows can help other colleagues – whether they are coordinators of teams or recruiters doing daily interviews, forward those rows. Share, copy-paste … doesn’t matter. If we manage together to open our eyes and see what impact we can have with our work, it means that starting with tomorrow we would be more of those with a long-term vision.