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Hiring Process Feedback Isn’t As Simple As You Thought, Here’s Why

Hiring Process Feedback Isn’t As Simple As You Thought, Here’s Why

Candidates today aren’t just aimlessly wandering through the recruitment and hiring processes. They’re fully invested in their futures and they aren’t afraid to ask questions to better themselves.

More specifically, 36 percent want a clear sense of how they performed during an interview, according to LinkedIn’s Inside the Mind of Today’s Candidates report. Another 40 percent of those respondents said they want a prompt follow-up, and 40 percent want a conversation with the leadership team.

However, new research by ScienceDaily has found not all feedback is helpful. Negative feedback can actually hurt the recipient’s creativity. With those negatively impacted by feedback during the hiring process losing both confidence and authenticity moving forward.

To give useful feedback, hiring professionals must first understand why giving feedback isn’t a simplistic process. Here’s what you need to consider:

Criticism isn’t black and white

Constructive feedback is important to both hiring pros and candidates. But it often isn’t as black and white to the recipient as it is to those offering it.

You may see it as offering a simple solution to improving their chances of receiving a job offer. Some candidates, however, will interpret it as their failure to do well. They tend to receive feedback, especially negative feedback, personally.

Start by explaining what candidates did well. Then, keep your constructive feedback specific to tasks only. Relate each point to the tasks, not aspects of their behavior or personality.

You’re a major influencer in their lives

Offering candidates feedback is complicated because you’re someone of power. You can offer them a new future. If you don’t give them a job, you now can impact their next go in the hiring process.  

That’s intimidating.

Your feedback can cause candidates to second guess their qualifications, personality, and abilities to succeed. Whether you see yourself as an influencer or not, you must approach this specific situation with caution.

Make yourself human. When offering feedback, discuss your journey and how you felt when in their shoes.

You’re not the only one providing feedback

There’s nothing more confusing — and frustrating — than receiving varied feedback from people you respect. Candidates don’t see your feedback as simple because you’re not the only one giving it to them.

Every hiring pro has unique expectations, which makes feedback complex for those on the receiving end. Let candidates know you’re aware of this. Use phrases such as, “Take into consideration…” or “Add X into your current interviewing strategy…” to show your feedback isn’t the end-all-be-all and can be incorporated into others’ suggestions.  

It could result in negative reviews

A disgruntled candidate can twist even the best feedback. That means offering constructive criticism puts you at an even higher risk of receiving negative feedback.

Review sites, such as Glassdoor, are a powerful tool for candidates and hiring pros alike. But they do have the power to shine a negative light on your hiring process.

Of course, you can’t control what candidates say about you or your company. It’s important to be aware of the possibilities before offering feedback. Take a candidate’s personality and disposition into consideration before crafting your feedback. If you do get a negative review, you’ll at least have peace of mind that you were attentive to their feelings.

Josh Tolan

Josh Tolan is the Founder and CEO of Spark Hire, a video interviewing platform used by 6,000+ customers in over 100 countries.