The dos and don’ts of giving candidates constructive feedback | Glasgow Chamber of Commerce
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The dos and don’ts of giving candidates constructive feedback

In the competitive landscape of talent acquisition, how employers provide feedback to candidates can significantly influence their employer brand and future recruitment success. While it may seem time-consuming or daunting to offer constructive feedback to unsuccessful candidates, the long-term benefits for both the employer and the candidate are substantial.

BeyondHR CEO Neil McLeese puts it simply if you have followed your recruitment process correctly and conducted professional interviews candidates will have been unsuccessful for a legitimate reason so you have nothing to fear.”

The Importance of Constructive Feedback

Constructive feedback serves as a crucial tool for candidate development, enabling individuals to identify and work on their areas of improvement. This not only aids their personal and professional growth but also prepares them to be stronger contenders for future roles. From an employer's perspective, providing such feedback demonstrates a commitment to professional development, enhancing the employer brand, and developing a positive relationship with potential future talent.

Benefits to the Business

Employers often overlook the positive impact that providing feedback can have on their brand. A survey by Eden Scott revealed that 65% of job seekers find the lack of feedback to be the most frustrating aspect of the interview process. By offering constructive insights, businesses can differentiate themselves as supportive and engaged, leaving a lasting positive impression on candidates. This may potentially translate into future applications, referrals, and even business opportunities, as candidates may become clients or customers down the line.

Moreover, feedback sessions offer valuable insights into the recruitment process from the candidate's perspective, allowing for continuous improvement and ensuring the company remains attractive to top talent.

The Dos of Providing Constructive Feedback

  • Honesty is key in feedback. Candidates appreciate understanding the specific reasons behind their unsuccessful application, which helps them to improve for future opportunities.
  • Use specific examples from the interview to highlight areas for improvement, making the feedback valuable and actionable.
  • Feedback should be delivered respectfully and thoughtfully, ensuring that the candidate feels valued and respected.
  • Focus on areas the candidate can develop, rather than on unchangeable aspects.

The Don'ts of Providing Constructive Feedback

  • Feedback should be a conversation between equals, not a lecture from a position of superiority.
  • Comparing candidates to each other can be demoralizing and is unhelpful for personal development.
  • Provide feedback promptly after the decision has been made, to prevent candidates from feeling ignored or undervalued.
  • If there are no foreseeable opportunities for the candidate within your organisation, do not suggest otherwise. 

Feedback in the Workplace: A Statistical Overview

65% of employees desire more frequent feedback and organizations that regularly provide feedback experience significantly lower turnover rates. Adding to this, nearly half of highly engaged employees receive weekly feedback, highlighting the correlation between feedback frequency and employee engagement.

The effectiveness and frequency of performance reviews vary across generations, with a notable preference for more frequent reviews among younger employees.

Providing constructive feedback to candidates is not just a courtesy but a strategic business decision that can enhance an employer's brand, improve the quality of future applicants, and contribute to a culture of continuous improvement and professional development.

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