Why bother giving feedback?

This blog is about a very real & current issue – it’s a ‘hot potato!’

Due to the position I’m in, I see the disappointment when candidates tell me yes, they went to that interview & no, there was no feedback. Rubbish.

I & many other Agencies & employers see it as part & parcel of the whole process but others just forget it.  Or worse, feedback requests are ignored, fobbed off & end up being hastily responded to under duress by saying ‘oh there’s no feedback sorry’.

So to set the scene. You’re an employer or an Agency (for the purposes of this blog it’s irrelevant). You’ve interviewed, you’ve loved one particular candidate & you’re ultimately focused on that successful person only. So, it’s all go. You’ve moved on. You’re sorting the offer, the contract, salary & even small things like where’ll they be sitting etc etc. Then the phone goes or your inbox pings & the 3 or 4 other candidates that didn’t get the job are asking why? What could they improve? How else could they have handled that tricky question? What else might be coming up…but foremost WHY NOT ME?

In the first instance you’ve already made a bit of PR mistake as the candidates have caught you on the back foot haven’t they? So your first job is damage limitation & that’s where the rushed, generic ‘someone better qualified / team fit / experienced than you’ email gets sent out. Usually at this point, whatever feedback you give will be received negatively anyway as the candidate realizes you’ve only responded as their communication prompted you to react. How disappointing.

Worse is when the employer or the Agency clearly have no intention of giving feedback. They’re so used to just ‘moving on’ that that part of their interview & recruitment etiquette is simply alien to them.

And just take a minute to think about that. The candidate gave up their time, paid for travel, swotted up & invested time & emotion. You saw them & the minute they were a ‘no’ they were forgotten about. Don’t you think your notes made during the interview (or immediately after) mean that they deserve to have pointers? I think the answer to that is yes.

If, as a candidate, you get nowhere with a job, in my opinion, you should ask for feedback. And though no one wants to be a pest, ask again if you don’t get it. Don’t expect war & peace & don’t expect a point by point communiqué. And most of all don’t expect to enjoying reading it, but it could contain some gems & could improve your future chances of interview technique / employment. And if you still don’t get it….who wants to work for that employer / with that Agency again? My personal feeling would be ‘lucky escape’ & move on.

So do make notes. Do make time. And do diarise time to do those difficult phone calls or emails as it can mean so much to those candidates when you’re the one making the first step. And try always to be balanced & mindful of the effort they’ve put in.

Employers become job seekers & vice versa. Always remember that.

I’m Roseanne & I successfully run Nu-Recruit Career Consultants – I place permanent & temporary candidates of the very best quality into great local employers & jobs in Liverpool, Chester & Wirral. In a no-fuss, no nonsense way.

And I love what I do.

Call me if you think my experience will help you get the best candidate for your job!

And please feel free comment on my Blog…..







4 responses to “Why bother giving feedback?”

  1. I love this! Great points and written to perfection!

  2. Dave Taylor says:

    Having been through a lot of interviews, some successful some not, my view is that many employers lie about feedback i.e. they do not give the truth or the whole truth about why a candidate was rejected.

    Employers have prejudices like anyone else. In some cases the real reason you don’t get the job is for reasons that cannot be put in the public domain because they are not PC, for example you were too old. Many employers will also avoid telling you the truth about your interview because they don’t want to be drawn into a debate or controversy.

    The net result is ‘don’t believe everything you’re told’

  3. Michelle says:

    I just wanted to say what a breath of fresh air this blog is. When I first met Roseanne, I got the distinct impression that she is caring about what she does, she is focused and very much on the ball. I was right. She is very much on the ball with this blog too. I have been for a few interviews now I have have either got no feedback whatsoever or it was pointless feedback. One particular employer I was interviewed by is a top solicitor. I asked on more than one occasion for feed back and although his PA said he would write with feedback, in the end I received none. I was annoyed, but in the end I resolved to think that if this is the way he works, then I am well out of that place. A lucky escape really.

  4. Michelle Johnson says:

    And I feel it is an issue that needs to be resolved. As Roseanne says, we as candidates took time out etc in order to be a candidate and potential employee giving our utmost to that employer should we be chosen. The least they could do is reply with feedback. I want both positive and negative feedback so I know what I did wrong and right, and so that I can use it to my advantage and change what I need to.

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