Did you know that since 2016, there has been a 25% increase in candidate resentment here in Europe? Whichever side of the hiring fence you’re on, that’s an alarming statistic given that companies, in general, now place more importance on candidate experience than ever before.
That statistic comes from TalentBoard’s 2019 EMEA Candidate Experience Research Report which surveyed 13,000 job candidates (90% of whom were unsuccessful) across 40 companies.
The report goes on to tell us that according to many of the applicants who were unsuccessful, their biggest pain point was a lack of communication. Interestingly though, that lack of communication wasn’t during the active stages of the recruitment process but the post-interview stage.
In other words, unsuccessful candidates received little to no feedback on their interview or their overall application. And, of course, most candidates will feel that this lack of constructive feedback places them at a disadvantage in future interviews.
Most tellingly though, the report also tells us that this lack of communication could potentially curtail their future involvement with the company. And that’s as both a potential customer and a future job applicant.
All of this begs the question — why is there such a lack of feedback in the recruitment process?
Before we attempt to answer that particular question, let’s take a look at the benefits of feedback for both candidates and hiring companies.
Why feedback is important for candidates
There are no prizes for guessing the main benefit of feedback for the unsuccessful candidate — it helps their future chances. In other words, constructive feedback allows them to improve on the areas that had a negative impact on their application for a specific role.
Feedback can also give a candidate an insight into what companies are looking for in their employees. For example, a company may place culture fit above experience in terms of importance or vice versa. Without actual feedback from the employer, determining the attributes that a company finds attractive is, at best, guesswork.
Why feedback is important for hiring companies
When we talk about candidate feedback from a hiring company’s perspective, we can split feedback into two categories:
Feedback given to candidates
Feedback received from candidates
Both are equally important, but for different reasons. So let’s take a closer look at the benefits of both.
Feedback given to candidates
Believe it or not, no matter what industry we’re talking about, 100% of the candidates in a recruitment funnel are potential customers or clients.
How the employer treats them throughout the hiring process can influence their perception of the company and brand. And this can have a huge impact on a company’s bottom line.
So let’s put that sentiment into real terms. Remember when we said that candidate resentment has increased by 25% since 2016? Well, for the same period, unsuccessful candidates’ willingness to reapply or do business with the company has only increased by 10%.
That’s a significant disparity and one that most companies are unaware of.
For companies that do offer even the most basic of feedback the positive effects are tangible. They are more likely to receive referrals for both open roles and business while unsuccessful applicants will feel more inclined to reapply in the future.
Feedback at this stage of the process can also improve the quality of future candidates. For example, an unsuccessful candidate who is given detailed feedback may realise that the company is unlikely to hire them unless they gain more experience. That candidate will then no longer apply for any open roles (and clog up the recruitment pipeline) until they have worked more in the field.
Of course, this is an oversimplification of a sometimes complex scenario. But the fact remains that companies who provide feedback can expect to receive higher-quality applications in the future.
Feedback received from candidates
Interestingly, this is one aspect of the hiring process that many companies fail to take advantage of, but it is certainly one of the most beneficial.
Feedback from candidates both successful and unsuccessful can help a company identify areas within the recruitment funnel that need to be addressed.
Was the job title accurate?
How about the description of duties and responsibilities?
Did the candidate understand what was expected of them in the recruitment process?
Were they happy with the communications they received?
And above all else...
Did they feel valued?
The answers to all of these questions can help a hiring company refine their recruitment processes, improve the quality of future candidates, and make better hires.
That makes receiving candidate feedback a no-brainer, but why are companies so reluctant to offer the same in return?
The time and effort conundrum
Ask any in-house recruiter what they would like most and the vast majority will ask for more time.
More time to review resumes, more time to screen candidates, more time to fill their candidate pipeline with the right people — the list goes on and on.
And that’s where the problem lies. Hiring companies and their HR departments often don’t have the time or resources to offer feedback to every candidate that enters their recruitment process. This is understandable given that an open role might receive hundreds of applicants.
Then there’s the issue of pushback from candidates who feel that their elimination from the process was unjust. Some companies feel that if they give too much feedback, a candidate might question the final decision which could, in theory, result in legal issues.
It’s a tough one for hiring companies, but the benefits far outweigh the perceived disadvantages. By all means, automate the candidate elimination process at the early stages of the funnel, but for those that make it to the interview stage, a personal note or phone call giving some basic feedback could make all the difference.
Remember, recruitment isn’t just about finding the right people but cultivating a positive employer brand image in the process. And if we take TalentBoard’s report results into account, the best way to do that is with post-interview feedback.
If you’re struggling to communicate or build relationships with the candidates in your pipeline, then perhaps we can help. Here at Software Placements, we take the time to get to know your candidates ensuring that each and every applicant feels valued throughout every step of the recruitment process. Want to know more about how we can help your business find the right people? Get in touch today and we’ll walk you through our process.