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Why you should always give candidates feedback after an interview

By Matt Adams on 17 Jul 2017

Job interviews can be a nerve wracking experience for many people and the days or even weeks, waiting to hear feedback can be an agonising period. When candidates finally do hear back from an organisation, it can be a weight off their shoulders. Best-case scenario, the candidate is successful and is chosen for the role in question. However, for every candidate that is successful there will also be at least five or six others that weren’t. The best practice for the remaining candidates is to provide constructive feedback. The candidate will appreciate the fact that you’ve acknowledged their interest in your organisation and the role, and will be able to use the feedback to help improve their technique in the future.

Despite this being best practice, unfortunately there are still a minority of organisations that bypass this vital step. Whether this is through a lack of time, or perhaps even a lack of confidence to provide meaningful feedback, skipping this important step is not only uncourteous – it can have damaging consequences for both the candidate and your organisation’s reputation and brand. 

All not for profit organisations work hard to protect their brand and reputation; it is far more effective to create and maintain a reputable brand, than it is to try and fix it should it become damaged. A good recruitment experience is rarely spoken about because it is ‘expected’, but a negative experience is likely to be spoken about and shared. Just a few conversations with friends, family, and sharing across social media sites could be slowly destroying your brand and reputation. Research from the Corporate Executive Board shows that 83% tell friends and 64% take to social media when the have a poor candidate experience.

If you work on behalf of a charity, then this may be particularly pertinent. There are many reasons why people support your charity and they can do this in various ways: simply showing an interest in your work, volunteering for your organisation or through financial support in the form of regular donations, one-off payments, legacies etc. However, if your brand begins to receive negative publicity, people will not only be discouraged from interacting with your organisation, but they’re also more likely to be put off supporting you in any financial capacity.

Here are a couple of their top tips when it comes to providing feedback:

  • Decide prior to interviews who will be responsible for providing feedback.

  • Judge the candidate against the previously determined criteria for the role.

  • Provide specific examples, rather than generalisations.

  • Be proactive and suggest how the candidate could improve their performance with new skills, knowledge or behaviour.

  • Focus on behaviour which the applicant can change, rather than things they can do nothing about.

  • Be sensitive – identifying both strengths and weaknesses can make bad news easier to deliver. 

  • Remember that according to the Data Protection Act of February 2002, you have a duty to provide candidates with a copy of any notes taken during the interview if requested.

  • Finally, consider using a recruitment consultancy to weed through applications and manage your candidates, freeing up your time for more valuable work.

At TPP, our staff are dedicated to supporting not for profit organisations, including charities as well as education, health and social care providers. All of our consultants share a genuine passion for helping people and want to maintain a long-term service and relationships with their candidates and clients, over short-term gains.

If you decide to use TPP to recruit your staff, our consultants will manage the entire recruitment process, including negotiating with successful candidates and passing on your feedback to unsuccessful ones. TPP’s aim is to support our candidates throughout their career, so we take great pains to give them advice that helps them to improve their interview technique and find their ideal role.

Contact your TPP consultant for more help on how you can improve your organisation’s recruitment practices.