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Lack of interview feedback can damage your donations

Investing some time in developing good recruitment practices, especially supplying detailed feedback following job interviews, can help not for profit organisations improve their brand image and avoid potentially damaging their future funding.

Recent research from a provider of psychometric assessment tests , has shown that half of UK adults have been left with a negative view of an organisation following an unsuccessful job application – and almost 1 in 5 have stopped any dealings with that organisation as a result.  One of the recruitment practices most likely to put candidates off an organisation is a lack of feedback after interviews – 17% of organisations do not supply any form of detailed feedback.

The recent economic downturn means that some organisations have been flooded with applicants for their vacancies, leaving them struggling to provide any form of feedback.  However, providing unsuccessful candidates with proactive and timely feedback following an interview is not only polite and beneficial to the candidates when attending future interviews, but it also improves your organisation’s reputation as an employer and shows that you value those who have shown an interest in working for your organisation and have made a commitment to both apply and attend an interview.

A bad recruitment experience is just as damaging as a bad donor experience, and people are far more likely to discuss negative experiences than positive ones.  Candidates will usually discuss interviews with their friends and family, and are increasingly likely to post comments on social networking websites or blogs.  In this way, negative opinions of your organisation’s brand can spread virally, and could in turn affect your reputation and future incoming donations.

Many retailers and other private sector corporations are starting to take account of the impact of negative interview experiences on their brand and future sales, and reviewing their entire recruitment process as a result. Third sector organisations could do well to follow their example.

The best way to manage a candidate’s recruitment experience is to offer useful comments on their performance as soon as possible after the interview.  Here are TPP’s top tips on providing interview 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.  Keep to the point and avoid self-justification

  • 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

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.

It’s also worth remembering that feedback works both ways.  Both successful and unsuccessful candidates can give you valuable information on your organisation’s brand image and interview process.  TPP will endeavour to make sure you receive any useful comments or opinions throughout the interview process.

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