Recruiting can be a time-consuming process. From posting the position, to screening resumes, setting up phone interviews, wrangling calendars to set-up in-person interviews, gathering feedback from the hiring team and finally (hopefully), making a decision to hire your next superstar. Then, the process starts all over again with the next position. More than likely, you are going through this process with multiple candidates for each open position. Since only one person is selected for hire, this leaves the most often overlooked process of providing interview feedback to the candidates that were not chosen. This is an important part of the process for a number of reasons.
Providing feedback, especially to candidates not selected shows you that your company cares. Candidates are investing a lot of time in their job search as well. They’ve updated their resume, found your posting and submitted their resume. They have set aside time for the phone and in-person interviews (which can be difficult if they are currently employed) and they’ve completed any necessary assessments or testing required for the role. Out of respect for their time investment, we, as employers, should be able to provide them feedback. This goes a long way in strengthening your company’s reputation with the candidates not selected. C.S. Lewis said, “Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.” As job seekers can often be vulnerable, providing feedback to those individuals not chosen will be good karma for your company and mean the world to the candidates.
Feedback can be helpful for the candidate for future interviews. Even if you haven’t selected a particular candidate for your position, it’s not as if we don’t want to see them be successful in another opportunity. If there are areas that the interview revealed the candidate could improve, constructively providing this information will only help them going forward. They may not have heard the comments or suggestions before. You can even take it a step further and offer some suggestions on how the candidate could improve their chances going forward, even if it is as simple as a cultural fit.
The business world is small, particularly in the technology industry. You never know when the intermediate developer you interviewed a few years ago may now be a rock star architect-level candidate now. If you left a favorable impression with them, you’ve dramatically increased your chances of recruiting them to join your team and good karma will continue to benefit your team. If their memory of you, on the other hand, is one of “the company that never got back to me,” then you’ve already put yourself behind the eight-ball in the search.
So while it might not always be the easiest or most pleasant part of the recruiting process, providing constructive feedback to all candidates is important and beneficial and should be an integral part of the recruiting cycle.