Receiving – or giving- feedback can be the most uncomfortable part of a job. While it’s widely agreed upon that feedback is essential in the workplace, it provokes anxiety and uncertainty for both leaders and employees.

Giving feedback can seem confrontational, and most people shy away from that in their lives. It’s not surprising that feedback is avoided or sidestepped by managers and employees.

However, ignoring feedback specifically during the hiring process does a disservice to your business. 94% of candidates want feedback, while only 41% have actually received any.

Talent is 4 times more likely to consider an opportunity with your company if they receive feedback.

How much could a consistent feedback policy affect your ability to attract the best talent?

The Importance of Feedback During Hiring

Feedback is information or in some cases, constructive criticism about performance or behavior provided with the intention to help improve future actions.

While it can be difficult to convey feedback in a meaningful way, it provides an opportunity to make better decisions. Employers can enhance their hiring, improve communication, and give potential employees the ability to work better.

Recruiting is a two-way street. Encouraging feedback from potential employees can only benefit an organization. Doing so gives your company a distinct competitive advantage when recruiting.

Check out these actionable tips you can integrate into your hiring process.

Develop a System for Giving AND Receiving Feedback

If you want to attract top talent and fill gaps in your company quickly, it’s integral to have an efficient hiring system. Integrating systemization for feedback should be a part of this.

  • Make It Standard
    Consistency is key. Keeping a consistent system leads to consistent results and high standards. It’s important to have a documented, standardized process.Take some time to think of the best system for your company. It won’t be the same for everyone. A small business does not have the same needs – and barriers – as a large corporation.
  • Assign the Role
    All companies should outline who should give feedback to applicants. If everyone thinks someone else will take care of it, no one does anything. Additionally, you can train that person to give feedback in a constructive way.
  • Use Open Communication
    To gain feedback, make a process for communication between the applicant and the company. Encourage this so that potential employees aren’t afraid to be honest. Open-ended, anonymous surveys are one method for doing this. Feedback questionnaires are another.
  • Document It
    Using documentation in the feedback process can help hiring managers choose the best applicant for the job. It also lets applicants, employees, and companies know exactly how to improve.
  • Keep it All Together
    After creating standardized criteria, hiring managers can list the ways applicants meet – or fail to meet – them. Alternatively, keeping accurate records of received feedback can show which areas need the most work. From that, companies can make improvements. It is best to keep feedback in one place and systematize how you process the feedback. This creates an efficient, easy process that can be consistently used in the hiring process.

Align Feedback With Your Company Values

It’s important that your feedback process falls in line with what your company believes in. Documentation and systemization will help with this. This helps prevent unconscious bias in your hiring process.

Unfortunately, we have very little control over unconscious bias. But setting your system up early will ensure a fair evaluation for each candidate.

Look to Multiple Sources

Feedback can come from many places, not just between applicant and company. Many of these sources are applicable to both.

  • Applicant and Company
    The most obvious choice is giving and getting feedback from the applicant. These affect both the performance and perceptions of the other. So obtaining information from this direct source should be your first step.
  • Outside Sources
    Recruiters and hiring companies can be a great asset to companies looking to improve their hiring process. They specialize in hiring. Though not always directly involved in the process, these outside sources can provide a knowledgeable and unique perspective.
  • Inside Sources
    Self-reflection can provide invaluable feedback. Work directly with the hiring manager to test the hiring process. This can include going deeper into the interview questions and how applicants answered them. Finding out what other employees in the company think of the process. Having them reflect on their own experiences. Working together within your own company can be one of the best ways to encourage improvement.

Give Feedback the Right Way

Giving feedback to someone else can be incredibly intimidating. We’re all concerned about how others will take constructive criticism.

For the best results, there are many things companies should keep in mind:

  • Know Your Feedback Style
    There are four main feedback styles: Dominance, Influencing, Steady, and Perfectionist. Each style has its own characteristics. And each has their own pet peeves. Seek to understand your feedback style and the style of the person receiving the feedback. When you’re able to recognize how you communicate with others, you can determine the best way to deliver feedback.
  • Give Actionable Recommendations
    Like you want to read an article that gives you actionable tips to improve, applicants want actionable feedback to perform better. Giving abstract or vague feedback benefits no one. Instead, be very specific about the ways they can do better. They’ll appreciate the suggestions and will be less likely to get defensive.
  • The Compliment Sandwich
    A popular tool for giving constructive criticism is to frame it in a positive way. “Sandwich” a criticism between two “slices” of compliments. For example, highlight the person’s strengths. Give the criticism – designed to help them improve. Then follow it up with another strength or point of praise.It’s a simple way to highlight both the ways that the applicant did well and the ways in which they could improve.
  • Don’t Burn Bridges
    There’s plenty of things you should never do when providing feedback. The last thing you would want to do is to cause a confrontation or defensive argument. Doing so benefits neither party.It’s important to encourage a good relationship with the applicant. Even if you don’t end up hiring them, they could be the perfect fit for a position down the road. They probably won’t come back if you give feedback in an aggressive way.

Take Feedback the Right Way

As we’ve indicated already, integrating feedback in your hiring process is not all about the candidate. There’s also ways to improve things on the company’s end.

  • Don’t Let Pride Get in the Way
    No system is perfect, no matter how well-oiled the company may be. There is always room for improvement. You might even learn some ways to improve the company itself.After all, isn’t that what you’re working toward? You aim recruitment to the top-tier applicants. Listening to what those applicants want ensures that they come your way.
  • Actively Listen
    Don’t be afraid to hear bad feedback. Many times, people hear the first few words and then ignore the rest. They’re too concerned about having heard that they weren’t perfect.If you don’t know what the feedback is, then there’s no way to put in it in place. And, if the opportunity is there, you lose the chance to ask questions, gain more information, and get clarification. Instead, you should work to stay engaged and open-minded.
  • Take Action
    All these tips are for nothing if actions aren’t taken to improve. Many companies collect interview feedback but few use the opportunity to improve their hiring process.When you listen to applicants and show that you care about their progress, they notice. For those you hire, they feel like valued members of the company. And those you don’t will help to spread your good reputation.Like you developed a system for gaining and giving feedback, develop a system to implement what you’ve learned.Above all, never let the improvement end. Things will constantly change in the relationship between recruiter and applicant. Don’t get left behind.

Feedback During Hiring Is Simple: Focus On The Relationship

In some way, the hiring process can be a lot like dating. Two parties do their best to impress the other, all the while trying to figure out if they’d be a good fit. Honesty and communication make or break a healthy relationship – in life and in the workplace.

Change up your process to strive for constant improvement. Doing so will encourage a strong, positive future with your employees and your company.

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