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It appears I am in a world of overwhelming feedback.

I am asked for Google reviews and Trip Advisor reviews. Netflix wants me to rate the shows I watch, Comminsure wants me to rate their service and every time I have an interaction with a CBA employee I receive a request to complete a survey about my experience.

These are just a few examples, among many, that would be familiar to every person in today’s economy.

Yet how often is a candidate asked for feedback about his or her experience after applying for a job; regardless of whether the candidate progressed to an interview, was not made an offer, declined an offer, or started the same job after accepting an offer?

Very infrequently, would appear to be the answer.

Yesterday Kevin Grossman published an article about candidate experience for ERE.

Grossman is the president of Talent Board and the Candidate Experience Awards, which highlights and promotes a quality candidate experience using industry benchmarks that highlight accountability, fairness and business impact.

In his article, Grossman opines, “The qualities that made up a great candidate experience a decade ago still make up a great experience today. And job seekers continue to crave these qualities from potential employers:

  1. Frequent and respectful communication
  2. Insights into your company and its culture
  3. Plenty of feedback”

Contrary to the request-for-feedback overload experienced elsewhere the desire for feedback from candidates participating in a recruitment process appears to be negligible according to 2021 Talent Board research of North American jobseekers:

  • 2% of employers asked candidates for feedback during the pre-application stage
  • 2% asked for feedback post-application (but prior to an interview)
  • 18% of employers asked candidates for post-interview feedback
  • 60% of candidates received no feedback from employers after being rejected following a screening conversation or interview
  • 56% of employers did not ask the successful candidate for feedback after he or she was hired, and
  • 16% of employers never asked candidates for feedback at any stage of the recruiting process.

Given the ease and low cost of delivering and requesting feedback at any stage of the recruitment process, it’s bewildering that employers are so disinterested in providing or receiving feedback from candidates.

With respect to employers providing feedback to candidates at any point in the recruiting process:

  • candidates’ willingness to refer others increased by nearly 25%
  • candidates’ willingness to increase their relationship with these employers (including applying to future jobs and purchasing their products and services) increased 36%.”

With respect to employers requesting feedback from candidates:

  • candidates were 38% more likely to apply to future jobs with those companies when their feedback was requested at any stage of the recruitment process
  • candidates were 74% more likely to refer others to those companies when they were asked for feedback following an interview
  • a 93% increase occurred in their “great candidate experience” ratings when employers asked candidates for feedback at any point during the screening and interviewing stage,.

Although the Talent Board data is drawn from North American respondents I would be highly surprised if the same research in Australia produced better results.

There’s a huge opportunity for organisations, including recruitment agencies, to quickly and easily improve their employer brand as well as their hiring efficacy by providing, and asking for, candidate feedback during each recruitment process they undertake.

Unfortunately, like Kevin Grossman, I am not optimistic that anything much is going to change in the foreseeable future.

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Interesting indeed, but I think perhaps a more pertinent question is why so little feedback is still given to candidates! I work mainly with NSW State Government agencies these days, Ross, and there is rarely any feedback on submitted candidates (even to say “no”). Even when candidates have been interviewed, there is feedback on less than 50% (even to say “no”). The standards are MUCH poorer than they were even 10 years ago. It makes it very difficult for the recruiter to come across as professional and caring to the candidates. In desperation, I call the submitted candidates 2 weeks after submission and tell them that I believe the role is lost (etc), and after 4 weeks, I withdraw them when the role completely. On the Fieldglass system which most NSW agencies use, I have roles still showing as “open” 3 months afterwards. The recruiters are not in control of the roles’ administration. That is up to the Managed Service Providers (eg, KellyOCG, Manpower and Comensura). I question their training and workloads, and certainly quality control. It also does not help that many of the “sourcing specialists” (as many of the MSP representatives are titled) are moved from Agency to Agency and this makes it hard for any recruiter to establish rapport. (And of course, part of the deal is that the recruiters are forbidden from contacting the hiring managers, so we are dependant on the MSPs sitting in the middle to get any sort of feedback filtered through.) Not optimal.

James Purtell

Perfect summary of the current experience for agency Govt recruiters – it really creates a terrible candidate experience. Sadly, anyone (candidate) who has been in one of these processes before now simply accepts it as thats just how it works – that’s no good!

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