As businesses, we take the time to solicit feedback from our customers on our products and services in order to drive improvement and growth. We solicit feedback from our corporate partners on the effectiveness of the relationship in order to maximize value on both sides. We solicit feedback from our employees on their level of engagement and the direction of a department or the company as a whole. So, why is it that many of us don’t take the time to solicit feedback from applicants on our company’s recruitment process?
Most companies spend somewhere in the neighborhood of $3,600 on each new hire . That doesn’t include the cost having an empty desk and getting a new hire up to full speed, which can cost anywhere from 1.5 to 3 times the employee’s salary. With so much money involved in recruitment, it makes financial sense to devote time to evaluating your recruitment process. Attracting top talent and keeping applicants engaged throughout the recruitment process can result in significant savings down the road by getting the right candidate in the door and keeping him or her there.
How to solicit candidate feedback
When you are ready to start soliciting feedback from candidates on your recruitment process, there are several options available to you. An online survey has several benefits. It encourages honesty from respondents and can be anonymized. Reporting on results is part of many online survey tools ( Wufoo and SurveyMonkey , for example). Many online surveys can be integrated with your applicant tracking system, enabling you to easily store survey results by applicant (for example, HiringThing offers an integration with Wufoo forms).
Collecting feedback the good “old fashioned” way by phone or as part of the interview is just as good a way to gain valuable insights from candidates. It might require a little bit of extra work on your part to collect the information and report on it, but you might something out from a candidate that you wouldn’t have known using an online survey because the feedback format is more open ended. Both methods have their advantages.
Tips for structuring your feedback request
When you are putting together your question set for collecting candidate feedback, keep a few important things in mind.
Are there any problem areas you can easily identify? Maybe you seem to receive a disproportionate volume of unqualified applicants applying to your job postings. Consider asking applicants either in the job description or as a screening question in your applicant tracking system’s application form to tell you what two things most excited them about the opportunity. This might give you some valuable insight into what you are communicating to applicants with the job description text and how you can make some changes in future to weed out a higher percentage of unqualified applicants.
If you want holistic feedback on the recruitment process from start to finish, wait to ask for feedback until right after you’ve made your hire. You can target all of your “final round” applicants including the person you hired and ask specific questions about each stage of the process. If you want to get a larger sample size, you can send out cumulative questions about each stage to the candidates who made it to that stage. For example, you can send all of the folks who made it to a phone interview questions about the process up through the phone interview stage.
A candidate has already spend a significant amount of time applying to the job, prepping for interviews and going through multiple rounds of interviews with you and the hiring manager. Keeping your questions short and to-the-point shows that you respect the candidate’s time and it will also get you a higher response rate.
There’s a good chance your candidates would love to get some feedback of their own from you and your hiring team. Offer constructive feedback to candidates from whom you are requesting feedback and you may see some surprising results. Candidates will be more incentivized to respond to your feedback request and you might even find that the mutual feedback process enables you to communicate more effectively with folks who might be the right fit for a future opportunity within your company. You’ve already invested time and resources into attracting these candidates so take just a little bit of extra time to keep them tuned in to future openings.
How to handle negative feedback
Treat your candidates with the same degree of politeness and respect that you would use with a customer and view negative feedback as an opportunity to gain critical insights that can help you identify areas for improvement. As long as a candidate isn’t being plain rude, thank him or her for the feedback and tell them you appreciate the opportunity it presents to make positive changes. If an apology is due, take ownership and send a meaningful apology that specifically addresses the applicant’s concern.
In today’s era of social media connectivity , it’s more important than ever before to consistently uphold your company’s reputation and mission statement across all stakeholders, including your applicant pool. You never know who your applicants might be influencing. Requesting feedback from applicants on your recruitment process can reap positive rewards beyond reducing turnover and maximizing your company’s recruitment resources.
HiringThing is easy to use, intuitive online recruiting software that makes it easy to post jobs online, manage applicants and hire great employees.