Candidate feedback is essential for employers who want to improve their hiring process. They are pointers for growth, as they depict their candidates' (hired and rejected) experiences with your recruiting system. Getting feedback from candidates is like laying your brand at the mercy of different opinions influenced by factors you mostly have no control over. However, these differing views help you to assess your recruiting process and measure outcomes critically. Now, the question is:
When and how do you get feedback from candidates, especially from rejected ones whose opinions may emanate from the resentment they feel towards your brand for rejecting them?
Getting feedback from candidates is challenging, but it is worth every effort you put in. This article will explore the nooks and crannies of candidate feedback, including its importance, ideal stages and tips for collecting feedback, and some candidate experience survey questions you may find useful.
Why is Candidate Feedback Important?
Every business needs human interaction, and getting feedback from people is an integral part of discovering how your company can be successful. So to think about it further, here are some benefits of candidate feedback:
It is one of the most effective ways to evaluate your brand and its recruitment process.
Candidate feedback helps you understand and develop a cordial relationship with candidates, especially new hires, and what works for them during onboarding.
It improves the candidate experience. Giving people the opportunity to share their opinions about your company helps them feel valued and easily warm up to you.
It also helps to build a solid workplace culture.
Candidate feedback gives you insights on what is working and what is not and areas that need improvement.
It enables you to assess and understand the different stages of recruitment, from the application to the interview and then onboarding.
At What Stages in the Hiring Process Should I Collect Feedback?
Timing is crucial when collecting candidate feedback. The standard hiring process involves six stages: when candidates identify with your brand, when they apply, screening, interview, selection/rejection, and onboarding. Collecting random feedback from different candidates during each stage helps you get real-time, accurate feedback as you progress. Here's a breakdown:
Stage 1: When Candidates Identify With Your Brand
Collecting feedback on the candidate's experience in the first stage revolves around information about when the candidate first interacted with your brand. Here, you'll discover if candidates learn about your brand from job postings, career pages, or social media platforms. This will help you understand how they've developed their initial perceptions of your company.
Stage 2: The Application Process
The feedback from the second stage gives you insights into candidates' experiences when applying to your company. One of the biggest mistakes many companies make is having lengthy and complex application processes.
So, you'll want to decide if your application process is seamless. Was the process mobile-friendly or user-friendly? How long did it take them to complete the application? Did they receive confirmation that their application was received? Their answers will help you know how you can adjust the process to increase application completion rates.
Stage 3: The Screening Process
The screening process can either take place during the application process or after. Overall, what makes screening most effective is the length of the process.
If screening is part of the application process and is too long, you risk candidates not following through with it. Many employers would say this is good because candidates who can't complete the application shouldn't be applying. However, this is an outdated mode of thinking. For many candidates, this thinking indicates a potentially toxic work environment. Because it is a job searcher's market, you could miss out on high-quality candidates because you refuse to meet their needs and prioritize their experience with your company.
On the other hand, if the screening process is after applying, you should keep it short and include human elements (video, phone call, etc.). While these are tips to make the screening process effective, it is important to collect feedback to ensure that your tactics positively contribute to your candidate's experience.
Stage 4: The Interview Process
The interview stage is the apex of your recruiting process. Feedback from this stage includes how well you've conducted your interviews and how easy it was for candidates to navigate this process. Candidate feedback will likely reflect how well-prepared candidates felt and how well you communicated during this stage. The goal is to ensure the process is interactive and engaging enough so that you can get all the information you need from your candidates.
Stage 5: Selection and Rejection
Stage five, the selection and rejection stage, is quite dicey because candidate feedback will likely reflect the outcome of the interview stage. Yes, this can occur while collecting feedback in other stages. However, because the interview stage is so deep in the process, candidates have become more invested and feel a greater sense of loss once rejected. In the same way, a candidate may be very enthusiastic, preventing them from being realistic about their hiring experience. So, in this case, it's best to wait a week or two before attempting to collect feedback. Waiting gives them time to balance their emotions and provide unbiased feedback.
Stage 6: The Onboarding Process
The final stage, which is the onboarding, is for new hires. The feedback from this stage gives you insights into candidates' experiences when settling into their new positions. How they warm up to other employees, communicate within the company, and discharge their duties within a few days of arrival helps you evaluate your employee experience.
5 Tips For Collecting Feedback from Candidates
Collecting feedback from candidates doesn't need to be complicated. You're trying to view your hiring process from the lens of candidates, so make it relatable. Here's how you can achieve that:
1. Inform candidates of your intentions to get their opinions beforehand - Inform candidates in the job ads or during the screening stage. This helps them analyze the process as they go, taking notes of their likes and dislikes.
2. Promote anonymity to ensure total honesty - Candidates will feel protected knowing their feedback will not affect hiring decisions.
3. Make it simple - Convenience is necessary. Too many questions could affect feedback quality. So, use questions that prompt insightful answers, and create different communication channels so candidates can use what's most convenient.
4. Attach incentives - Humans naturally feel motivated to participate when there is an incentive. Incentives may seem extreme, but they don't have to be big, and it motivates candidates to participate. Ideas for small incentives include: VIP invites to a career event, a complimentary meal or drink, or materials on career planning.
5. Follow up and act on the feedback - After collecting candidate feedback, what's next? Act on it! Converting feedback into positive change builds candidate trust and employer brand. Furthermore, reach out to candidates and let them know you appreciate their time and honest reviews.
10 Candidate Experience Survey Questions
Below are ten sample questions for your candidate experience survey.
What position did you apply for?
Rate your application process based on its simplicity.
How often did you communicate with the recruiter, and how was each session? Specify communication channels: Phone calls, email, or others.
Did you feel like the job description from the job ad was an accurate reflection of the position you interviewed for?
Would you have performed better during the interview if some circumstances were different? What would have helped you feel more prepared?
Did any member of the interview panel make you feel uncomfortable? If yes, how?
Is there anything you omitted in your resume that you would like to bring to our notice?
Would you recommend our company to job seekers?
Is there anything else you would like us to know about your experience during our hiring process?
What areas of our recruiting process should we improve on?
When evaluating your hiring process and employer brand, it is important to prioritize a candidate's view and experience. This doesn't negate data collection during evaluations. It only makes it easier for you to assess your hiring process from a human standpoint, not just by figures and statistics. You can also involve external stakeholders and make collecting candidate feedback a continual process in your firm. Finally, be open to receiving good and bad opinions. Once you've accepted the truth, you'll know how to make the necessary changes.