Real-Time Candidate Feedback is the future: here’s why HR needs to adopt this now

There can be no doubt that we are well and truly in an era where a positive, personalised candidate experience is vital. Businesses of all shapes and sizes now recognise the potential damage a negative interaction can have to the company’s overall reputation, both amongst general consumers or stakeholders and potential employees.

In fact, LinkedIn’s marketing manager, Paul Petrone, carried out research which revealed that 83% of professionals are likely to change their mind about a role if they have a bad experience. It would appear that even if an individual was in dire need of a job, a negative process would put them off working with a company. According to research from Glassdoor, 11% of candidates would decline an offer from a business with a bad reputation, even if they were unemployed.

A smooth, constructive hiring process is a must. But if we are all truly aware of this, why do so many hiring teams wait until a placement has been made to find out how each applicant found the experience? Doing this post-event means that individuals have already left with a rather definitive perception of the company that is not necessarily accurate. And by the time talent management teams are even aware of a problem, it’s highly possible that the applicant will have shared their views externally, so the damage is already done.

What we need is a more reactive process whereby experience is measured during the event and immediately fed back into the system. This focus on Real-Time Candidate Feedback not only identifies areas of success and concern, ensuring the process can be appropriately adjusted for other applicants, but it also allows hiring teams to immediately convey to applicants that they do matter to the company.

This method of bolstering success as well as preventing fire rather than fighting it is beginning to be embraced. And although it’s still in its infancy, the results so far have proven positive. For example, we’ve been working with a large financial services firm to develop this concept within their business and have been able to identify barriers facing applicants that would previously have gone undetected. There were examples where the candidate was being put off by the actual interview itself – with feedback ranging from meetings running late or interviewers coming across as too heavy-handed.

Not only was this information useful in terms of up-skilling the interviewers to ensure an improved experience is delivered to the rest of the applicants, but it also gave those who had left with a negative perception the clear message that their opinions matter to the business.

It is vital to add that implementing this new approach does not need to be vastly complex. As the example above demonstrates, small changes such as training interviewers can make a huge difference. And given the advances made in technology, there is an array of software available for firms to make the most of when it comes to introducing an immediate feedback system.

For those still unsure if Real-Time Candidate Feedback is right for their organisation, consider the world of the consumer. It’s now common knowledge that there has been a ‘consumerisation’ of the talent management process. Candidates and employers alike expect an experience with an employer that is in line with one they world receive as a consumer – and real-time feedback exists for the latter already.

Just take the ‘smiley face’ ratings that exist in numerous airports to gauge current passenger sentiment or Amazon’s online behaviour tracking which provides customers with recommendations as to how they can improve their experience, for example. If, as I do truly believe, HR and talent management is continuing on its path into the ‘world of the consumer’, then Real-Time Candidate Feedback is the future, and I’d love to see more organisations embrace it.

Laurie Padua is Director of Technology and Operations Consulting at global talent acquisition and management firm, Alexander Mann Solutions.    

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