TalentTalent AcquisitionThe critical role of employee feedback for an ever-changing workforce

The critical role of employee feedback for an ever-changing workforce

Sam Wall, Recruitment Director and founder of North East England-established SEAO Talent Partners, sheds light on the importance of candidate feedback.

In today’s crazy, fast paced, ever-changing world, there are still some traditional expectations that linger on – and, in my opinion, for the right reasons.


One such expectation is that of feedback. This can act as a form of closure and something which can allow you to move forward.

In the talent acquisition journey, candidate feedback is one of those interactions which I would argue is essential. However, most individuals can say that at some point in their job hunting career, they have been let down by a lack of feedback on the decision-making process.

I have worked internally, so I wholeheartedly know what it is like when you have a priority list as long as your arm. You have senior stakeholders who are often moving at a mile a minute so you need to stay ahead of the game, and, in some cases, hiring managers don’t give you anything as feedback for you to pass on to the candidates, so you may struggle to provide an update even if you wanted to.

So, for all of us recruitment experts, HR professionals and hiring managers who do it ourselves, we need to remember the impact of not speaking to our candidates and giving them vital feedback, which will allow them to move forward.

Sam Wall

After all, the candidate has given up their precious time to apply and attend an interview, and they deserve to have some of ours back – it’s two way. It’s our responsibility to give them insight, share tips for their future job search and to thank them on behalf of the business.

Of course, there are roles which can attract hundreds of candidates so to verbally give personal feedback to each and every expression of interest could be unrealistic. However, to drop an email back to the candidate to inform them of an outcome is the least we can do.

Your candidate journey has a direct link to your company brand, product and services. Providing no feedback can leave a negative taste which can spread like wildfire, especially in the age of social media. You want the candidate to believe in your brand even if they are unsuccessful on that occasion – you never know where a brand ambassador could present themselves.

Without feedback, we also run the risk of not taking the time to redefine what it is we are actually looking for as hiring managers. Really exploring the issues of why a candidate ‘wasn’t right’ will ultimately help us to understand our expectations and also enable us to tweak job advertisements where necessary to ensure it truly reflects what we, and the business, are looking for.

I believe we also need to take the time to provide feedback to continue to learn and push our businesses forward. Feedback is a two-way street, so if we are not taking the time to give it, we will certainly not be receiving it. A question to ask ourselves is “how will this help us to improve our services and recruitment process if we don’t ask our candidates what they think?”

If we all make the collaborative effort to inform our candidates of ways to improve, we will be able to develop an emerging and existing talent pool, whilst also improving the reputation of our own recruitment processes.

One final thing I think we should all remember is that any one of us could be in the candidates’ shoes in the future. When you consider how you would want to be treated and how much would you value candidate feedback, you may re-evaluate how important this is in your business’ own recruitment process.

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