If you want to know – ask!

Candidate Feedback
Candidate feedback - If you want to know – ask!

Often people will wrack their brains wondering how to find out the information they are looking for. And equally often, the way to get what they need is to simply ask.

This is certainly the case when it comes to getting feedback on your recruitment process.

Even the best-run organisations sometimes miss out the vital step of asking candidates how they found you, but it’s really important. Why? Well, it gives you the information you need to improve your process, increase hire rates, boost your talent pipeline and enrich your employer brand. Knowing why candidates drop out is really the only way that you can enhance your methods of attracting top talent, and keep them engaged for future roles.

Here are our top tips for gaining meaningful candidate feedback:

Keep it relevant and concise

No-one wants to spend half an hour filling in questions, so make the questions relevant and as short as you can. It’s also important to only ask about things you can actually change; otherwise, the process is pointless.

It’s far better to have five relevant questions answered by 20 candidates than 30 vague ones answered by none. Start by listing the areas you want to measure, edit ruthlessly, and end up with a shortlist of simple questions that address the really crucial areas. They should be tied to your candidate KPIs so for example, one thing you might measure is the offer acceptance rate.

Maximise responses

To encourage completion, you need to explain why you are asking for their input, and reassure candidates that the answers will be anonymous and private. 

A token incentive to respond will up your response. This could be a small donation to a charity for every response received, or you could offer a ‘value add’ incentive to candidates, such as a downloadable guide to better interviews. Another way is to tie it in with feedback to the candidate. That way, you have a two-way discussion where both sides are able to give their contributions.

Create a system

If you create a system, whether manual or automated, for collecting your candidate feedback, then it is far more likely to happen. A fully understood process for analysing data, identifying issues and assigning responsibilities for change is important. After all, there’s little point collecting the information unless you do something with it.

It’s also a great idea to go back to candidates who responded and let them know what you have changed in response to data collected. This will make them feel that it was worth their time completing your survey and will hopefully be more likely to refer you. 

If you’ve tied your questions to your candidate KPIs, then you can track progress and spot problem areas early.

Tackle problems quickly

Identify the red flags in advance. For example, if you score less than ‘x’ in a certain area, jump on it and assess what action needs taking. When problems are tackled quickly and decisively, you can turn them around to be a positive. This means you need to review the answers you are receiving on an on-going basis. Leave it for a few weeks, and you might miss something vital.

Collect Referrals

If you’ve got a candidate giving you great feedback, they will be thinking very positively about you. Now is a great time to secure a referral! If your survey is online, you can structure it so that high rated completions get routed to a referral page where they can share details of other people who might be interested in working with you. If you’re doing it by phone and are receiving glowing praise, make sure you ask the question about who else they know that you could help.

Do you seek candidate feedback in your organisation? What are the key things you measure? And have what benefits has it brought to your recruiting? Let us know in the comments below.

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