Feeling the feedback

Nobody likes rejection. However, it is a harsh reality that any jobseeker has to come to terms with. As a recruiter, the trick is to deliver this rejection in a positive way that not only enhances the reputation of your organisation as an employer of choice but also leaves unsuccessful candidates knowing what would be required to improve on their performance next time. 

Accept it graciously

Early in my career someone gave me some great advice about always accepting feedback with politeness, respect and enthusiasm, irrespective of the content. Once you have received the feedback it’s your choice as to what you do with it –  much the same as when you receive a gift from one of your favourite aunts at Christmas. Often these gifts are exactly what you want. However sometimes they can be very wide off the mark. It is still important to accept the gift graciously.  

As a financial recruitment agency, we appreciate that not everyone will have this same attitude to feedback. However, it is very important that all candidates in a recruitment process have opportunity to receive feedback about their performance and learn from the experience. To achieve this may mean using different methods at each stage of the recruitment. It may not be appropriate to send a detailed letter to all job applicants who didn’t make it to the interview stage. However, the offer of a telephone conversation to discuss how they could improve their chances of selection the next time around may be beneficial. Then, as candidates move through the process, and become more engaged with the recruiting organisation, it should be possible to provide more detailed feedback.     

The responsibility of the recruiter

It is a recruiter’s responsibility to ensure that they deliver this feedback in a timely and appropriate manner, to ensure that rejected candidates can take positive points away from the experience of engaging with the organisation. This means providing truthful feedback to ensure that all candidates know where they are in the selection process. It also means using the right methods to communicate and ensuring that any feedback is detailed enough to provide insight into why they weren’t selected to progress to the next stage.  

These things should be taken as something that must be done. In the social media-focused world that we live in, failure to follow these simple rules can mean that within minutes, thousands of potential future applicants may be aware of a failure by the recruiter, affecting their reputation as an employer, such as in this case where a teenage job applicant was brutally rejected by text message and the story went viral.    

There is never any excuse for rudeness or unprofessional behaviour of this type, but if you’re not used to recruiting, it can be a challenge to keep up to speed with best practice for giving feedback during the recruitment process. This is one of the areas of recruitment where a professional financial recruitment consultant can add value (and help to take the load off the recruiting manager’s shoulders).  

Build your employer reputation

Some organisations may have a deliberate policy to not provide feedback in the belief that this protects them from potential legal claims. We would argue that by not providing constructive feedback they are more, not less, likely to face claims from disgruntled candidates. Provision of objective, focussed and positive feedback is actually an excellent way of ensuring that there is no bias involved in the recruitment process and that all the decisions are made in a thoughtful and objective way. It can also be a great way to strengthen your organisation’s reputation and employer brand in the long term, attracting the best talent and the widest talent pool to future vacancies.  

And finally, remember that today’s rejected candidate could become the most qualified and attractive candidate for a future vacancy – so make sure you leave them with a positive impression of your organisation and its recruitment processes. 

We can help with all of your financial recruitment needs, handling the entire process, or just providing consultation and advise on best practice. Please contact us for more information.

Photo by Christian Gertenbach on Unsplash