Interview Feedback: Who Should Do It?

Research from LinkedIn’s 2015 Talent Trends shows that 94% of professionals want to receive interview feedback, and that 47% thought receiving interview feedback was important to having a positive experience.

Furthermore, the report showed that talent is 4x more likely to consider a company for a future opportunity when constructive feedback is offered.

The report also hints that interview feedback is a fantastic opportunity for your company to stand out, as only 41% of professionals have received feedback before. When most companies don’t take the time to provide constructive feedback, your company can leave a lasting impression on candidates, improving your employer brand and impacting your future talent pipeline.

But the question is… who should provide interview feedback – you or your direct hire agencies?

The answer: it depends.

How far along is the candidate in the interview process? Who has the best relationship with the candidate?

Phone Screen

Early in the interview process, the recruiter is probably the best suited to let the candidate down because they’ve spent the most time with the candidate. If the recruiter phone screen doesn’t result in a hiring manager phone screen, or the hiring manager screen doesn’t result in an onsite interview, recruiters should provide feedback to the candidate explaining why.

If the candidate seemed qualified enough for the initial phases of the interview process, but not strong enough to proceed further, constructive feedback could make a difference in their job search. Coaching candidates may be in order if their resume didn’t accurately represent their background and experience, or if their interview skills could use some work. If other candidates were simply a stronger fit, feedback on what made other candidates stand out could give the rejected candidate a goal to strive for.

Ideally, these candidates would continue to work with the recruiter to find a position for which they’re better suited, and use the feedback to strengthen their skills. If your recruiter provides them with a positive experience, they will likely be open to future opportunities with your company.

Onsite Interview

Once the candidate has completed an onsite interview, you or your hiring manager may be best suited to provide feedback.

The feedback will come primarily from the hiring manager, but they may need to be trained on how to deliver it. For one, feedback should be constructive so the candidate can learn from it and improve. Secondly, the feedback should not hint at possible discrimination. For instance, telling a candidate you need someone with expert-level experience in a certain software is more useful than telling them you need a “digital native,” which is less specific and may be considered age discrimination.

If the hiring manager is not comfortable providing feedback, or chooses not to for another reason, you and your recruiter should determine who has the better relationship with the candidate. If you’ve met the candidate during the recruitment process, interview feedback gives you the opportunity to build a stronger relationship with the candidate so you can reach out to them directly with future opportunities. However, if the candidate has never met you, it could seem out of place for you to deliver feedback.

Again, the purpose of interview feedback is to help your candidates perform better in their next interview, providing them with a positive experience and leaving them with a lasting good impression of your company. Even if you’re using an external recruiter, their actions reflect back on your company – so it’s important to get them on board with providing feedback. Doing so will help your company stand out to all of your candidates – whether they’re hired or not.

Does your company provide interview feedback? Who delivers it? Let us know with a comment!

2017-08-02T22:20:32+00:00 July 22nd, 2015|

About the Author:

Jen Dewar is a marketing consultant in the HR technology space with a focus on developing educational content for recruiters, corporate HR professionals, and staffing agency owners. She has spent the past 10 years working with a wide variety of companies — from corporate marketing for healthcare organizations and recruitment firms, to startup marketing for both Identified and Bright.com, prior to their respective acquisitions. When she's not doing marketing, you can find Jen snowboarding in Tahoe with her husband, traveling abroad, or enjoying a night in with friends and a good bottle of wine. She's a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara, with a degree in Socio-Economic and Political Global Studies.