Using Interview Feedback to Drive Recruiting Success

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Collecting interview feedback from your internal hiring team is a crucial element of the recruitment process. Your interview panelists’ evaluations help identify each candidate’s strengths and weaknesses so you can select the best job seeker for a given role.

But many TA teams stop there. That is, they don’t leverage candidates’ comments (and even criticism) to elevate their recruiting games. In turn, they miss the opportunity to use this interview feedback to drive their talent acquisition program’s success.

3 ways to best leverage interview feedback

Taking a more strategic approach to using and collecting interview feedback can help you and your recruiting staff improve candidate conversions, keep your talent pipeline full, and continually improve your recruitment process. Here’s how.

1) Improve your team’s candidate ‘close rate’ with timely internal feedback.

Top-tier talent is in high demand. (And not often on the market for long.) If you move too slowly, your top-choice candidates may be scooped up by competitors and you’ll have to begin the recruitment process over with a new slate of candidates.

If you want to win these coveted candidates for your team, you must quickly collect internal feedback (i.e., interview panelists’ general thoughts and specific scores for prospects based on structured interviews) so you can make timely hiring decisions and job offers.

The best way to secure this comprehensive feedback in a timely manner?

  • Encourage your interviewers to submit candidate assessments as soon as possible after each interview, while their chats with prospective hires are still fresh in their minds.

Then, build off the excitement and momentum of the recruitment process by submitting a candidate offer as quickly after your final job interview as you can. Include positive feedback from your team to explain to the candidate why you’re excited to have them on board.

Not only do you become more likely to extend offers to target prospects before competitors do, but you’ll also impress them with the bespoke candidate experience provided — and, in turn, increase your chances of job offer acceptance.

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2) Share your collective interview feedback with passed-on candidates.

Most candidates won’t be hired. That’s the nature of the job. But many prospects you put the time and effort to speak with but pass on could be a good fit for a future job.

When you decide not to move forward with a given candidate, it’s important to notify them why that’s the case — ideally, via an email shortly after you hire a candidate that features specific reasons why you went with that other person for the position.

Informing candidates of your decision as quickly as possible post-interview and providing them with detailed, constructive feedback helps you provide a great candidate experience.

Candidates can use your feedback to improve their performance in future interviews, and may even improve upon skills they lacked so they can re-apply to your company in the future.

  • The 2021 North American Candidate Experience Research Report from The Talent Board found that when job prospects received feedback, their willingness to refer other candidates increased by 24%. Moreover, their willingness to increase their relationship with the employer increased 36%.

You want every candidate to consider your company for future opps and speak highly of your company with their networks. Providing this feedback will help you enhance your employer brand (i.e., public perception) and keep your talent pipeline full of qualified individuals who had a good recruitment experience for future positions.

3) Allow job prospects to share their thoughts on your recruiting approach.

Recruiting is a two-way street. Internal feedback isn’t the only interview feedback that matters.

A top way to improve your recruitment process and refine your interview skills is to ask prospects (rejected candidates you ‘archive’ and those you hire) for their feedback too.

Following each interview process, send a feedback form (i.e., a candidate experience survey) to each job seeker you interview to discover opportunities to improve your work.

Some of the most important candidate feedback questions to ask in said surveys include:

  • How satisfied or dissatisfied are you with your interviewing experience?
  • How satisfied or dissatisfied are you with our communication during the recruiting process?
  • What suggestion would you make to improve our interview process?

Take note of trends you see in candidate interview feedback, and create action plans to continually improve your hiring process. By testing new (but proven) recruitment strategies and tactics, you will improve your candidate experience and the process by which you screen talent.

Again, you want every candidate that comes through your doors to think highly of your company, so you can maintain a strong employer brand and keep your talent pipeline full. Collecting and acting upon candidate feedback can help you accomplish that.

The CX study from The Talent Board found that when candidates were invited to share their feedback after an interview, they were 74% more likely to refer other prospects.

Download our Structured Hiring 101 eBook to learn how to leverage internal and external interview feedback into your organization’s recruiting, hiring, and onboarding efforts.

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