Hiring Handbook: The Importance of Timely Feedback

You have
just finished interviewing a candidate and it went really well. The
conversation flowed naturally, the answers were crisp and to the point and the
motivation was clear and rational.

What do you
do?  Usually, you jump in and start
making arrangements for the next step in the process.  You let the candidate know that the
experience was positive and you are looking forward to next steps.

What if the
conversation was not so good?  Do you
quickly let them know?  Probably not.

Sometimes,
you want to get a second opinion.  You
think maybe there is some common ground but you are not sure about the delivery
and communication style.

Mostly, we
don’t give feedback on the less-than-positive candidates because we don’t want
to give bad news.  And it’s true.  Telling someone they are not getting the job
can suck. 

But it doesn’t
have to.

You can
always find something positive to say about a conversation. Start with that. Then
describe what’s missing from the candidate’s experience that you feel will pose
a risk to their success in your organization. 
Make it clear that you liked what they had to offer but it just was not
right for what you need right now.

Most
candidates will appreciate knowing what was missing (although once in a while
you will get a “crier” but that will just further solidify your decision). 

All
candidates will appreciate that you took the time to call.  It is shocking to hear how many candidates,
having invested time to prepare for, get to and participate in an interview,
never hear back at all.  Nothing.  Nada. Niet.

That not
only leaves a bad taste in their mouth but it can provide the impetus to get on
glassdoor or monster or twitter to let the world know what happened.

It only
takes a few minutes to reach out. Take the time to do it right. 

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