Nine Tips for Offering Feedback to Unsuccessful Job Applicants

October 12, 2020

Filed Under: Feedback, jobs, Human Resources

By Forbes Human Resources Council

Photo Credit: Forbes

When you look at the employment market in the current economy, there's an excess of employees for certain positions. With so much competition, job seekers need to be aware of how to make themselves better. Therefore, applicants that were unable to get the job usually ask for feedback on their resume, interview, or both. By using your feedback, they try to tailor their tools to be successful the second time around.

However, there's a right way and a wrong way to offer this feedback. Nine professionals from Forbes Human Resources Council examine how businesses should aim to provide feedback to unsuccessful job applicants to help them land that next job interview and show off their true potential.

1. Lead With Honesty And Empathy

Like all critical communications during moments that matter, lead with honesty, transparency and empathy. Today's candidates are likely wrestling with emotional, physical and financial hardship given interpersonal isolation, COVID-19 and high unemployment. Wanting your fellow human to succeed takes little effort but can have a lasting and material impact. -Mark Stelzner, IA

2. Keep The Future In Mind

We absolutely share feedback, honestly and with the future in mind. The recruitment experience is critical, whether or not a candidate is successful, and feedback on why they weren’t is part of that. If they are not the best fit for one role, they may be for another in the future. Sharing this unique insight helps create a positive experience and might improve their chances of being successful later on. - Susan Tohyama, Ceridian

3. Make Sure You Don't Offend

Feedback on why a candidate wasn't selected for a role is a good way to thank them for the time they invested and to share something valuable for their career going forward. It's important that the feedback is honest, tactful, and helpful. It's also crucial to make sure you don't offend the candidate or leave any room for potential litigation. - Rachel Lyubovitzky,EverythingBenefits

4. Deliver Your Feedback Constructively

Yes, we do share feedback. Oftentimes, when done the right way, the candidate will be more likely to consider other roles within your company, as well as to refer candidates to you. It's important for the feedback to be timely, objective, specific to the job requirements and delivered constructively. - Justin Martinez, Solomon Page

5. Offer Helpful Resources And Tips

This candidate may be a future colleague or networking partner. It's best to follow up and provide helpful resource links and tips that are specific to their role, responsibilities and interviewing best practices to set them up for success the next time around. You never know when your paths may cross again! - Betsy Johnson, Cludo

6. Be Factual, Provide Examples

When feasible, providing candidates with feedback is a valuable gesture, but the feedback should be objective and appropriately linked to the required skills and competencies stated in the job description. Be factual and use examples from the interviewing process to back up your statements. Avoid making personal comments or stating opinions not supported by evidence from the interviewing process. - Heide Abelli,Skillsoft

7. Provide Instant Feedback

It's 2020 and providing instant feedback is essential to the candidate experience. Instant feedback will help the rejected candidates pivot fast and rehash their search strategy. In the midst of a pandemic, as we rely more on virtual recruitment, listening to what the candidates want and ensuring we meet their expectations is vital to keeping the process human-centric. - Jay Polaki, HR Geckos

8. Don't Call Out Specific Negatives

The first step here is to check your company's policy on this practice. If sharing feedback is an approved part of the interview process, and a candidate asks, then sharing some general tips that can help improve their interviewing skills goes a long way in terms of candidate experience. A best practice here would be to share general tips versus calling out any specific negatives. - Jenna Hinrichsen, Advanced RPO

9. Explain Why They Weren't Selected

Providing feedback to a candidate can help with their professional growth, as well as prepare them for future interviews. Providing two or three key bullet points as to why they were not chosen for the position they interviewed for can help them understand what areas they may need more development in or blind spots they may have. You never know, this candidate may still end up working for you. - Charmaine Marie Smith, CSI, Inc.

For the original article, visit: Forbes.