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The Importance of Constructive Feedback

I am a massive advocate of feedback, simply due to how can you ever improve if you aren’t being told areas to reflect on?

As a Recruitment Consultant, providing feedback to candidates and clients is one of the most crucial elements of our role. Feedback does not just revolve around being successful, or unsuccessful for a position, it actually goes so much further beyond this.

I feel as though, as an individual, we have at least once in our lives wanted something that we haven’t gotten before, even though we have put so much work in the background trying to make ‘it’ happen. When so much work has went into something, I strongly believe that we have a right to know the ‘why.’

For candidates

To put into perspective, a lot of time and preparation goes into attending an interview, and even at that, interviews can include a couple of stages. On average, an interview lasts for an hour, but this does not take into account travel time, conducting research on the business/role and potentially shopping for new attire! Not to mention CV preparation, initial conversations with the Recruitment Consultant/Internal Recruiter/Hiring Manager and the thought process behind why a candidate actually wishes to leave their current role.

Providing positive and ‘negative’ feedback are both as important as each other. I actually had a candidate recently ask me why they got the job, prior to accepting the offer. Positive feedback will help instil confidence upon individuals, especially if they are earlier on in their career or potentially trying to step into a new industry.

I think we always do things in our own way, until someone tells us not to and I am a strong believer in learning from your mistakes. How can we learn from our mistakes if this is not being fed back to us? Interviews do not come naturally to some people and feedback helps to identify areas of improvement for future meetings.

The other main point to consider is that simply rejecting a candidate from a job without providing constructive feedback, is damaging for a company’s reputation. With technology at our fingertips, leaving negative reviews for companies is easier now than ever before, and not to mention word of mouth with friends, relatives and colleagues.

For businesses

To mirror the above, finding top talent is also a lengthy and costly exercise for businesses. As a Hiring Manager, taking time out to conduct interviews whilst you are involved in the day-to-day operational duties is a large commitment in itself.

You may find yourself interviewing the perfect candidate, extending an offer shortly after the meeting has ended, but to find out the individual has accepted a role with your competitor in the background. Even though you have marketed the role and company throughout the selection process and were certain the candidate was engaged throughout.

If this scenario happens, it is important to gather as much information as possible from the candidate to address their concerns. This could be (but not limited to) anything from salary, wider benefits package, culture or development opportunities. Of course all of these metrics cannot be changed overnight, but what this allows a business to do is benchmark and plan for the future. I have written a previous blog ‘Thinking Beyond the Salary’ which can be found here.

We are now in one of the toughest markets that we have ever faced and individuals/businesses are relying on feedback in all areas to build for the future.

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