How to provide feedback – good and bad!
In order to grow and improve as a person, you need to learn from experiences. Receiving feedback is a great way to gauge how you are performing in any situation. For candidates, this is extremely important. How will they know how they fared in an interview, or if their C.V. stands out during the application process if you don’t tell them? The difference between being a good recruiter and an exceptional recruiter can be boiled down to the level of customer service you are providing.
Can you respond to everyone?
Probably not, no. At least not personally with a hand-typed email. However, if using a recruitment software that allows, you can send automated responses to thank a candidate when they submit their C.V. or apply for a specific job posted online. A warm, well written email, even if it’s the same one going out to everyone, can still be perceived as thoughtful and more considerate than a generic ‘thanks for applying’ one. Use the response email to offer links to your blog, or an online video offering interview tips and techniques. Provide links to your social media profiles or a way for them to subscribe to future job listings posted online.
Take 5 minutes to offer suggestions
The first step to finding a new candidate employment is typically an interview with a recruiter. If a candidate doesn’t seem to fit the bill, don’t just write them off as a ‘do not use’. Perhaps they were nervous, or are not used to interviews. Maybe their people skills are lacking, but do they have the right skill set? A bit of coaching can help. If they were dressed too casually, let them know a suit would be expected for any potential interviews in the future. Did they not make eye contact? Let them know! Perhaps they don’t realise they are appearing shifty and nervous. Some things are easy for a person to change, others could take a bit of time, but again, if they don’t know they can’t do anything about it. Be the person that helps them improve and change their approach.
Be direct but kind
Although you want to make sure your feedback is understood, don’t be blunt, and remember to be constructive. Provide the advice in a way you would like to receive it, with kindness and understanding. For some, looking for and applying for jobs can be a stressful undertaking. Perhaps you can relate to them and offer ways in which you might address the changes yourself. Using your own examples could help them with addressing your suggestions.
Acknowledge the positive
Don’t forget to give praise for the good ways in which the candidate handles the process. Or, if they have an exceptional C.V. which caught your eye, tell them that! We are all learning new tricks and skills and it’s great to know what we are doing right that is working. If they answer a specific question in an impressive way, tell them. It means they can confidently answer the same question again knowing that it will make an impact with one of your clients.
Your candidates are an extension of you
If you are submitting a candidate to one of your clients, how they perform will reflect back on you and the agency you work for. Like it or not, the interviewer will link the quality of the person being interviewed to the person who submitted them. It’s really in your best interest to help candidates prepare to wow their interview panel. Be honest with them, and you can both reap the rewards.