Getting feedback is a huge part of improving candidate experience, but it is one thing all businesses do badly across the board. The reason nearly all firms do badly, is because anyone who read this instantly thought about the company providing feedback to a job applicant. In truth, the most important thing any company can do to improve their candidate experience, is to get feedback from the applicants that apply and interview for vacancies within their company. For far too long, the interview has been treated as a series of one-way communications, and if a business wants to be an employer of choice, this needs to change.

Is the applicant still interested in the position?

Let’s start simple, do you think it might be a good idea to see whether the job applicant is still interested in the role after their interview? If this thought has never crossed your mind, I guarantee that you are not delivering a positive candidate experience to anyone who interviews with you. The interview, especially the first interview, is incredibly important to whether a job applicant wants to pursue the position further. After all, up until this point they will likely have only seen a job description or job advertisement online. So, in the first interview, they are finding out from an actual person working at the company, what the role entails on a day to day basis, the deliverables, and expectations. They could feel that the job description and advertisement were hugely misleading, or that it undersold the opportunity significantly. Or it could be exactly as they expected. The only way to gather this information to help improve the experience is to get feedback.

How does the applicant feel about their potential boss?

Another reason to check in with the job applicant after their interview is to get their thoughts on their future manager. The adage that people do not leave companies, they leave managers is true. If they feel they do not connect with their potential new manager, they are likely to be less enthusiastic about joining the company. Moreover, very few firms provide any comprehensive training for the hiring managers on how to interview. So, it’s a great opportunity to get feedback on the type of questions the manager asked, their conduct in the interview and so on. If a manager is asking inappropriate questions in the interview or behaving unprofessionally, the only way you will find out is by getting feedback from the interviewee.

How did they find their interactions with other members of the company?

A further area to probe, is how the applicant felt dealing with other members of the company. For example, if they came to the office for an interview and were waiting for someone to let them in for 15 minutes because no one was at reception, that is important to know. Likewise, maybe the recruitment team failed to send them the office address when confirming the interview and they had to figure it out for themselves. Maybe there was a last minute reschedule and the internal team forgot to notify the candidate. There are so many touchpoints for an applicant during the process, the only way to improve the experience is to understand the experience with each of them.

Would they recommend the company?

Finally, it is important to check whether the applicant would recommend your business to someone they know. Ultimately, people are only willing to recommend businesses that they have had good experiences with. So, if they are unwilling to recommend, there must be something that has happened to lead to that negative perception. This is useful information, as often, not only are people you interview potential employees, but often they can also be potential customers!

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