Typically there are 2 ways to give unsuccessful applicants feedback: via telephone or email/letter. How far the interview process reached may determine which method is used. Providing feedback will be professional and good for your business’s reputation, but more importantly it is a constructive tool to enable the candidate to become someone the company does want to hire.
1. Feedback should be prompt. In order to be constructive; to paint the company in a good light; and to prevent candidates wasting time concerning a job they have not got. Getting feedback a few days later, as opposed to 2 weeks later, is much more useful for the candidate as they will find it easier to relate it to their own still fresh memory of the interview. Job-searching can be stressful and therefore the candidate can continue their
hunt for a job with clarity. Feedback will give the business a better image as it gives the candidate dignity and respects their efforts in applying and attending an interview.
2. Feedback should be honest. Avoid being disingenuous or overly critical. By sticking to critiques relevant to the job requirements, constructive corrective advice will be most effective. Any personal opinions that do not reflect company-wide criteria are not relevant for both candidate and company.
3. Feedback must also be phrased correctly. It is important to acknowledge a candidate’s credentials, but to point out where they fell short in terms of professional skills. False promises will never be made, but fair corrections will be given.
4. Feedback should include examples and praise where possible. Having examples at hand from using a notepad during an interview will make communicating to an unsuccessful candidate more useful for their ongoing search.
Never lose sight of the fact that those candidates you deem unsuitable for one position may be perfect for another, may be able to use honest and constructive feedback to improve and become suitable for a future position, or they may even share a positive impression from such feedback to others within their industry, which all boosts the reputation and standing of your business as a fair and compassionate one.