How to capture candidate feedback and why it matters

Candidate feedback is invaluable for constantly improving and fine-tuning your recruitment process. It can unlock insights about your application processes, candidate experience and employer brand. In particular, feedback from candidates who didn’t get the job can be immensely helpful as they may provide a more critical analysis.

Capturing this feedback, however, requires a structured approach and a willingness to accept and act on constructive feedback.

Here’s how to do it and why it matters.

Anonymous surveys

With so many (paid and free) survey tools out there, it’s easy to create a simple candidate survey.

You can use an anonymous survey to collect real insights into things like the ease of the application, the efficacy of your career’s website, the perception of your employer brand, the clarity of the job description and communication throughout the process.

Informal conversation

Often, the best feedback is gathered through casual conversation. After notifying candidates about their hiring status, ask open-ended questions about their candidate experience and whether anything could have improved it.

Follow-up emails

Sending a follow-up email after a candidate has been notified of their hiring status provides another platform to invite any thoughts and impressions about the application and interview process. People like to be asked for their opinions, so you may well be surprised by how many responses you get.

So, why does it matter?

Candidate feedback can alert you to areas of your hiring process that need improvement. From prolonged waiting times to lack of communication, multiple factors could affect candidate satisfaction that might otherwise be overlooked.

It’s also great for your employer brand because it shows that you value candidates (even those you don’t hire this time around). Many industries are small communities, so even if a candidate isn’t right for this role, they may have top talent in their network or come back to you in the future. Leaving a positive impression is important.

In conclusion, candidate feedback is an underutilised tool for recruiting excellence. Listening to your candidates – even those who didn’t make the cut – and implementing and introducing an actionable plan, opens doors for ongoing improvement, solidifying your standing as a professional and considerate employer.