How to turn candidate feedback into business excellence

An article about why candidate engagement is crucial. How to implement feedback with success to improve the recruitment process and business performance.

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November 22, 2021

Opinions are everywhere. In a world where voices wish to be heard, billions of opinions are fighting for their space on the Internet. 😩

Jeff Bridges Opinion GIF

Of course, some opinions are useless to your day to day existence. But in the case of the recruitment process, listening to these opinions can have many significant benefits.

The eliciting of feedback from candidates at different stages of the hiring process can reveal to a business and its recruiting teams its strengths and weaknesses. For example, 79.2% of companies request feedback from candidates about their experiences during the recruitment process.

However, once you have accumulated all of this candidate insight, what will be done with it? 🤔

Well, actioning it, of course. By identifying the suggestions that can bring value and real improvement to your organization and recruitment processes, your company stands to benefit. So, this article will set out how to do this. And how businesses can implement candidate feedback with success. We will investigate:

  • How businesses can acquire this feedback from candidates
  • How to take the candidate's input and convert it into something useful. Doing this will hopefully play an instrumental role in improving the recruitment process and the organization at large.
  • And what the benefits of actioning candidate feedback.


How to get the candidate's feedback?

Your business knows what it wants. But how to get it? Businesses need ways to connect with their candidates. 🔗

For example, to elicit feedback from candidates and to learn about their opinion on the recruitment experience. Companies should engage with their candidates during and after the recruitment process to gather this vital information. 👂

They can do this by:

  • They increase the number of touchpoints during the process, where recruitment teams or hiring specialists communicate with potential hires about their journey. 
  • These interactions can allow the organization to survey candidates about the recruitment process. It also shows a willingness to provide excellent candidate care.
  • And during the post-recruitment process, companies could expand the number of interactions they have with candidates. 🚊
  • Regardless of how they went in the process, providing candidates with feedback surveys, automated services or in-depth feedback calls. The candidates can learn where they can improve, and the company can see what made the recruitment experience an enjoyable or harmful journey.


Connect with all candidates

For businesses, it can be tempting to only connect with the successful candidates. Everyone wants to hear positive feedback. 35.7% of companies survey candidates about their hiring experience after successful recruitment. It is understandable why you would do this, but it is not the right course of action. 🙅

The higher the response rate from your candidates, the more representative data is, and the more you can get out of it. Only requesting feedback from the candidates you ultimately chose offers a minimal perspective into the experience of candidates. 

  • The logic that the candidate you selected as your new hire must have had a positive candidate experience; otherwise, why would they have accepted? 
  • In addition, having just gotten this new job, do you think a new hire, desperate to make a great impression, will look to shake the tree and risk upsetting their new employers? Not a chance. 


What candidate feedback can show your business 🔬

Connecting with all candidates who applied for a role and underwent the recruitment process can teach an organization some valuable lessons. 👨‍🏫

If all the business is hearing are overwhelmingly positive accounts of the candidate experience. It perhaps isn’t reflective of the majority of candidates. For example, a business that only accepts 10% of applicants throughout the year, what about the 90% of candidates you reject and their experience? 

Tell Schitts Creek GIF by CBC

A Negative Experience

Not great, but the only way is up from here! 🌱

First, the business can learn what made the recruitment experience bad for the candidate. Did the candidate feel ignored or shunned? As there were no attempts at communicating about how the process was proceeding. So, the candidate didn't know where they stood. With this feedback in hand, the organization and recruitment teams can adapt to prevent this from occurring again.


A Positive Experience

The communication between yourselves and the candidates was relevant and valuable. 👍

  • It helped paint a positive picture of the company in the candidate's heads
  • The candidates felt included and welcomed by the company
  • The applicants learned more about your work and the great employees and culture you have in place. 

This positive feedback shows your company that the steps you have taken to improve engagement with candidates are working, which can help to benefit the Candidate Net Promoter Score! Success! 🙌


How to implement candidate feedback with success

So, to take the candidate's input and convert it into something useful for an organization to implement, businesses should consider these points to improve their processes.

Creating an infrastructure to integrate the best candidate feedback

When asking candidates for their insights into the recruitment process, you need a system to handle the feedback. The feedback is not just there to decorate the office!

A great idea is to construct an infrastructure for this feedback. First, there is a fixed location for all the input to accumulate, and then your teams and employees can regularly review the best suggestions to see if it would be feasible to integrate these. 🗄️

Therefore, your teams and management are responsible for integrating insight and discussing feedback and trends among candidate responses to find improvements. Having a strategy and infrastructure in place to implement candidate feedback will bring much-needed clarity and purpose. 

Its Over GIF

When giving employees tasks to do, they need a clear idea about how to do it and why it is essential. Otherwise, it will become a job that no one understands and wants—potentially leaving great feedback sitting idle and gathering dust when it could be transforming your candidate's experience and recruitment process.


The introduction of candidate experience KPIs

With increased feedback, you may look to change how your processes work. To see if these alterations affect the performance of the recruitment process, boosting engagement, referrals and your company's NPS, you could introduce candidate experience KPIs. 

The KPIs offer your team physical indications and help to measure growth within the process. It can highlight if the actioning of candidates' input has positively affected the recruitment experience of applicants in the present and future. 📊

The only way to know if the candidate input affects the recruitment process's improvement is by utilizing KPIs. Then, watching the progress with regular reviews, you can continually adjust your execution until you find a perfect solution. 


How to use positive feedback to motivate and enhance the employer brand

For businesses, the candidate's feedback is not all about learning from negative experiences and overhauling the recruitment process. There will also be some positive accounts of candidate experience and significant interactions. And your business can use these positive encounters to:

Motivating the recruiting teams

Use these positive interactions to commend your employees. Employees want to feel their job has meaning. Unfortunately, 67% of employees feel disengaged from their work and workplace. This attitude is not conducive to an excellent working environment, and people that care and feel valued make better workers.

Using the positive feedback you have received, tell your employees what they did great and why. Positive feedback can help motivate, boost confidence among the workforce and increase emotional investment in their work. 

It can also highlight to others how they could improve and what they could do differently to optimize their performance. Thus resulting in an improvement in the individual, team and organizational performance.

Show your company off to the world.🌐

Your organization can also utilize excellent candidate feedback you receive in your external marketing. On your website, career pages, blog posts, positive descriptions of your company and its behaviour should be public information. Coming from 'outside voices', it can play an essential role in your brand marketing.

Your audiences can learn about the fantastic values within the organization. Reputation is vital to all aspects of the business. And an excellent reputation can increase the public's willingness and desire to be more closely associated, whether that means buying more products or applying and working for a company with exceptional values.

So, allowing the world to read about these positive encounters can be a benefit to your organization. Your active and passive audience can learn how others enjoyed their experience and were blown away by the company's great culture. And they will remember this, next time they come across your company's name. 📖

Of course, you must get the candidates' permission before posting their comments around the globe!


And the benefits of listening and actioning the candidate's input?

Well, it can help the organization and recruitment teams better understand the candidate's experience, how the candidate felt about the recruitment process and their overall impressions of the company as a consequence. 

For a company, it is like having a surveyor inspecting the different rooms of their house. They can understand the reactions and experiences of candidates, learn what could be improved, spot trends from the feedback, and the successes of the recruitment experience. 🏡


It can improve the candidate experience.

Having experienced the highs and the lows, the candidate's know the in's and outs of the recruitment process. So, with a communication channel between the company and the candidate, one can comprehend how the candidate may have felt. And the candidate's take on the layout and rhythm of the hiring process, so it is more in tune with their needs. 📻

A company that actively listens, engages, and actions input will improve its candidate's experiences. To ensure everyone has a positive encounter with the organization. Which, in turn, can enhance the perception of your company and the employer brand.

The benefits of excellent candidate experience can impact a business across the spectrum of its activities:

  • A boost in positive candidate engagement ✔️
  • Increases NPS, boosting the reputation of a company, increasing referrals to friends and family and consumer interest ✔️
  • Candidates buoyed by their positive experience become advocates of the company, happy to speak the organization up and become valuable ambassadors. ✔️


Prevent harmful damage to your reputation

A pretty damning statistic for businesses is that 60% of job seekers having at one time had a negative candidate experience. But, even worse is that 72% of these share their negative opinion and experience. Instances such as these are dreadful for a company's reputation. 

So, to prevent this habit from causing irreversible damage to your reputation, engagement with candidates and listening to their feedback is crucial.

Understanding the candidate's frustrations and taking on board their suggestions within a controlled environment can be beneficial. 😤

No one desires negative feedback, but it is far better to listen to than witness an explosion of anger on job review sites or social media. The damage to your reputation could see reduced interest in your future roles or even inclination to buy your products. 😧

The organization takes the feedback and acts, preventing future instances of the same problem among candidates and preventing any public outbursts that could damage the employer brand. In addition, showing an inclination to listen and making an effort to reverse the candidate's negative experience could lead them to re-evaluate their opinion, as you have attempted to make amends for any fault. 


Improve the recruiting process in response to the candidate's input

With all the input received from candidates, an organization can look at the design of the hiring process and how best to improve it.

Bill Nye Reaction GIF by NETFLIX

Taking a cold, hard look at the process, the journey candidates undertake, and trends in the candidate's feedback can create an action plan to improve how your business recruits. In addition, the feedback received can help your company answer critical questions: 🦅

  • What forces candidates to drop off?
  • What is the offer-to-acceptance ratio?
  • Are there enough touchpoints? 
  • Did the candidates feel engaged enough? Or did the long silent treatments between news dissuaded them?
  • Once the candidates have applied, did they feel that the hiring teams maintained their interest and attention in the role and the company? 

The candidate's input can help you find exactly what is going wrong within the recruitment process and discover opportunities to improve. 💡


Why the candidate's input is so valuable to the improvement of an organization

Every business seeks to learn how to improve. And the feedback given by candidates regarding the recruitment process is one of these. So, by facilitating more opportunities to engage and communicate, organizations and their workforce can better learn how to grow.

With regular interactions and the opportunity to offer their input, candidates can see a different side to a company. One that is open, keen to build stronger relationships with candidates and find solutions to the candidate's issues. ✨

With the candidate's feedback in hand, companies can provide invaluable instruction to improve the candidate experience and recruitment process. In addition, noticing trends in the input can lead to action plans and new recruitment strategies to help deliver a better candidate experience, allowing businesses to:

  • Implement ways to measure and utilize candidate experience
  • Motivate the workforce with accounts of excellent work performance
  • Ensure candidates are happy, glad of their candidate's journey, and become prospective advocates who can help keep the talent pipeline full with exciting, hungry applicants.

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