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How to Use Candidate Feedback to Refine Your Hiring Process

Thursday December 27th 2018

The hiring process can be complicated and frustrating for many human resource departments. You can do your best to make the process as seamless as possible and still find that you’re missing the mark. While there are many resources out there to help you refine the process, the best source of information will always be the candidates who have experienced the process themselves.

Just ask the candidates? Can it really be that simple? The answer is a resounding yes. Your candidates are a valuable source of information that you simply cannot afford to overlook. Take advantage of their personal experience and knowledge and use it to make your hiring process the best it can be.
When soliciting candidate feedback, there are three stages in the process you should examine. Instead of looking at the big picture, it’s important to separate these stages to see where information might be missing or potentially overlapping. Every candidate will have a different experience, based on how far they get in the process, as well as the end result. So, make sure you gather information from a wide variety of applicants to ensure you’re getting the most accurate picture of what you’re doing well and what needs improvement.

First Impressions Are Everything

Your job applicants are eager to make a great first impression. They know that their potential future with your company could be seriously impacted by those first few interactions with you. But do you ever think about the first impression your company is presenting to job applicants? Consider the first experiences job applicants will have with your company, whether in person, via telephone, or online, and include a few questions in your candidate feedback questionnaire that will shed some light on just how well you’re doing in that category. Here are a few questions to consider:

• How did you hear about us?
• How would you rate the clarity of our job description?
• How was your first interaction with a member of our staff?
• Were we quick to respond to any questions you may have had?

Final Stages

Hopefully, you have a large pool of talent to choose from as you seek to add new employees to your team. If you do, you are more likely to have several candidates reach the final stages of the process. But, because you will not be able to hire every applicant that comes your way, you may end up with quite a few who were not offered a position or who chose not to accept it. These candidates will have a lot of useful information and may feel more open to sharing honest feedback, even if it includes criticism. A newly hired employee may not feel as comfortable sharing criticism of the process, even when it is encouraged.

In addition to the questions pertaining to first impressions, be sure to ask your final stage candidates more detailed questions about communication, as they will have had more interaction with your hiring staff by this point. A few questions to ask might be:

• Did we communicate clearly and effectively?
• Were the job requirements clear and consistent throughout the interview process?
• Did you feel comfortable asking questions?
• Did you feel you were treated fairly and respectfully?
• (If the applicant chose not to accept a job offer) Why did you choose not to accept the position?
• How can we improve the process?

Welcome Aboard

Perhaps the most valuable information will come from applicants who were offered and accepted a position in the company. They had a full view of the hiring process from start to finish, and while they may feel less likely to offer criticism during the onboarding process, their insight into the experience from job posting to job offer can help you establish what you’re doing right. Consider asking the following:

• Was our brand messaging consistent throughout the process?
• What drew you to our company in the beginning?
• What most made you want to accept our job offer?
• What excites you about joining our team?
• Was there any part of the process we can improve on?

Questions like these will not only give you the data you need to refine your hiring process but will also signify to all potential candidates that you are a company that cares. By asking for thoughtful responses from all your job applicants, you demonstrate respect for the process and for the applicants themselves. Doing so will only make your company more appealing to the high-level talent you’re looking for and will ensure that your team keeps growing and pushing towards success.

iSolved Hire, a robust applicant-tracking and onboarding solution, can help you collect and track the feedback you receive from applicants. Its features are also designed to improve the hiring and onboarding process and help you find and bring on top talent.

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