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What Can Candidate Feedback Really Tell You?

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

We all know that candidate feedback is important. But are we looking deep enough into what it’s really telling us? Far beyond ‘room for improvement’, candidate feedback can offer a wealth of detailed insights into your recruitment function, as well as the wider organisation.

Shedding light on candidate demographics

Whether it’s focussing on social media because you’re recruiting Millennials, or changing your tone and language because you’re seeking candidates within a certain sector, we’re all guilty of making assumptions.*

Candidate feedback can help to challenge these assumptions, and shed some light on what candidates really expect and want from their application process.

For example, let’s say that you recently centred a graduate recruitment campaign on a social platform. You expected that most of the applicants would feel comfortable using this channel and that they’d enjoy the process. The resulting candidate feedback, however, told a different story.

With such insights on the wants and needs of certain demographics, candidate feedback can help you shape your future recruitment campaigns more effectively.

*But of course, always be mindful not to alienate certain demographics.

Identifying patterns in your candidates’ journey

When you’re receiving significant volumes of candidate feedback, you can begin to identify patterns in journey experiences and candidate behaviour.

Perhaps a specific part of your application process has been highlighted in a lot of your candidate feedback, such as a particular form. Coupling this with an ATS report like ‘Section Statistics’ should allow you to see data around who started a form but didn’t complete it. You should also have the ability to pinpoint which specific points of the form the candidates have dropped off from.

Together, this data can offer you real insight into which stages of your application process may need further refinement. You can also put forward a compelling action plan for bigger issues, backed up by a good volume of feedback, statistics and comments from applicants.

Offering a fresh perspective on company culture

Constructive candidate feedback can go far deeper than helping to identify areas for improvement within the hiring process.

For example, if you’re sending out a survey to candidates, consider asking questions about your company’s culture and values. Did they feel that your organisation communicated its values throughout the application process and on your careers site? If they came in for an interview, what feeling did they get from your office, team, and interview style?

Sometimes you might uncover insights even if you don’t ask for them directly in a survey. Perhaps your interview style isn’t reflecting your working culture – is it too bureaucratic, or too laid back?

We all know that it’s important to collect candidate feedback.

But the wealth of insights it can reveal can go far beyond ‘could do better’ at this stage or that.

Valuing honest feedback from candidates can help to pinpoint and analyse patterns. It can shine a light on inaccurate preconceptions about certain audiences and demographics, and help you understand them at a deeper level. And a candidate’s perspective on your company culture can offer fresh insights into how your organisation really looks from the outside.

Put simply, constructive candidate feedback can be a goldmine of insights for your organisation.

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