Can you handle the truth? Asking for feedback!

24 March 2015
Can you handle the truth? Asking for feedback!

Our industry really gets a bad rap, we are known for interviewing lots of candidates and then not getting back to them or providing feedback that is not necessarily true.

Well working in recruitment means that we are dealing with people all day and every day and our candidates often ask for feedback and sometimes the truth is not very nice. My mum has always taught me if you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say it at all. So I find myself scrambling to find an excuse that won’t hurt their feelings such as “Although you interviewed well, there were candidates who were better suited” or “The role has changed and they are now looking for this skill” when really it could have been something like:

  • You wore way too much perfume and my nose wants to sue you for assault
  • You smell really bad… Like really bad, I had to interview you with the door open because I thought I was going to die.
  • You want to earn how much as a junior receptionist? You’re dreaming sunshine.
  • Do you ever shut up? You answered my question 10 minutes ago and we are talking about your dog now because?

Ok they seem a little extreme but it does happen on a daily basis and it’s like being caught between a rock and a hard place. Do we tell our candidates the real reason they were not successful or do we sugar coat the truth?

I believe somewhere in the middle – Yes I am fence sitting! After years of recruitment experience I treat each person individually, I assess the relationship I have built with the candidate and also how well I believe they will take on the feedback. I usually use the sandwich approach – I start with something positive, then raise something constructively and then soften the blow with another positive. It seems to work well for me but still I find my stomach doing cart wheels, let’s face it no one likes to hurt another person’s feelings however if I can provide them with feedback that they work on and it lands them the next job I have done something right.

As for not getting back to a candidate… that’s completely unacceptable. Yes we all get busy, but a wise man once pointed out to me “No news is still news to the candidate”

So if you are a candidate and reading this blog and you are thinking what should I be doing in an interview? read this useful information: Interview Tools