Should You Provide Post-Interview Feedback to Candidates?

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The #FightForFeedback campaign made the rounds across social media last year as candidates voiced their desire for post-interview feedback to be made a legal requirement for employers.
In fact, surveys have shown that 77% of 18-23-year olds believe that feedback following a face to face interview should be mandatory and that 83% of candidates claim to have never received feedback after a face to face interview.

Some candidates may have booked half a day or a full day of annual leave to attend the interview, spent a fair bit of time and money travelling to and from the interview, and probably been preparing (and stressing) for a few days leading up to the interview. Therefore, it is easy to understand why unsuccessful candidates argue that they should walk away with something valuable, such as feedback, at the end of it all.

However, as it currently stands, employers are well within their right to let an interviewee know that they haven’t been successful in getting the job without providing any reason as to why; although some companies do choose to provide feedback.

It may seem completely harmless, and helpful, to let candidates know why they have not been successful on this occasion and provide constructive criticism that they can use for their next job interview.

Yet, the main reason why we would strongly advise that you are careful when providing post-interview feedback is that things can get complicated and messy because you are opening yourself up to accusations of discrimination if you do not tread carefully.

Though you may have fair and valid reasons for rejecting a candidate, they can easily misinterpret something that you say and make a claim against you, so it may be best to avoid this situation altogether and limit post-interview feedback to internal candidates only.

In those circumstances, such as when a candidate that already works for your organisation applies for a different role or promoted position, it can be to your benefit to provide post-interview feedback.

A simple rejection is still legally compliant, but it is good practice to let in-house candidates know why they lost out on the position so that they can take the feedback on board for their current role at your company and not feel disheartened which could lead to a demotivated employee, or even a resignation.

Nevertheless, for candidates outside of your organisation – it is not your responsibility to coach them on interview techniques and if you spend ten minutes writing up or discussing with each candidate your criticisms or comments on their interview then your recruitment process will get far too time-consuming.

Even when a candidate asks for feedback, you can decline and simply let them know that it is not company policy or provide a general statement such as they “were just not quite right for this role” or “there were stronger candidates with more practical experience”.

If you would like to discuss this article with a professional HR consultant, or have any other Employment Law issues that you are currently facing then please call us on 0845 2626 260.

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