Updated February 17, 2020
If you aren’t using candidate evaluation forms, you aren’t collaborating effectively.
Candidate Evaluation Forms For Interview Feedback
What is a candidate evaluation form? It’s a tool that allows members of the hiring team to rate applicants based on the same criteria.
8 Ways Candidate Evaluation Forms Improve Recruiting
1. It ensures each interviewer is thorough in their evaluation
2. It speeds up the interview feedback process
3. It helps prevent bias in job interview evaluation
4. It measures hard and soft skills
5. It simplifies collaboration among your hiring team
6. It helps differentiate candidates with near-identical qualifications
7. It saves time when first-round rejected candidates are considered for future positions
8. The systemized scoring increases the usefulness of your talent pipeline database
The Interview Feedback Review Process
How do you evaluate candidates without a systematic way to rate them?
Let’s consider a common scenario.
You currently have a mission-critical position to fill and a fairly tight deadline to hire a qualified person. You have posted the position on your website and other outside resources like Monster, CareerBuilder, Indeed and Craigslist.
What comes next is a stack of resumes. Followed by the interview process. In 2020, you’re competing with many other companies to find the best talent. You can’t afford a slowdown in your process.
The top candidate could be hired by your competitor. The most desirable candidates are off the market in 10 days.
But you need to proceed strategically so you don’t hire the wrong person.
You pick up the first resume and encounter some mission statements like…
- “Motivated individual seeks challenging position for personal and professional growth”
- “Industry expert and thought leader available to implement revenue-ramping methodologies.”
- “Professional guru with proven track record of driving key performance metrics seeks next challenging opportunity.”
…and you then proceed to read through four more pages of the resume.
Buried in the resume amid the industry keywords and buzzwords is the information that is relevant to your open position. After reading about 10 of these resumes, you can’t remember which candidate had which qualifications. It’s a good idea to organize the applicants into categories like “Unqualified”, “Potential” and “Top Prospect” as you are reviewing the resumes so you can focus on the shortlist of more qualified candidates when you revisit them.
The next step in the process is to make every effort to forward only the best applicants to your manager for review, so you don’t waste the manager’s time and earn his/her confidence that you understand the critical needs.
Obtaining Interview Feedback
One of the most challenging aspects of the hiring process is about to occur… obtaining useful feedback from your staff during this review process. No matter how many employees you engage in the hiring process, it’s important that you gather the feedback in a consistent and meaningful way.
Let’s discuss how you use candidate evaluation forms filled out by your managers and staff during the review process.
Standardize Interview Feedback
Utilizing multiple choice, ratings or scale questions when requesting feedback may prevent receiving vague reasons they are not interested and emails that are difficult to interpret. While you will find feedback questionnaires helpful during the review process, you will find them even more necessary after the applicant has been interviewed.
When each member of the hiring team contributes to the interview feedback form, you elevate the entire process. Each person’s perspective and expertise improves the scoring.
The result? You will find best-fit employees quickly.
Job Interview Evaluation Comments Samples
Here are some examples of effective interview feedback evaluation forms. You can modify them as appropriate for the specific position. For example, if the position requires additional skills not listed here, add the skills to the first evaluation sample.
Interview Feedback Examples (Pre Interview)
Very often the manager reads the candidate’s resume and uses a gut feeling to determine if the candidate should be considered. They may even make a judgment based on the resume format, the number of jobs and where they went to school. If you ask the manager exactly what it is they liked or didn’t like, you will receive more meaningful information and can make a more informed decision about whether you should invite this candidate in for an actual face to face interview.
Examples of Effective Manager Feedback Questions (Post Interview)
The feedback you receive from the staff involved in the face to face interview can also be based on more fair and factual information if guidelines for evaluation are distributed. It is recommended that the skills or competencies needed to be successful in the job are listed so the interviewer can explore these areas during the interview and rate each candidate effectively. Please note the two different examples below.
Negative/Positive Interview Comments Example #1
Negative/Positive Interview Comments Example #2
How Job Interview Feedback Fits in the Applicant Journey
Job interview evaluation influences other applicant touchpoints. As such, it can help you improve job descriptions, interview scripts, and other candidate communications.
It also helps members of your hiring team become better at evaluating candidates. It’s a key best practice for any company that is serious about improving hiring outcomes.
Benefits of a Structured Interview Feedback Process
- Avoids typical evaluations of candidates that may be filled with ambiguity, superficial statements, and generalizations.
- Your hiring decision is based on objective information that the candidate’s skills match your job or project requirements—not because they are an excellent resume writer.
- The standardized evaluation questions point out the different opinions of the interview/ evaluation staff and help raise any red flags about the candidate.
- Ensures your hiring process is in compliance with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
- Helps avoid costly hiring mistakes.
- Using multiple selection methods helps to ensure you are choosing the best candidate–No single technique on its own can predict on-the-job performance and success.
- Streamlines the process and ensure a better, fit—increasing employee retention and productivity.
Did you know there are more than 1 million unfilled tech jobs in the U.S.?
That might come as a shock to you, especially considering more teens and young adults are being pushed toward STEM fields to increase their odds of getting hired out of college. How can a field that’s growing so quickly struggle to fill so many vital roles?
The answer is that the changing landscape of tech makes it difficult for both companies and employees to keep up. This puts recruiters in an especially tough position as they’re tasked with finding unicorn candidates who check all the right boxes.
Understanding the challenge of tech recruiting
Recruiting is challenging enough as it is, but there’s something uniquely difficult about tech recruiting. If you’re recruiting in tech for the first time your usual strategies won’t work. You’ll need to adopt a faster timeline, open your mind to more unusual candidates, and more. Let’s dive into some common tech recruiting struggles and how you can overcome them.
1. There aren’t enough qualified candidates
As a recruiter, you’re probably already aware that this is a candidate favored market. The global talent pool is shrinking with record low unemployment rates. There are now fewer candidates with the skills required for technical positions and this gap is even wider if you’re looking to recruit for the tech industry. That means your recruiting strategy will need to change.
The tech industry is already short 1.1 million workers and by 2030 that number could be as large as 4.3 million. Where do you find qualified candidates when the number of skilled workers seeking new jobs keeps shrinking? The answer isn’t orthodox, but it does work.
Stop looking in college classrooms
Tech giant Apple has already taken the first step in sourcing new talent. Instead of insisting on a four-year degree in a related field, Apple announced they are no longer requiring a college education for job applicants. This has opened up the talent pool to self-taught software developers, people who have taken coding boot camps, and more.
That’s not to say that you should ignore candidates with a college degree, but rather stop ignoring those who don’t. When you limit your scope for who can and can’t be qualified, you limit your potential talent pool.
Look for transferable skills
You might be wondering how you’re supposed to judge candidates’ qualifications without a degree and the answer is by looking at their skills. And not just their specific technical skills, you’ll want to look at their transferable skills as well.
Transferable skills are any skills a person has acquired throughout their life, career, or hobbies that can be applied to different situations. As an employer, finding a job candidate that doesn’t fit the exact job spec can actually be a blessing in disguise. These job candidates can be taught on the job skills needed once they start while bringing unique perspectives and viewpoints to your company.
The runway time for teaching a new employee how to use new software is much shorter than you think. It’s time to start thinking of skills as assets rather than requirements. Don’t count someone out because they worked in customer success for twenty years and are looking to make a career change. Instead, see how their unique skill set might benefit your team.
2. Direct competition from larger companies
A few names probably come to mind when you think of tech giants: Google. Facebook. Apple.
While these juggernauts might not be your competition in business, they are direct competitors for global tech talent. Tech employees have the in-demand skills that these big companies are looking for and given the chance to work for a world-renowned company, most candidates will take the chance.
You’ll need a special strategy to out-recruit the likes of Google or Apple. The good news is that there are a few tricks you can use to seal the deal.
Rely on your employee ambassadors
When it comes to recruiting tech talent, your current employees are an untapped resource. Not only do they understand what it takes to be successful at your company, but studies show that 84% of people trust recommendations from friends or family over any other form of marketing. That means there’s a greater chance of success when you encourage your employees to refer people in their network or share jobs on social media.
Looking to up the ante? Offering your employees a bonus for referring potential candidates. These employee referral programs incentivize your staff to help you recruit new talent while filling the recruitment pipeline with fresh candidates.
Many companies take this a step further by using employee referral software to optimize the process. These solutions allow you to track which employees referred candidates, monitor their place in the recruitment pipeline, and post jobs to internal job boards. Streamlining your applicant tracking process will help you find qualified tech candidates faster. All of the perks with less work!
Offer incentives other than money
There’s a lot of money in tech. If you’re just starting out as a company you might not have the budget to throw at candidates the same way a big three tech giant might. Thankfully, studies show that employees are looking for more than just a paycheck. Flexible working hours, growth opportunities, and better work-life balance are among some of the more sought after perks.
Offering competitive pay is still important, but throwing in the option to work remotely or an extra week of paid vacation could sway them to sign with your company. Remember, there’s always something else you can offer a top tier candidate to seal the deal
3. Candidates expect an accelerated hiring timeline
Are you moving fast enough for top tier candidates? Unless your candidate life cycle is two weeks or less, you might be too slow. Research shows that more than 50% of candidates believe the hiring process should take between one and two weeks, while the actual time to hire hovers around 38 days.
That same study shows that 89% of potential candidates drop out of the recruitment process due to a prolonged timeline. Putting candidates on ice or waiting too long in-between communications is an invitation for them to ditch your company.
And don’t make the mistake of assuming you’ll just lose one candidate when websites like Glassdoor allow candidates to talk about their terrible recruiting experiences. An overly complicated or slow recruiting timeline is bad news for your hiring prospects.
Use technology to speed along the process
Your recruitment process is your first chance to impress high-value job candidates. If you’re using an outdated applicant tracking software (ATS) that slows down the recruitment process, there’s a good chance qualified candidates will just give up. Investing in a state of the art system that automates resume screening and manages all recruiting communications will save you and the job candidate time.
If you want to compete with the titans of your industry, ATS is not an option. There’s been a shift in the last decade in HR departments around the world. Applicant tracking software is no longer optional, it’s necessary to stay competitive. Over 98% of Fortune 500 companies, including Microsoft and Tesla, use ATS in their recruitment efforts. You need the right software to keep up with companies pulling from the same talent pool.
Eliminate the stuff that doesn’t matter
If you had to eliminate 80% of your recruitment process, what would you keep? It’s a tough question but it’s one you need to consider. Job candidates are tired of jumping through arbitrary hoops in the hopes of catching your attention.
Ask yourself if you really need to subject a candidate to three in-person interviews with four different team leads or if the same thing can be streamlined with a video conferencing tool. Think about whether or not you need someone to fill about a 40-question personality quiz before uploading their resume. Are these checkpoints truly helpful in deciding on a candidate or are they arbitrary roadblocks?
You might think tasks like these weed out candidates who don’t have the drive or the work ethic but you’d be wrong. How you treat your potential candidates is a direct look into how you treat your employees.
Let’s get technical
Despite all we’ve said in this article, there isn’t a right way to recruit tech talent. You’ll need to take the tips mentioned and put your own spin on them. It’s going to take some trial and error but if you stick to it, you’ll be a tech recruiting titan in no time.
Automation has changed the face of hiring.
Why is it easy to automate hiring with the right software?
Job applicants apply online. They enter their information. This starts an end-to-end online process. An applicant tracking system (ATS) leverages the magic of digital automation. It lets computers do what they do best.
Does this create an impersonal machine-driven applicant experience?
Now to the question posed in the title. Short answer: no.
Let’s discuss why.
An ATS creates more time for personal attention. You can still call an applicant or meet them in person for an interview. The system doesn’t eliminate personal face-to-face (or voice-to-voice) communication.
Do you process a large volume of applications? You don’t have time to call every applicant personally.
If your ATS has texting, you can text right from the software. Keep a record of your text threads. Team members can text as if they are one user. This is personal, yet professional.
An ATS Reduces Abandoned Applications
Why do applicants abandon their applications? Poor communication. Many hiring teams can’t keep applicants apprised of their status. Regardless of their best intentions. They’re just too busy.
ATSs have auto-emails. You can send as many updates as you want. Let candidates know immediately when you’ve received their application. Keep them updated every few days.
When you’ve narrowed it down to a short list, you can call them personally.
How does an ATS know when to send an email?
To answer this question, first we need to talk about stages. You move applicants through the process with stages you’ve created. For example, you might have the following stages: Application Received, Awaiting Interview, Extend Job Offer.
Choose which actions are triggered by stage changes. For example, when you move an applicant to the Interview stage, it can trigger an email. The email invites the candidate to schedule an interview. (If your ATS is integrated with Google Calendar or Office 365, you can include the calendar link in the email.)
Give your applicants more attention, not less
You don’t need to send generic, impersonal emails. Create email templates. Use creative language that reflects the personality of your company. Tailor the email to the job description. Change your templates as often as you like.
Merge codes insert the applicant’s name and other information. The applicant gets a personal email addressed to them. They don’t know that it was sent automatically.
An ATS helps you communicate continually. In other words, you give your applicants more attention, not less.
What are some other ways an ATS frees up your time for more personal attention?
Make your system work for you
Let’s talk about organization. Every hiring team has their own system. The beauty of an ATS is being able to customize. Match your workflows.
This ApplicantStack user explains his process in a G2 review:
I enjoy the layout where applicants are marked in stages. A common issue with organizing applicants is the way you can sort them in your process. ApplicantStack allows you to keep candidates in different stages and advance them in your process based on where they fall. This is especially important when you have 2nd and 3rd tier candidates that you like, but are not as qualified as other top tier candidates. The stages allow you to label them in your system and then come back to them as you sort through other candidates you have reviewed and removed from your process. (G2)
They also appreciate the email delay feature:
I also LOVE the option where you can fair a candidate and schedule the email communication to go out on a future date. This allows me to create the task, but be tactful in communicating with those candidates without failing them immediately after their interview. In addition, when you have multiple raters the feedback option is collaborative and extremely useful.
This Senior Home Care recruiter mentions a couple more custom settings:
I love the amount of customization ApplicantStack allows (eg: adjusting the work flow, adding new documents to Onboarding, changing email triggers, etc.). The ability to make adjustments that better suit your company’s needs has been a huge benefit for our agency. (G2)
ATS data security
Everyone in HR worries about data breaches. Most cloud-based ATS vendors provide a high level of security. That said, before choosing an ATS, verify their security protocols.
This HR generalist explains how this improves hiring and onboarding:
I like the ability to easily get sensitive information in a secure way. There are a lot of scammers out there and I want my new hires to feel confident that they can trust that their information is secure and protected. I also like that they can fill out and sign documents easily from their phones. I hire a lot of people remotely and getting paperwork done is always a pain. I also use this for acknowledgements of policies. (G2)
An ATS makes your job easier
We’ve discussed bells and whistles. Now, let’s take a holistic view. The tools don’t mean anything unless the entire system fundamentally improves your operations.
This customer lists several ways an ATS has transformed their job (G2):
It made my job easier in many ways. The best part I would say is that a) It has been integrated with job boards and this made it easier to source resumes b) It can trigger emails to candidates automatically c) I am able to set the workflow and follow that easily d) Everything that is needed for recruitment in one system e) Automatically updating candidate details while just uploading resumes or emails f) Allocating tasks to other users g) Generating customized reports.
Would you like to test drive a simple and affordable ATS? We offer a free 15 day trial of ApplicantStack. Create some email templates. Design a hiring workflow. Post to several job boards without signing into each one.
Discover how an ATS frees up your time to give your applicants personal attention.
By Liz Strikwerda