Why You Need to Give Candidate Interview Feedback

Why You Need to Give Candidate Interview Feedback

At some point, every employee goes through the hiring process. From entry-level workers to executives, most candidates submit applications and, if they make it to this step, should receive candidate interview feedback.

Providing candidate interview feedback can seem painful, regardless of whether or not you are hiring the person. As the interviewer, you’re criticizing someone’s performance. What if the candidate becomes defensive? It’s tempting to only offer candidate interview feedback if you’re asked for it. Don’t take the easy route here. Candidate interview feedback can benefit you as well as the prospective new hire.

How Candidate Interview Feedback Helps You

Practice Makes Perfect

The ability to deliver constructive criticism is an essential leadership skill. Even if you’ve read the best HR books out there, there’s no substitute for practice. Delivering feedback to an interview candidate is the perfect way to hone your technique, particularly if you aren’t going to hire the person anyway.

Determine What You Want

Giving feedback to your interview candidates allows you to critically analyze exactly what you’re looking for in this new hire. This is especially important for higher-level candidates, who will have a significant impact on your company. As you assess what you did or did not like about a candidate, you can change your hiring strategy accordingly. Learn more about what you don’t want, and you’ll be better able to articulate what you are looking for.

Establish a Relationship

Offering candidate interview feedback sets the stage for a future relationship with an applicant. You want this person to feel eager to re-apply in the future, or for a different position. Maybe this person has someone in his or her network who is thinking about applying. Candidates should leave feeling good about your company – even if they aren’t offered a job. The best way to do that is by taking a vested interest in their careers.

When 51% of job applicants share their interview experiences on social media, you want to make sure that experience is a positive one. More than half (61%) of applicants search for company reviews, and what they see affects whether or not they apply.

How can you make sure you’re providing a good experience as fodder for those positive reviews? Offer candidate interview feedback. One study found that 66% of applicants who didn’t hear back from a company felt negatively towards that company. Over half were unlikely to apply for another job there as a result. Giving candidate interview feedback can seriously impact your company brand – and the people who choose to apply to future job listings.

It’s never easy to tell candidates that they didn’t get the job. But offering candidate interview feedback makes it less painful, since they aren’t left wondering what they did wrong. It’s a win-win for you and your applicants.

My Personal Journey to ApplicantStack

My Personal Journey to ApplicantStack

How did I get here and what was my journey to ApplicantStack?

6 min read

Journey to ApplicantStack

When I began my job at my last position at a help desk company, one item I was tasked with was researching a better way to recruit new employees.

I was surprised that a technology company’s recruitment process comprised manually posting jobs on sites such as CareerBuilder, Indeed, local job boards, and some colleges.

The instructions to apply consisted of an email address that “organized” the resumes into Outlook folders based on the job they were applying to. Then we spent time weeding through, in some cases, hundreds of resumes to find candidates that were worth pursuing.

The candidates that weren’t a fit were never sent a “Thank you for applying email” because frankly, that was just too much work. This resulted in more emails, calls, and the occasional pop-in-the-office to find out their status.

“Worthwhile” resumes would then need to be printed and another sheet would be stapled to the resume that included fields to be filled out. “Date Resume Received”, Date Email Sent, Phone Screen Date & Time, etc..

The candidate would then be contacted along with a list of dates & times for a phone screen.

[dt_divider style=”thin” /]

And that’s when the real chaos began…

Human Resources Valuable Time

Endless emails back and forth trying to set up dates and times. Once a time slot was taken, I would need to turn down appointments letting them know that the week’s slots were taken with a new list for the following week.

The phone screens consisted of a series of questions and answers that would need to be manually typed.

Most of the time I needed to disclaim that I can’t type as fast as they would talk so there would be some silence during the call as I caught up.

If the candidate did not pass the phone screen, they were emailed letting them know we appreciated their time, but we were pursuing another candidate.

The candidates that passed the phone screen round were emailed with technical test session id’s and/or personality assessments. If they passed, they were sent another email with yet again a list of dates and times for their first in-person team interview.

[dt_divider style=”thin” /]

The coordination required for gathering available times across multiple candidates was painful, to say the least.  

Prior to the candidate’s in-person interview, their resume, the phone screen interview sheet, the results of their technical and personality assessments, and a sheet of paper with all the interview dates and times were all bundled into a paper file and labeled with the candidate’s name.

The candidate would arrive in the office and be brought to an available conference room where they needed to complete a hand-written application for employment, which would be added to the folder.

[dt_divider style=”thin” /]

Don’t Let Qualified Candidates Slip Through the Cracks

Fast forward the second round of in-person interviews, the offer was finally presented to the candidate. Sometimes the amount of time that passed from when the candidate applied to when an offer was extended could be upwards of two months.

By that time most candidates lost interest or took another job at another company.

Who could blame them! 

Yes, we tried to be more organized and create excel spreadsheets to track some of this information. We also ran reports letting our CEO know how many candidates were received and all the stages of the interview process they completed.

But this was extremely time consuming and redundant.

[dt_divider style=”thin” /]

Hence my question: “why use an applicant tracking system?”

It was clear that the answer was I needed help and so began my quest for an applicant tracking system (ATS).

I evaluated several products based on pricing and ease of use.

One product offered a potentially cost-effective onetime setup fee, but we would need to map out our entire process up front.

If that process ever changed, we would need to re-setup the entire product and pay the setup fee again!

Since we were a relatively small company with high turnover and a need to constantly evolve our recruiting process, that option just wasn’t going to work for us in the long run.

After hearing about ApplicantStack from several other companies, I decided to take a chance and test it out.

After all, they were offering a free trial, and if I didn’t feel it met my organization’s needs, I could take my data back and continue with my ATS evaluation.

[dt_divider style=”thin” /]

I decided to test it out with our most hard to fill, immediate need job on a Friday.

It was very easy to create a new job and ApplicantStack offered multiple resources to me for assistance if needed.

I was also able to create custom workflows to match our current process. I posted the job on Friday and it was instantly available on my public job board and within several hours the job was posted to CareerBuilder, Indeed, LinkedIn, and other job boards.

[dt_divider style=”thin” /]

 

By Monday morning, I received over 50 new applicants who all received an automatic email letting them know that if they were a match for the position they would be contacted.

This immediately cut down on those emails and calls about whether we received their resume.

Going through the resumes was also quicker, but at that time I didn’t have any screener questions set up.

Once I added basic screener questions with scoring the initial review process became much more efficient.

I could easily knock out candidates who didn’t meet the basic criteria for the job.

At that time the candidate scheduling feature now offered by ApplicantStack wasn’t available, and I can only imagine how much more time it would have saved by allowing the candidates to select available phone interview times on my calendar!

[dt_divider style=”thin” /]

Data Driven Recruiting

What was also extremely helpful was that I no longer needed to create reports in Excel.

I was able to use the pre-built standard reports found in ApplicantStack to show me information such as sources of applicants so I could easily see where my candidates were coming from.

This helped me focus my recruiting budget on the best sources.

The analytics for my CEO was also a time saver since it provided all the information he was looking for.

We were also able to determine our bottlenecks in the recruiting process and adjustments needed at no additional cost.

[dt_divider style=”thin” /]

By this point, it was clear that ApplicantStack was the right choice for our company and we decided to start by paying for it month-to-month.

Eventually, we were so pleased with the results and ease of use that we switched to an annual plan.

 

[dt_divider style=”thin” /]

You might be asking yourself, “So Jennifer, how did you wind up working for ApplicantStack?”

My passion for helping companies find the best solutions to make their jobs easier and more efficient set me on a path that eventually brought me to ApplicantStack where my background in recruiting, human resources, and technology have allowed me to provide direct input into making ApplicantStack the award-winning product it is today.

We listen to our customers’ feedback and continue to evolve in the ever-changing human resources world.

The way I see it, every day we are improving the lives of thousands of recruiters and human resource professionals by helping them to be more efficient and to hire the best candidates.

 

 

Why choose ApplicantStack for your Applicant Tracking System?

Why choose ApplicantStack for your Applicant Tracking System?

Recruiting Software Applicant Stack Applicant Tracking System

Applicant Tracking System

2 min read

There are many ATS’s on the market today.  Where do you begin to find the one that is right Applicant Tracking System your company needs?

Since 2009, over 2,500 companies have chosen ApplicantStack (Applicant Tracking System) to automate and streamline their recruiting process. We created ApplicantStack, a simple, easy-to-use, gets-the-job-done software that has everything you need and nothing you don’t.

It’s not another thing to manage, but the tool that helps you manage your day.

We speak HR, it’s in our blood. We spent our careers in human resources, bogged down with paperwork and craving more time and
resources.  Now we’re on a mission to give organizations the tool we always wish we had.  We wanted something that is:

  • Easy to use
  • Configurable / Flexible
  • Affordable

ApplicantStack’s Applicant Tracking System Features:

  • Plans starting at $95 a month with no binding contract or long-term commitments – see our pricing page
  • Web-based system requiring no installation or programming on your part
  • Easily configured to mirror your current or desired recruiting process
    • Simple enough to start using the day you subscribe with our guided startup wizard
  • Interfaces with all major job sites such as Indeed, LinkedIn Jobs, Stack Overflow, CareerBuilder, Monster, Dice, Glassdoor, ZipRecruiter, and JuJu
  • Easily post jobs to your social media feeds such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn
  • We offer integrations for assessments, background screening, home care management, payroll services, video interviewing, and more
  • Seamlessly accept candidate applications via Indeed Apply or LinkedIn profile
  • Users and candidates can access ApplicantStack from any mobile device
  • Candidates can upload their resume and files using their Dropbox or Google Drive files
  • We also have great reviews that you can see here.
  • Many more features

See our Features page here for more information.

As a result, ApplicantStack offers many features to streamline your recruiting and hiring process.

 

 

Can a Small to Mid Size Company Like Yours Afford an Applicant Tracking System? Selling an ATS to Management

Can a Small to Mid Size Company Like Yours Afford an Applicant Tracking System? Selling an ATS to Management

Selling an ATS to Management

Does your desk or office look like the photo above?

Are the resumes you’ve received waiting for your attention or have you already reviewed and separated them with sticky notes by name, date received, or function?

Selling an ATS to Management

How to organize resumes your company receives is an on-going dilemma for us recruiters.

If you have them alphabetized by name, you have no idea how old they are or what kind of background they have.

If you organize them by date received, you have to sift through all of them to find the applicants with the right credentials.

Maybe you have the stacks labeled unqualified, potential or top prospectsor hold, call or sign off?

Probably the best solution is to list each and every applicant on an Excel spreadsheet before you file them away.

No matter how you try to organize them, manual resume files are just not efficient.

I remember it used to make me feel better if they were filed in a cabinet, so at least I didn’t have to visually look at the stacks every day and everyone, including my boss, had the impression that I was really organized!

That’s where an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) can work for you.

But is Selling an ATS to Management the right strategy for you?

Then one day, I read an article on SHRM’s website about online applicant tracking systems.

Could it be?

Has someone really come up with an efficient way to track all the resumes I receive?

I was the Recruiting Manager with a small company and I remember thinking the software must be expensive because it actually automates the hiring process from end to end – from how candidates view openings, submit resumes and complete online applications to scheduling interviews and securely storing resumes.

After contacting a couple of applicant tracking system vendors to inquire about price and implementation, I realized maybe I could put a business case together selling an ATS to management.

At this point, I had nothing to lose!

I outlined all of the benefits and return on investment (with a little help from our financial guy), compared it to our current manual process and presented it to our CEO and my Manager.

The rest is history!

I couldn’t believe the positive “it’s a no-brainer” response I received and immediately signed up!

Conclusion

If you’re having the same “our company can’t afford it” thoughts that I did, you might be very surprised to learn that your company can’t afford not to have one. The HR Managers of small to mid-size companies I talk to know how valuable an applicant tracking tool is but continue to have reservations about how they can persuade the decision makers in their company. So, I’ve put together 5 easy steps on how to sell the idea.

[dt_divider style=”thin” /]

Step 1:

[dt_divider style=”thin” /]

Map out each step of your current recruiting process and put an approximate time each takes and an approximate cost. Include things like, approving new jobs, posting new jobs, receiving and reviewing applicants, pre-screening and interviewing applicants and making offers.

[dt_divider style=”thin” /]

Step 2:

[dt_divider style=”thin” /]

Make a list of the negatives and positives of your current recruiting process. The negatives will certainly outweigh the positives.

[dt_divider style=”thin” /]

Step 3:

[dt_divider style=”thin” /]

Estimate the loss of revenue to the company for the average time your jobs go unfilled. (CEO really gets this one!)

[dt_divider style=”thin” /]

Step 4:

[dt_divider style=”thin” /]

Compare items 1, 2 and 3 with the time and approximate cost when these same steps in your recruiting process are automated.

[dt_divider style=”thin” /]

Step 5:

[dt_divider style=”thin” /]

Finally, summarize your business case with an exhaustive list of the benefits. I’ve included many benefits below:

Top 15 Benefits of an Applicant Tracking system:

  1. Allows candidates to quickly and easily apply to your organization
  2. Can facilitate high-volume recruiting while remaining cost-effective
  3. A highly configurable, scalable solution that can be configured to your unique hiring management process and capable of  accommodating your evolving needs as your organization grows or the processes change
  4. Improved reporting capabilities: many organizations are challenged with determining their total spends on vendors, sourcing, and comparing metrics. Coordinating through a single source will allow for accurate centralized reporting
  5. Allows recruiters to quickly search the database for all information, and by specific parameters
  6. Includes a Reporting Center that enables users to run ad-hoc reports and save criteria for future use, as well as run industry standard reports, including cost-per-hire, time-to-fill, source effectiveness, and more
  7. Build Brand Identity and Awareness. A strong brand can generate trust that will drive applicant traffic and enhance your talent pool
  8. Allows recruiters to easily post career information to the company website
  9. EEO/AAP Compliant – Capable of capturing, tracking, and reporting voluntary EEO data, while remaining in compliance with the guidelines set forth by the EEO/OFCCP
  10. Capable of pre-screening candidates with elimination questions in order to indicate those who meet basic qualifications for the position
  11. Improved communications with applicants and hiring managers
  12. Establishes an environment that effectively informs, will unify all the users and streamline the organization’s operations
  13. Includes a Communication Center to facilitate communication among recruiters, hiring managers, and candidates. Also allows users to schedule appointments, leave notes and interview feedback, to send mass messages, and auto-respond to applicants upon receipt of resume
  14. Readily available support team, dedicated to managing company and user issues while employing industry best practices
  15. Technical support available at no charge to your company

Finally, if all else fails, give your management a list of your competitors who are using an applicant tracking system—that should get their attention!

Try ApplicantStack for free for 15 days! Click here!

Top 5 Non-Traditional Interview Questions all Hiring Managers Should Ask

Top 5 Non-Traditional Interview Questions all Hiring Managers Should Ask

Ever hired someone only to realize six months later that not only were they mediocre (at best) in their job performance, but the complete opposite of what you expected them to be as workers and team players? Some applicants have almost “mastered” the interview process giving perfect, well-rehearsed answers to job-related questions to land the position, but no indication as to what they’ll really be like after accepting that offer of employment.

Even though some applicants are able to provide these almost perfect, well-rehearsed answers, hiring managers should be working to uncover some possible lacking qualities that are essential to most positions like:

  • interpersonal skills
  • management style
  • honesty and integrity, and
  • the ability to work with others

So how can you learn more about your candidates during interviews?

When interviewing it’s important to have a mixture of traditional and non-traditional questions to give you a better snap-shot of skills, personality, and attitude. Here are the top 5 questions non-traditional questions you should ask during the interview process:

[dt_divider style=”thin” /]

Question 1: What are the first three things you do when you get to work?

[dt_divider style=”thin” /]

A candidate’s answer here will paint a better picture as to how organized they are and their work ethic.  While everyone handles their workday differently, you’re looking for an indication that they can complete tasks at hand timely and efficiently. Inadvertently, this is also a good opportunity to learn more about their knowledge and skills related to the job.

[dt_divider style=”thin” /]

Question 2: If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

[dt_divider style=”thin” /]

While not job-related, a question like this gives you the opportunity to learn things about a candidate’s personality that might not otherwise be revealed during the interview. A good candidate will take every question you ask seriously and answer to the best of their ability. You want someone that is easy to work with, so candidates who shrug the question off can signal a red flag.

[dt_divider style=”thin” /]

Question 3: How do you define success?

[dt_divider style=”thin” /]

Hiring someone is a company investment, so this question will give you a better idea of who you should invest in. Goals and aspirations are important qualities to have in a candidate. Someone who visually lacks interest in their position doesn’t necessarily have goals lined out ahead of them, which could mean they are just looking for a job, not a career (resulting in churn). Look for someone who has an idea of where they want to go with their job. However, keep in mind that there are individuals that love the industry they work in, so while they might not have a clear understanding of where they will be in five years, if they show passion in their answer and interest in learning new aspects of the business, that is a good thing and should be noted as positive.

[dt_divider style=”thin” /]

Question 4: How would you describe your personality?

[dt_divider style=”thin” /]

Fan of the “strengths and weaknesses” question? This is another less obvious way to get a candidate to talk about their abilities while learning more about their personalities. Perhaps they say they are really outgoing, but get discouraged easily. This answer could tell you that they are confident, but need more recognition. The more you know about their personality, the better you’ll be able to determine their fit within the team.

[dt_divider style=”thin” /]

Question 5: What kinds of people bother you?

[dt_divider style=”thin” /]

Working well with others and part of a team is important in every organization. This question will give insight into just how well the applicant will fit into the team. While it’s perfectly OK to be honest and divulge some pet peeves, applicants who mention multiple traits that bother them, and those who say nothing (or nobody) bothers them – are both red flags and should be noted.

Don’t be afraid to get creative with your questions. The goal isn’t to stump your applicants, but to get a better sense of who they are and the true fit they’d be for the position, and the company.

 

 

[dt_divider style=”thick” /]

About ApplicantStack:

ApplicantStack is a leader in applicant tracking and employee onboarding systems. Using our 30+ years combined experience in human resources, we’ve developed an efficient hiring software system that enables recruiters and managers to attract top talent with ease, and manage all their applicant information in one place.

 

Free 15 Day Trial!

ApplicantStack is a complete applicant tracking & onboarding system for HR professionals. Post jobs online, recruit via social media, communicate with applicants quicker and much more!

Start a Free Trial!