The value of real-time candidate feedback

EXCLUSIVE CONTENT – Erica Titchener, global head of technology and talent strategy consulting, Alexander Mann Solutions.

When it comes to hiring the right people for your organisation, a  smooth, engaging recruitment experience is more crucial today than it has ever been. Analysts have been talking about this for years and it’s been on the agenda for many talent acquisition (TA) functions. With all the investment going into the candidate experience, why do so many hiring teams wait until a placement has been made to find out how each applicant found the experience you’ve worked so hard to provide them? Asking for feedback through a lengthy survey weeks after a candidate’s engagement with you means that individuals have already left with a definitive perception of the company that may not be positive. The way most TA teams handle candidate feedback today, by the time surveys have been analysed and they are even aware of a problem, it’s highly possible that the applicant will have shared their views with friends or even on social media, so the damage is already done.

What we need is a mechanism whereby candidate sentiment is captured and analysed immediately following an event. This focus on real-time candidate feedback not only identifies areas of success and concern, ensuring the process can be appropriately adjusted for other applicants, but it also allows hiring teams to immediately convey to applicants that they do matter to the company.

This method of bolstering success as well as preventing fire rather than fighting it is beginning to be embraced. Although it’s still in its infancy, the results so far have proven to be very disruptive, but the opportunities it has uncovered have been positively embraced. For example, we’ve been working with a large financial services firm to develop this concept within their business and have been able to identify barriers facing applicants that would previously have gone undetected. There were examples where the candidate was being put off by the actual interview itself – with feedback ranging from meetings running late or interviewers coming across as too heavy-handed.

Not only was this information useful in terms of up-skilling the interviewers to ensure an improved experience is delivered to the rest of the applicants, but it also gave those who had left with a negative perception the clear message that their opinions matter to the business.

For those still unsure if real-time candidate feedback is right for their organisation, consider the world of the consumer. Candidates, managers and recruiters alike expect an experience with an employer that is in line with one they world receive as a consumer – and real-time feedback exists for the latter already and should not be a stretch for Talent Acquisition to adopt. Which is why it’s now common for businesses to drive towards the ‘consumerisation’ of their talent management processes.