Mastering the art of feedback: Transformative techniques for exceptional hiring experiences

ByAnastasia Bahu

Mastering the art of feedback: Transformative techniques for exceptional hiring experiences

In the fast-paced realm of talent acquisition, the way that feedback is delivered can make all the difference between a mediocre hiring process and one that leaves a lasting impact. As businesses strive to attract top talent and cultivate positive employer brands, mastering the art of feedback is becoming paramount. Therefore, in today’s article, we invite readers to explore the transformative techniques and life hacks that can revolutionize the feedback process.

The way feedback is delivered can have a profound impact on a candidate’s perception of an organization that could not only influence their decision to join but also their willingness to advocate for the brand.

A notable study by the Harvard Business Review found that constructive feedback significantly impacts upon employee engagement and performance. According to this survey of over 1,000 employees, 72% believed that their performance would improve if managers provided corrective feedback, while 92% agreed that negative feedback, if delivered appropriately, is effective at improving performance.

Mastering the art of feedback

Source: Global Talent Trends Report

So, in order to excel in this realm, recruiters and businesses must master the art of providing valuable and constructive feedback. Here’s a breakdown of some useful strategies to ensure your feedback leaves a lasting impression:

Craft constructive critique. Pay attention to details and be precise. Rather than offering generic statements such as “You weren’t the right fit”, delve into the nuances that led to this conclusion. For instance, if a candidate’s presentation lacked enthusiasm, provide specific examples of how they could inject more energy or refine their delivery.

“When delivering final feedback, employing effective strategies is essential to ensure the feedback is not only constructive but also well-received. Start with positive aspects, be specific and precise, focus on behaviors and skills, and provide specific recommendations on how the candidate can improve in the areas where they fell short.”

Lilia Berghi, Senior Recruiter for International Projects at DevelopmentAid Recruitment Solutions (DRS)

Tailor your insights to the specific requirements of the role and the individual candidate: Highlight how their skills, experiences, and personality traits align with – or diverge from – the demands of the position. For instance, if a candidate excels in technical skills but lacks the soft skills that are crucial for teamwork, focus your feedback on the development of those interpersonal competencies. This personalized approach will demonstrate your investment in the candidate’s success and help them to acknowledge the relevance of your feedback to their career journey.

“I’ve found the Sandwich Method to be a practical approach. Starting with positive feedback sets a supportive tone, followed by specific constructive feedback, and ending with a positive note to soften the impact of the negative feedback and to end the conversation with a good feeling.”

Mariam Gordeladze, Senior Recruiter for International Projects at DevelopmentAid Recruitment Solutions (DRS)

Encourage self-reflection and action planning: Feedback shouldn’t be a one-way street. Encourage candidates to reflect on your insights and develop action plans for improvement. Provide resources, guidance, and support to help them to navigate their developmental journey. Whether it’s recommending relevant courses, offering mentorship opportunities, or suggesting specific projects where they can hone their skills, empower candidates to take ownership of their growth.

Diversify communication channels: Not all feedback has to come in the form of a formal email or phone call. Embrace diverse modalities to cater to different preferences and communication styles. Consider incorporating video messages, personalized feedback portals, or even interactive feedback sessions. By offering options, you ensure that feedback is accessible, engaging, and tailored to the individual needs of candidates.

Strike the right tone: Tone matters more than words alone. Aim for a tone that is supportive, empathetic, and respectful. Even when addressing areas for improvement, maintain a positive and encouraging demeanor. Remember, feedback should inspire growth, not deflate spirits. By striking the right tone, you will create a nurturing environment where candidates feel valued and appreciated.

Seize opportune moments: Timing is everything when it comes to feedback. Don’t wait until the end of the hiring process to provide insights. Instead, seize opportune moments to offer real-time feedback throughout the journey. Whether it’s after an interview, assessment, or presentation, timely feedback will keep candidates engaged, informed, and invested in the process.

Provide continuous feedback: Embrace a culture of continuous feedback by offering insights at every stage of the candidate journey, not simply at the end of the process. Whether it’s after an initial screening call, a technical assessment, or a final interview, provide timely and relevant feedback to keep candidates informed and engaged. This ongoing dialogue will not only strengthen the candidate experience but will also foster transparency and trust between the candidate and your organization.

Encourage dialogue: Encourage candidates to seek clarification, ask questions, and provide their own perspective. By fostering open communication, not only will you gain valuable insights into the candidate’s thought processes but also cultivate a culture of trust and collaboration.

Empower recruiters with best practices: Recruiters are the frontline ambassadors of your employer brand, and equipping them with the appropriate tools and techniques can make all the difference. Provide comprehensive training on effective feedback strategies which should include active listening, empathy building, and constructive communication. By empowering recruiters with best practices, you will ensure consistency, efficiency, and excellence in every interaction.

Inspire a culture of feedback across the business: Feedback isn’t just a recruitment tool; it’s one of the cornerstones of a healthy organizational culture. Encourage a culture of feedback across all aspects of your business, from hiring to performance management. Foster open communication, transparency, and a growth mindset where feedback is embraced as a catalyst for continuous improvement. By weaving feedback into the fabric of your company culture, you will cultivate an environment where employees feel valued, supported, and empowered to reach their full potential.

Final word

In essence, providing valuable and constructive feedback during the hiring process requires a blend of clarity, personalization, positivity, empowerment, and continuity. By mastering these strategies, businesses can elevate their hiring process, attract top talent, and cultivate a reputation as an employer of choice. So, the next time you embark on the journey of talent acquisition, remember: feedback isn’t just a courtesy – it’s the cornerstone of your organization’s strategic success.

DevelopmentAid Recruitment Solutions provides global talent acquisition support for the international development sector, assisting non-profit organizations, consultancy firms, and donors. Since its inception, DRS has helped its clients to win over 750 assignments and has successfully placed over 1,500 candidates in positions within projects and international development organizations. Stay tuned for the next DRS article by subscribing to its LinkedIn page.