CandE Research Takeaway #7: Feedback Loops Are Critical
This is part seven of Talent Board’s 10-part “CandE Research Takeaways” series. The previous posts are available on our Articles page.
Talent Board’s 2020 research reconfirms something surfaced by our annual surveys year after year: feedback loops create a more positive candidate experience and earn employers more positive reviews. Regardless of these benefits, many companies have yet to leverage feedback loops to their full potential.
It makes no difference whether you’re hiring in North America, Latin America, EMEA, or APAC. Candidates want to give and receive feedback at every stage of their journey. Feedback helps them understand exactly why they’re moving or not moving forward in your recruiting process, which can make a huge difference in how they perceive and rate the experience you provide.
Incorporating feedback loops into your recruiting process also makes it more engaging and personal for candidates. The feedback you give and take (ideally, feedback should flow in both directions) might even be negative … but the fact that you cared enough to give and ask for feedback immediately distinguishes you from many other employers and enhances positive perceptions of your company.
Following are five feedback-related conclusions from our 2020 research:
- Asking candidates for feedback at any stage of their experience gives your brand a major lift—but it’s rocket fuel at the screening and interviewing stage. During the application stage, when North American candidates are asked for feedback there’s a 33% increase in “great candidate experience” ratings and in candidates’ willingness to increase their relationship with the company. During the screening and interviewing stage, there’s a 93% increase in “great candidate experience” ratings and willingness to increase the relationship when candidates are asked for feedback. At the hiring/onboarding stage, candidates asked for feedback are 129% more willing to increase their relationship, an excellent retention booster right out of the blocks. Asking for feedback throughout the attract-recruit-hire process in Latin America, EMEA, and APC, overwhelmingly increased the average candidate’s positive impression of employers.
- Despite the benefits of asking candidates for feedback, a surprisingly small—and falling—percentage of employers are doing so, even among candidates they hire. In APAC, only 43% of employers ask for feedback after a candidate is hired (down 19% from 2019). In EMEA, this figure is 38% of employers ask for feedback after a candidate is hired (down 19% from 2019); in North America, it’s 34% (down 15% from 2019); in LATAM, it’s 30% (down 66% from 2019). These figures reveal an obvious opportunity for improvement for employers everywhere, particularly when it comes to canvassing the candidates they actually hire.
- Giving feedback to candidates is just as beneficial to employers as asking for it. North American candidates are 101% more likely to increase their relationship with employers when given feedback about their job-fit and candidacy status following interviews. In addition, the number of candidates reporting a positive experience in Latin America increased by 31% when candidates were given specific feedback on their job fit; this figure was 27% in EMEA, 15% in North America, and 4% in APAC. Also, in Latin America, EMEA, and APC, giving feedback throughout the attract-recruit-hire process overwhelmingly increased the average candidate’s positive impression of employers.
- Astonishingly, 69% of North American candidates received no feedback after being rejected during screening and interviewing. It should go without saying that this is a serious misstep, especially given how prone candidates are to telling others about their job-hunting experiences across review sites and social media these days. Any employment brand interested in avoiding and minimizing self-inflicted damage should most definitely offer feedback to rejected candidates who’ve made it to screening and interviewing. Notably, the top 10 CandE Award-winning companies all provided feedback to candidate finalists during this stage in 2020.
- A universal gap persists between the amount of feedback hiring managers provide to internal versus external candidates. Three-quarters of the 2020 participating North American employers say their hiring managers give feedback to internal candidates, but less than 20% give feedback to external or referral candidates. In APAC and Latin America, roughly two-thirds of hiring managers give feedback to candidates, and it’s almost always internal candidates who get the bulk of it. In EMEA, 78% employers responded that their hiring managers give feedback to internal candidates, but only 11% give feedback to external or referral candidates.
Every year, people tell us they’ll take their alliances, product purchases, and business relationships to other companies as a consequence of negative candidate experiences. Given the strong connection between positive experiences and feedback, wise employers will commit to giving and taking more feedback in 2021 and beyond.
In my next post, I’ll focus on offer time and onboarding engagement. As always, if you’re interested in participating in our 2021 CandE benchmark research program, click here.
Be safe and well.
Kevin Grossman, Talent Board President