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How constructive feedback can benefit everyone!

Client is king?

We hear time and time again from candidates we are working with that they haven’t received any feedback, not on their CV, not after an interview – they have just decided because their recruiter ignored them that they were unsuccessful. As recruiters time gets scarce, as competition in the market place grows seemingly every week, it seems the first ones to suffer are the candidates; far too many recruiters still treat the client as king, candidates as an afterthought, I guess as a means to an end.

How Frustrating

From a job applicant perspective it seems that a lot of people just accept that ‘this is the way things are’ they should move on and try again somewhere else, but how frustrating for someone who has spent time preparing for the interview, preparing their CV and researching the company, not to mention actually spending their time in the interview to receive not even an ounce of feedback.

It’s not always the recruiter at fault, sometimes clients just don’t give us any feedback regarding interviews or CVs as they tunnel vision towards their favourite option whilst casting everyone else aside. Feedback doesn’t just help the applicant, feedback helps the client which helps the recruiter too. Any information that can make us as recruiters more efficient at filling a vacancy is good and useful information that if used in the right way can help everyone involved in the process.

Constructive criticism compels postive action.

Having had some very difficult conversations with applicants after interviews and having to tell them the things they have done wrong and where they can improve, I can tell you after all these years it’s still not an easy thing to do. It’s not enjoyable at all and every time I do, I try to take a positive slant on it in order to improve the chances of the candidate securing their next role by improving, but let’s be honest what people want is honesty, even if the truth hurts… because it’s criticism that compels improvement. It’s simply not enough to take the easy way out and tell people the client prefered someone else.

Practice does make perfect

Recently I was working closely with a candidate – he had interviews with three clients we represent, after entering the first one in what the client described as over confident (I made it softer – I think the exact word they used was cocky); I had the difficult conversation with him to encourage him to tone it down slightly. Did he want to hear it, not really, did I want to have that conversation, not really. It definitely knocked his confidence initially. I spent time discussing with him how this perception of him might have come about and together we analysed his interview performance. Diving down on a few actions which were likely to have resulted in this perception of him he evaluated his interview technique and went on to do extremely well in his other interviews resulting in two good employment offers.

Would he have done this without my feedback – possibly, but did it help, he seemed to think so and thanked me for my approach / honesty at the end of the process – maybe not so much at the time!

Clients become candidates, candidates become clients

I’ve always treated people how I would like to be treated myself, that’s why over my career I’ve felt so confident reaching out to candidates I’ve worked with who have moved into hiring roles; I know I’ve done everything I can to help them at the time, kept in touch, given feedback and supported them. This is regardless of whether I went on to find them their next role or not.

Whether you are an interviewee, an interviewer or a recruiter there are benefits to everyone involved in the process to give feedback following an interview and give feedback on CVs.

Recruiters – Feedback will change the candidates interview technique, highlight where they struggled and help them during interviews with your other clients. No self respecting ‘market specialist’ should only have one position suitable for a candidate (especially in candidate short markets). Along with the likelihood that they will appreciate your approach and one day become a potential client.

Candidates – Self-critque, self-reflection and continual learning, this will ensure your interview techniques are up to scratch and that you are applying for roles that are suitable for your knowledge, experience and skills; which in the technology world where everything moves so fast is not always the case.

Clients – Recruiters are here to save you time, effort and let you concentrate on what you do best! Without feedback, without understanding your thought process it is impossible for recruiters to understand your requirements, needs and wants enough to be efficient, effective and motivated to secure you the best talent.

be transparent, be respectful, be beaumont

Andrew Oakley Beaumont IT
Hi, I'm Andrew
I manage Beaumont's Cloud & Infrastructure roles