In HR we absolutely LOVE feedback. We talk about it, write about it and tell everyone that they need to do it.
Until it comes to unsuccessful job candidates. And then we will do absolutely anything to avoid it.
Take any group of recruiters or HR people and ask them about giving feedback to unsuccessful candidates and you’ll hear a range of opinions. But you’ll rarely hear anyone espouse that we should be giving feedback to everyone.
And normally the excuse is we don’t have time.
But the truth is that we don’t see the value. We’re only interested in the hire, not the potential hire. We don’t want to improve the talent pool, we want to take from it. We’re not interested in helping people, we’re only interested in them helping us.
If we do give feedback it tends to be generic, unhelpful and unactionable and (I’d suggest) in most cases dodges the real reasons that a candidate didn’t make it through. Don’t believe me? Ask any recruitment consultant what their major gripes with HR professionals are and not providing decent feedback will come up in the top three. Guaranteed.
We can do more.
Giving good feedback, however you manage it, could make a real difference to a candidate going forward. It could be the difference between them getting a job or not. It doesn’t take that long and it feels like it should be a common courtesy and it won’t do your employer brand any harm at all.
So what are we all so scared of?