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How To Provide Effective Candidate Feedback

Hiring can be a very stressful and busy process. Due to the pressure and determination to find the perfect candidate we can sometimes forget about the others along the way. Regardless of whether a candidate was successful or not, they should always be updated about the status of their application. Failure to respond is incredibly rude and it only creates a bad reputation for your company.

Imagine yourself in their position, would you like to know whether you were successful or not? Yes.

A Simple Thank You

A thank you can go a really long way, even just during the application process. Thanking the candidate for their time and for completing the application is a nice gesture. If you know your hiring process is going to take longer than a couple of weeks, warn the candidates about this during this initial stage. Failure to inform your candidates about the potential delay may cause them to lose interest and even try contacting you directly to get a response (which may get annoying!)

After the interview, you may feel as though you don’t have time to email your candidates but you can send a short yet meaningful email to them in seconds. Just like you, they have taken time out of their day to meet up with you and letting them know that you are grateful for it will show the candidate that your company appreciates their time and effort.  Thanking them regardless of whether they got the job or not, will enable them to think positively about your company.

By not responding or coming across rude and unthoughtful, you are putting them off wanting to work with you – and their friends, family, coworkers – word gets around!

Offer Guidance

When responding to candidates after interviews, make it clear that feedback is available. This is the best way to offer feedback, rather than bombarding them with a list of reasons why they didn’t get the job. You need to be careful due to legal reasons and that’s why it’s best to only provide it to those who want it.

If the candidate directly requests it, schedule a call with them and give them a quick review. Make sure you refer back to your notes so that you give them personal and effective feedback rather than generic points. It’s important to mention both their strengths and weaknesses so that it is a fair critique. When discussing any weaknesses, remember to be careful about how you deliver them and don’t mention anything about them that they cannot change or work on (this is where discrimination comes into the equation!) We would avoid providing feedback over email, things can be misinterpreted this way and it’s a lot easier to deliver feedback over the phone.

Don’t Give False Hope

Some of you may use generic templates to update your candidates on the status of their application. One common line we are all familiar with: “We will keep you in mind for the future” Don’t say this unless you are actually planning on keeping their details. Some of you may use hiring technology that enables you to store candidates for future positions, therefore, you will be telling them the truth. Some of you may just throw their CV in the bin or remove it from your system, this means, that you are not keeping them in mind for future, so don’t pretend you are.

If you say you are going to call them within a week to tell them your decision, make sure you do. Try not to keep them waiting longer than you said and if you do require more time to make the decision, let them know. Waiting to hear back from a job can cause so much excitement and anxiety, it’s important to respect the candidate and to keep them well informed.


Whether this is your first time hiring or you are just looking for a bit of guidance, there are plenty of articles on our blog to help you with your hiring process. Here are some tips on How To Hire Superstar Candidates. Good luck! 



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