I think all recruiters can agree that we’ve all felt a bit like little orphan Oliver begging for more gruel from time to time when dealing with submittal feedback. Follow-up from a hiring manager is just as vital (if not more vital) to finding the right person for a job than kicking off the search with a well-written description of duties and requirements in hand. Strong, informative feedback provides recruiting teams with the information they need to make each submittal stronger than the one that came before, and ultimately to find the one candidate that is perfect for the role.
To be frank, an email response to a submittal stating simply “We pass on this candidate” is of no value to anyone. Why have you decided to pass? Have you seen this candidate’s resume before? Where did this candidate miss the mark? Is there a specific skill set or detail that you would like to see that this resume does not reflect? Is experience in a particular industry a must? Do you play softball with this candidate and you don’t want to work with someone who can’t catch?
These are just a few examples of questions a hiring manager can answer quickly and succinctly which will be of great help to any future recruiting efforts. Adding something descriptive such as “We will pass on this candidate; they have never worked with ASP.Net” may seem simple, but it is so telling and takes only a very brief moment to include.
Also of key importance is the timely provision of feedback. Ideally, as a manager you want to hire someone who is interested in no other opportunity other than with your organization, and who would wait stalwartly through hell and high water for you to make your offer. I’m not saying this never happens but, realistically, candidates (especially top talent) are often applying to multiple jobs and are being actively marketed on a daily basis. They will not be able to wait around forever for a response, as interested as they may be in your opportunity.
While we’re on the subject of timely feedback, I will briefly mention the use of managed service providers (MSP) and, on a lesser scale, vendor management systems (VMS). These are not necessarily negative things and can be helpful to some managers in certain situations, but I think it is worth mentioning here that they do absolutely create barriers between hiring managers and recruiters. A barrier, by definition, disrupts contact and the lines of communication, and it goes without saying that communication is the key to successfully finding the right candidates.
Consistently providing detailed and timely feedback will also ensure that recruiters will consider your requirement a priority. Imagine for a moment that you are a recruiter working out your priorities for the day. You have requirements for the following four clients:
Client A: Client consistently provides excellent feedback within 24-48 hours, always detailing reasons why submitted candidates are not the best fit and what they would like to see in future submittals. Client also provides accurate details on interview process timeframe.
Client B: Client is known for providing one-word “pass” responses to submittals of candidates they are not interested in.
Client C: Client typically takes over a week to respond to submittals. When they do respond, it is the same type of feedback that Client B provides.
Client D: Client gives solid feedback but is known for taking a long time (multiple weeks, in some cases) to provide that feedback. Candidates submitted to Client D very often become unavailable by the time the client requests an interview or provides feedback on an interview that has taken place.
Which requirement are you most likely to prioritize? More importantly, which requirement is most likely to be filled?
At the risk of sounding cliché, as a hiring manager it really behooves you to help us help you. I know your time is certainly valuable. How much more of your valuable time is going to be wasted milling out the unqualified candidates you keep receiving due to lack of helpful and detailed feedback? Please, give us some more!
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