How to Collect Candidate Feedback


Lewis Moore


min read


24 Jun 2024

Collecting candidate feedback is crucial for understanding and improving the candidate experience at various stages of the recruitment process. You've probably noticed that a significant number of candidates frequently share their negative experiences online or discuss them with others in their network. This makes it essential to capture feedback effectively to refine your hiring strategies and ensure a positive candidate journey from start to finish. Let's explore how you can set up an efficient process for collecting candidate feedback and utilise that information to enhance your interview process.

Setting up the Process for Collecting Feedback

Choosing the Right Tools

When setting up your process for collecting candidate feedback, start by choosing the right tools. There are numerous options available, but the tool you select should integrate seamlessly with your existing Applicant Tracking System (ATS). Some popular choices include SurveyMonkey, Google Forms, and Typeform. These tools offer customisation features that allow you to tailor feedback forms to your needs.

Pro Tip: Look for tools that offer automated feedback requests immediately after interviews. Here at Evidenced, for example, we send out surveys right after the interview to remove outcome bias and increase participation rates.

Your feedback tools should provide clear, actionable insights. It's beneficial to choose platforms that automatically analyse the data and present it in an easily digestible format. This means you get instant access to the feedback without the need to manually sift through responses. Consider tools that also offer anonymised feedback options to encourage more open and honest responses from candidates.

Designing Your Feedback Forms

Designing your feedback forms is equally important. Feedback forms should be short, concise, and focused on specific aspects of the candidate's experience. Avoid long-winded forms that can discourage candidates from completing them. A good strategy is to use a mix of open-ended questions and rating scale questions.

Here are some essential elements to include:

  • Rating questions: Rate aspects of the interview process, such as interviewer professionalism, clarity of job description, and overall experience.

  • Open-ended questions: Allow candidates to elaborate on what they liked or didn’t like about the process.

  • Multiple-choice questions: Let candidates choose from a predefined set of answers for questions about the ease of the application process.

Pro Tip: Always include a section for additional comments. Some candidates may want to share something specific that isn’t covered in your structured questions.

Make sure the feedback form is mobile-friendly. Many candidates will likely fill out the form on their mobile devices, and a poor mobile experience can impact the quality and quantity of responses you receive. Use clear, straightforward language to avoid confusion and make it easy for candidates to provide meaningful feedback.

Timing Your Feedback Collection

Timing your feedback collection is another critical factor. Collecting feedback right after each stage of the interview process ensures that candidates’ experiences are fresh in their minds. This results in more accurate and detailed feedback.

Here's a suggested timeline you can tweak depending on your process and the area you want feedback on:

  1. Post application submission: Send a brief survey asking about the ease and clarity of the application process.

  2. After each interview stage: Immediately follow up with a survey focused on the specific stage they just completed.

  3. After final decision: Send a comprehensive feedback form once the hiring decision (whether positive or negative) has been communicated.

Pro Tip: Use reminder emails to follow up with candidates who haven’t completed the feedback form within a set timeframe, such as 48 hours.

Timing is key to avoid "feedback fatigue" — sending out too many surveys too frequently can annoy candidates, reducing the likelihood of receiving quality responses. Instead, focus on sending out timely, relevant surveys that ask for specific feedback related to each stage of the hiring process. This approach helps in gathering precise, actionable insights that can be used to improve the overall candidate experience.

These initial steps in setting up the process for collecting candidate feedback create a solid foundation for ongoing improvement in your recruitment process.

Analysing and Acting on Feedback to Improve Candidate Experience

Identifying Key Areas for Improvement

Collecting candidate feedback is only half the battle. You must scrutinise this data to pinpoint areas needing improvement. Identify patterns in negative feedback — these could be about specific interview stages, interviewer performance, or overall communication. Compile these patterns into a list of pain points. For example, if many candidates mention a lack of clarity on job roles, it's a clear sign your job descriptions need improvement.

Use feedback forms to segment responses by different stages or by different interviewers. If candidates often express dissatisfaction about the second interview stage, you know where the problem lies. You can also compare feedback across departments to spot inconsistencies. This allows you to focus on specific elements rather than trying to overhaul your entire process, which can be both resource-intensive and disruptive.

Implementing Changes to Enhance the Interview Process

Once you've identified key issues, the next step is to tackle them head-on. Communicate your findings with relevant stakeholders, such as HR teams and interviewers. Create workshops or training sessions to address these issues. For example, if there's a gap in interviewers' skills, tailored training sessions can help improve their performance. Using data captured by our platform can be instrumental in these workshops by providing concrete data and feedback points.

Make incremental changes rather than sweeping reforms. For instance, if the feedback indicates poor communication, introduce clear communication guidelines and templates for interviewers to follow. Review these changes periodically to ensure they address the problems effectively. Gather new feedback after implementing changes to see if there's an improvement, and keep iterating on the process.

Monitoring Improvements Over Time

To ensure your changes have the desired impact, continuous monitoring is essential. Regularly collect feedback post-interview to track any improvements. Track metrics like candidate satisfaction rates and offer acceptance rates. If there's no visible improvement, reassess your strategies and continue to iterate.

Use data-driven reports to keep all stakeholders informed about the progress. Share these reports in monthly or quarterly reviews to show how changes have impacted the interview process. Highlight successes but also be transparent about ongoing challenges. This helps maintain accountability and ensures that everyone stays committed to continuous improvement.

Analysing and acting on candidate feedback is crucial for refining your interview process. By identifying key issues, implementing targeted changes, and monitoring those changes over time, you ensure a consistent and positive candidate experience. Remember, the goal is to create an interview process that attracts and retains top talent, while also reflecting well on your brand.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why is collecting candidate feedback important for recruitment?

Collecting candidate feedback is crucial for understanding and improving the candidate experience, refining hiring strategies, and ensuring a positive candidate journey throughout the recruitment process.

What are some effective tools for gathering candidate feedback?

Effective tools for gathering candidate feedback include SurveyMonkey, Google Forms, Typeform, and specialised platforms like Evidenced that integrate with Applicant Tracking Systems and offer automated feedback requests.

How often should feedback be collected during the recruitment process?

Feedback should be collected at key stages: after application submission, after each interview stage, and after the final decision. This ensures timely and relevant insights without causing feedback fatigue.