The malpractice – Feedback is what recruiters take and never give
I have been a recruiter myself. Who knows it better than me? I don’t mind accepting this truth that we recruiters really shirk the work of giving feedbacks. There can be n number of reasons for this, but the fact is, we have injected this malpractice into the bloodstream of recruitment industry. There was a hot discussion going on the recruiter’s network of Linked-in one day. Some gentleman has put forth a question, “How many of you actually get a feedback from the recruitment consultant after an interview?” The discussion was already getting the 111th comment that was mine. I tried to defend the community of recruiters a lot by telling them that it’s not the case in general but, I was kicked out of the discussion by the flood of comments after that. All comments were from the victims of recruiter’s brutality of not giving them proper feedback after the interviews. I thought there is no point arguing with the rest of the world of sufferers and lets join the club of being guilty. Though I tried hard to convince them with the supporting facts of lack of time, lack of importance and even lack of connectivity (Know it sounds rubbish) but they all were not ready to be given a compromised compensation. So at last, Yes, I do agree, Recruiters lack the commitment towards their work when it comes to give the feedback to the candidate about their interview or any other aspect.
Let’s discuss the what, when, why and how of the situation.
We will definitely won’t discuss what feedback is. Here we shall discuss what should be the right feedback practice. When we work as recruitment consultant, we must act like one. Lining up numbers of interviews and trying hard to close the position is definitely a vital part of the job but, not whole of the job. We have to maintain a chain of communication with the client as well as the candidate. We are the connecting links between the client and candidate. We are the chain between the demand and the supply. We have to act like a well organised and equipped platform to carry this function in synchronisation with the market scenario. Feedback is the form of communication we carry. We are supposed to give the update of supply to demand and vice versa. We must make the “demand” aware about the status of “supply” and must make supply aware of the status of demand. The case is we update the demand about the status of supply but we ignore the vice versa. The client we are dealing with is creating a demand and we are the source to supply. We have the access to supply or I should say we have the access to the quality supply. We need the efficient supply to fulfil the demand. We get the business done when demand meets supply and the need is fulfilled. So, for a recruiter a candidate is as important as a client. But we ignore this factor. We prefer the “supply” part pre selection and “demand” part post selection.
Pre Selection Scenario
We concentrate more on the supply part. We activate all our senses, kick all our neurons and boil the grey matter to find the right candidate. We use every art and tact to convince the candidate to apply for a particular job. Honestly, we also sometimes convince a candidate to look for a change if he doesn’t want to, just because he fits the requirement. We manipulate the interview timings as per his suitability and try hard to convince him to reach on time. We make sure to add him on our linked in network and sometimes on twitter and Facebook too. We don’t leave any loop hole which can be a reason for him to get out of our grip. Out of our 40 calls per day , 35 calls are to the candidates whom we have convinced to appear for the interview.
Post Selection Scenario
Interviews are over. Selection is done. We get relaxed. Our neurons start getting back to the sleep mode. Senses become sleepy and grey matter eats laxative. We start concentrating on the candidate who has been selected. In fact, not only that we start calculating the commission of the total billing amount. We start to shift our focus from supply to demand. The amount to be offered, notice period, offer releasing date, joining formalities and bill to be raised. We focus on the payment cheque we are about to get after two months and the figure to be quoted on that becomes our favourite topic of discussion. The candidate who has been selected becomes the hen laying golden egg. But we concentrate on egg not on the hen. In this era of “money on my mind”, we forget to call the rest of the candidates who have been interviewed. Those candidates, who have cancelled few of their important meetings to attend the interview. The candidates whom you have called in the odd hours of day to convince them to go for the interview. The candidates, who were equally qualified, interested and eligible for the demand. They were also carrying the potential to become the hen laying golden eggs. We never call these candidates in the post selection era. We never bother to call them and let them know the feedback of their interview. What went wrong, why they were not selected, what other options they do have, what changes they should make in the cv? This is what the ideal profile of a consultant says. We simply ignore all this. We chose the easy busy road.
Why feedback is important? The recruitment consultant today has forgotten his role completely. The irony is that we understand the job description of all the roles in the industry. We understand the hierarchy of all the companies we work for. But we don’t understand what role we are playing in the industry. We need to understand our job description too. The consultant has to act like one. Our feedback is important for the parties, the client as well as the candidate.
If we are giving a wrong advice to the client we are wasting their money, their time and effort. If we are giving a wrong advice to the candidate, we are spoiling his career. We can not take our role so lightly when we know that somebody’s career and money is on stake. Our client trusts us and we trust our expertise. We must be knowledgeable enough to show him the right candidate and must let him know in detail about each and every candidate. We must advise him that who could be the best candidate for him keeping all the aspects of money, skill, knowledge in mind. We always know which candidate is good and which is bad before the client knows it. But we always ignore this instinct of ours. Because we are getting used to always use the “hit and trial method”. We have stopped trying the “bull’s eye technique” long back. We never give any negative feedback about any candidate who is appearing for an interview because we don’t want to take even 1 % of chance. Who knows who get selected? We should know all the pluses and negatives of our candidates and our client must get this feedback from us. This will help the client to make the right selection and that’s what we are supposed to do, to facilitate the right selection. If we take it as our responsibility to give the right feedback to our client, half of the work is done.
After interview, we as a recruiter call our client to take the feedback. We get the name of selected candidate. We bang the phone and make the first call to the candidate who has been selected and give him the good news. Than we discuss things like time and mode of resignation, notice period, CTC, appraisal, expectation etc. Than we coordinate with client regarding bill raise, percentage of commission, renewal of contract etc. We all have the tendency to forget the other candidates who have appeared for the interview but were not selected. We never call them and never give them any feedback. Why? Because we never ask our client why the other candidates were not selected. We never work with “what went wrong where” methodology. We ignore these candidates and they keep on waiting for our calls. When they call us either we reject the call or we say the feedback is yet awaited, no feedback, we’ll let you know and lot many crap stuff. Passing on the wrong information was never a part of a recruiter’s job description. We must take care of what we say to the client and to the candidate as our feedback matters.
Know your Job Description
Instead of doing doctorates in all the roles and their job descriptions, a recruiter first of all must work hard on his own job description. Our role does not include to just making calls to the client and the candidate and pass on their messages to one another. They can do it better than us on their own. We must talk to them and consult them. We must come up with advices which can help our client to make a better selection and we must keep him updated with all the information we have about the candidate. This includes what we feel about the candidate. We must share our instinct and judgement towards a candidate with our client. This is our feedback to the client about a candidate and then after we should ask for his feedback.
Make a practice
Whenever we get a call from our client regarding update of a selection, we must make it our practice, to ask about the reasons why the rest of the candidates were not selected. If we’ll ask the reason the client must give the reason. We never take the initiative to ask so we never get it. Then we must call or send email to all those candidates who were not selected and must update them about their result. I prefer a telephonic discussion followed by a regret email. Not only this must have we taken out time to discuss what the options they do have in hand. We must assure them that they will get a better opportunity and we’ll help them get one. This will also help us in building a relationship with that person. Then after we should call the person who has been selected and follow the further procedure.
Be a remedy, not a cause of disease
When somebody is rejected in an interview, it can affect his mental state in various ways. When we are not giving a feedback to a candidate and avoiding his calls, it creates a bad impression on his mind for us and for himself. He thinks we are not worth our role and he is not worth his. We must not let this happen. We must give him a proper feedback with a positive attitude. When calling a rejected candidate. We must be ready with some other options to offer him available in the market, and if there are no options available at our end, we must ensure him that we’ll be trying our best to do our best for his candidature. We must give him feedback in such a way that he feels positive and optimistic towards us and himself as a professional. We can act like remedy to cure his frustration caused by rejection. We should not be the cause of his frustration on himself.
If we implement this practice in our daily work life, we can bring many changes in the role of a recruitment consultant and of course the recruitment cycle and procedures will also become more efficient and the community of recruiters will gain some more respect.