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The Myth of "Always Candid" Candidate Feedback...

Heard on the street this week: "I always give my candidate great feedback on why they didn't get the job"...

I know, I know... You're the brave recruiter/HR Pro and you always give candid feedback to candidates.

Except you don't.  You tell the truth when it's convenient for you, but let's face it - you know when to Truth shut your yapper and not say too much.  It's a fact of life that sometimes you can't share everything with a candidate.

And so the dance continues...

Unless the candidate in question has a skills gap, most organizations don’t share the real reason for rejection. As a candidate, you had a personality quirk and seemed a little angry at the world during the interview process. Did the company provide you with candid feedback? Of course, they didn’t. We’re already trained on what not to say that might present liability in the feedback process.  Additionally, what's the upside to sharing the entire truth?  Is the candidate going to stop being angry?  

Will they be better at hiding how they really feel in the next interview?  Does that do the world any good?  I'd rather my friends at other companies get the same window to the candidate's soul that I got.  Why would I want to make them less transparent over time?

Stop me when you’ve heard this risk reducer: “We’ve elected to make an offer to a candidate who was a better fit for the role in question.” The statement is true when you don’t think someone can get along with the hiring manager, and it’s true when they’ve blasted people they've worked for and with in the past.

It's a true statement, but it's not the whole truth.  

It's OK to use that statement, at times.  Play on. 


Corey Feldman

And sometimes it is the whole truth. Person A might well be a fit, have the requisite skills and be generally affable, but person B just knocked your socks off.

Julie Johnson

It's true. People crave feedback, but can they handle it and will they use it against us. People are not to be trusted. LOL!

Chris Walker

The 'conversation', that is the hiring/interview process, is over when the 'We picked someone else' communication is delivered. There is usually nothing to be gained on either side by reopening it. The best thing a candidate can do at that point is send a thank you note expressing appreciation for being considered for the position and continued interest in the company, remembering that only the top candidates ever even get rejections. We have had clients who were hired within weeks of being rejected when the person hired didn't work out. I'm pretty sure their thank yous helped.

Sara Kmiecik

Very interesting - I have been on several interviews and can't believe it when I hear someone say something like that.

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