In this recent webcast we talked about the candidate as customer, and the role that feedback plays in that context. Here's another follow up question from the audience.
I love this question, but isn’t it a lot like asking if you should put off digging a well until you’re thirsty? In business, measured feedback is a means to a very specific end: the influence of results. You know, those things that make your business stronger, better, faster, more efficient, more competitive. Or the ones that drive profit, reduce expense, increase efficiency, and generate loyalty in customers and employees. Yeah, those things.
I like candidate feedback all the time, because I get to see my efforts from a third party perspective - which is illuminating at best and entertaining at worst. I also find it helpful to think about candidate feedback from two perspectives: reactive and proactive. Both are important, and each provides data to influence different aspects of your business goals and objectives.
Reactive feedback is about creating tactical data you need for hiring today. It helps you to analyze how candidates respond to information and interactions you plan for them, data they gather about your company that is outside of your control, and the value judgments they make as a result. It is useful, on the aggregate, to improve process, brand, and outreach.
For example, your established hiring process includes the advertisement of jobs, collecting resumes, screening and interviewing applicants, extending job offers, and onboarding new employees. Your intentions are clear in terms of what you need to accomplish. You also may have given significant thought to the experience you’d like to provide for your candidates. The collection of reactive feedback provides a gap analysis between your intentions and the actual experience of your target audience, as well as confirmation that you are (or aren’t) reaching the desired demographic pool (companies with EEOC plans know exactly what I mean by this last one).
And just because you’re not hiring doesn’t mean that candidates stop knocking at the door of your career or corporate website, or stop talking about you at the water cooler, or stop reading about you in the news. Things that make you say, “Hmmm….”
Proactive feedback is about creating strategic data you’ll need for hiring in the future. It helps you to analyze trends in candidate perception and behavior specifically to anticipate and prepare for short and long term talent market shifts, disruptions, and growth.
Examples of this kind of feedback relate to perceptions of your company’s job opportunities, pay and benefits, products and services, business reputation, and industry competition. Sound like marketing 101? You bet it is. There is method to the madness of our friends in marketing, I’m telling you.
We all recognize that if we’re not hiring today, unless we’re dead or dying we’ll eventually reenter that marketplace: opportunity will come knocking, innovation will occur, or a market shift will cause us to rethink the strength of the employee base. Any idea how quickly you’ll be able to respond? Collecting both proactive and reactive candidate feedback positions you to act quickly and with a confidence that comes from data rather than assumption.
What are your thoughts?
About Claudia Faust:In my day job I’m the CEO and Head of Products at Improved Experience, where we help companies leverage feedback to engage and retain both employees and customers. Learn more about us here.