Feedback in the Recruitment Process — 7 Tips on how to Give it

Aga Babicz
6 min readNov 22, 2022

In order to thoroughly examine the competencies, we often require a considerable investment of both time and attention from the candidate. Moreover, all this is always accompanied by stress. The evaluation process can sometimes be tiring and uncomfortable for him. Recruitment is a kind of competition and for many candidates, it involves the risk that, despite their efforts, they will not get the job they are applying for. Therefore, even if the application is rejected, it is worth giving them something in return.

Unfortunately, employers still tend to forget one of the most important elements of creating a positive candidate experience. The recruitment process often ends with the decision to hire one of the candidates, and those who did not manage to pass this stage are often ignored. Recruiters seem to be satisfied with a short e-mail informing the recruitment participant about the rejection of his candidacy. What’s more, it is often only connected with the formula about leaving the application in the database.

Such behavior does not positively impact the company’s image on the labor market. If we want to ensure a professional recruitment process, we must give something from ourselves. And the best thing we can offer is feedback that will justify the employer’s decision, clarify the candidates’ doubts and allow them to develop their competencies.

Feedback should be personalized, substantive, tactful and based on facts. Sounds simple, but not always recruiters are prepared for this type of conversation. It is worth paying attention to this and taking care of appropriate training because incompetent feedback to candidates can do more harm than good to the company.

In this article, we present some tips on how to properly conduct feedback in the recruitment process.

1. Systematically provide feedback to all candidates.

Remember that every candidate should receive feedback from us, regardless of their stage in the recruitment process. When someone sends us their documents, they want to know what the status of their application is and when they can expect further information. Therefore, from the moment the offer is published, stay in constant contact with the candidates and guide them through the further stages of the process.

After each selection stage, the recruiter should contact the applicant and provide specific information (positive or negative):

  • positive, along with an invitation to participate in the next stage of recruitment or an offer of employment,
  • negative, together with an explanation of the reasons for such a decision.

It is also important to ensure that the previously promised deadlines are met. If you have declared that you will return with information in 3 days, contact the candidate even if you do not have new information for him yet. Be honest. It is better to inform the person waiting for news that the decision-making process in the company is taking longer than expected than to leave them without knowing anything.

2. Adapt the form of feedback to the candidate’s involvement in the recruitment process

Candidates’ expectations regarding the recruitment process are very high and often appear after submitting an application in response to a job offer. At this stage, it is worth sending all applicants at least a short message about receiving the documents and planned further steps. If you immediately see that the candidate does not meet the requirements, the feedback does not have to be detailed. A few sentences about the reasons for rejecting someone’s candidacy are enough. At the same time, remember about the positive tone of the message, which, despite the lack of success in this process, will encourage the candidate to continue to be interested in the company.

On the other hand, you should provide more extensive feedback to the people you contacted directly during the selection process. The candidate devoted time to you and deserves specific, constructive feedback. Be concrete about the reasons for the rejection and explain what the decision was based on. Describe his strengths and what he still needs to work on. Thanks to this, the candidate will know what he can improve in order to have a better chance of getting his dream position in the future.

3. Choose the right moment for feedback

Don’t surprise the candidate or give the information very fast on the go. Always prepare for the meeting. Before a longer conversation, first set a convenient time by e-mail. If you give feedback over the phone, specify its duration at the beginning, ask the candidate if he or she can talk freely and if no one will disturb him or listen to your discussion. If you called at the wrong time, agree on a convenient time for another call.

4. Rely on facts, avoid opinions

Feedback should be based on facts. So, before starting the recruitment process, you should establish precise, objective criteria for evaluating the competencies of all candidates. On their basis, it will be easier for you to compare candidates and choose the best applications. The tool will also be useful during feedback for rejected candidates because you will be able to refer to specific facts and objectively justify the evaluation of the qualifications of each of the assessed persons.

When giving feedback, refer to specific events and focus on the here and now. Instead of referring to general behaviors, recall the situation and its consequences. What is more, avoid judgmental statements. Instead of criticizing, be factual about what you observed in the selection process. Try not to use words like “ever”, “never”, “every time”.

5. Watch out for cognitive mistakes

Each of us can fall into cognitive errors from time to time. That is why, in the first place, we create a list of objective criteria for evaluating candidates. It is worth knowing what the most common mistakes made by recruiters are to beware of certain behaviors and avoid mistakes. When making your assessment, pay attention to these three mistakes.

  • The first impression effect — the first impression that accompanies us right after meeting a new person likes to stay with us for longer and disturb further judgment. So remember to look at the candidate objectively, regardless of how he presented himself at the very beginning of the process.
  • Back-confidence effect — check whether your assessment is related to the expectations you have of the candidate. It may happen that you will try to confirm the previously formed opinion (e.g. during CV analysis), even though the candidate presents himself in a different light at the next stages of selection.
  • Similarity effect — if the candidate arouses your sympathy and you see in him similar features and values as yours, pay attention to whether this does not affect your assessment. We tend to favor people who are similar to us.

6. Build relationships with candidates

When giving feedback, be aware of the emotions and needs that may arise on the other side. Write messages sensitively, in such a way as not to offend the candidate. Personalize your message. Let the candidate feel that the information is addressed directly to him, and not sent automatically by the bot.

In the feedback, include both positive assessments and constructive information that will help the candidate spread his wings. Thanks to this, you will strengthen the motivation and take care of good relations and memories of the process carried out in your company. Furthermore, always end your message on a positive note and remind about other opportunities the company has to offer.

7. Ask for feedback from the candidate

Also, don’t forget to collect feedback from candidates. For this purpose, it is worth planning a cyclical candidate experience survey and thoroughly analyzing all elements of the recruitment process. If you do not want to engage in such a strategic approach, you can simply send emails to candidates asking about their experiences and suggestions that will help you manage recruitment in the future better. In this way, you will not only collect useful information but also strengthen the positive impression of candidates by showing how important their opinion is to you.

The summary

We are a recruitment agency that perfectly understands how important feedback is. This is a sign of very high respect for the person who is part of the recruitment process. Candidate experience is an area that we constantly analyze and try to provide in the best way to candidates. For example, you can read the recommendations from IT specialists on the processes carried out by Next Technology Professionals.

Are you looking for an IT recruitment company that is able to help you recruit the most suitable IT specialists?

Originally published at on November 22, 2022.



Aga Babicz

Marketing Specialist at Next Technology Professionals - IT Recruitment | IT Outsourcing