Using Constructive Feedback

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In the fast-paced world of talent acquisition, providing clear and insightful feedback can make all the difference in finding the right fit for your role. As hiring managers, your ability to provide meaningful feedback to both account managers and recruiters significantly influences the efficacy of the hiring process. Just as incorporating contractors into your workforce strategy provides invaluable solutions, mastering the art of feedback enables you to optimize the talent acquisition process.

Below are three key principles to guide your feedback journey.

***NOTE: We will provide examples of good and bad feedback throughout this article. For ease of understanding, the examples will all be of a hiring manager providing feedback on the IT Project Managers they interviewed. They are looking for an IT PM with business analysis experience (Tableau and SQL).***

1. Clarity and Efficiency

When engaging with account managers or recruiters, ensure that your feedback is specific and aligned with the requirements of the role. Highlight essential skills and attributes while offering constructive insights into areas that may need further exploration. By providing clear guidance, you allow recruiters to refine their search and swiftly identify candidates who align closely with your organization’s needs.

Moreover, prompt feedback is crucial when engaging with account managers or recruiters, as it allows recruiters to quickly pivot their candidate search.  Timely responses demonstrate respect for both the recruiter’s time and the urgency of filling critical roles, ultimately fostering a collaborative and efficient hiring partnership.

Bad Feedback: "The candidate needs to improve their technical skills."

***Good Feedback: "The candidate demonstrated strong proficiency in SQL during the technical assessment, effectively querying databases to extract relevant data. However, their experience with Tableau seemed limited, and they struggled to articulate specific projects or scenarios where they had utilized this tool."***

2. Expertise

Staffing agencies bring specialized knowledge to the table, harness the expertise of your hiring partners to enhance your talent acquisition process. Leverage their insights into market trends, candidate availability, and advanced candidate screening techniques. By tapping into their expertise, you gain access to a broader pool of qualified candidates and increase the likelihood of finding the perfect match for your organization.

Additionally, just as contractors foster a culture of continuous learning, embrace feedback as a tool for personal and professional growth. Acknowledge your shortcomings and solicit input from account managers and recruiters on your hiring criteria, interview techniques, and candidate evaluation methods. By embracing a culture of collaboration and shared expertise, you cultivate a relationship that drives excellence and promotes success.

Bad Feedback: "Find me someone with risk assessment experience."

Good Feedback: "We appreciated the candidates you've sourced; they had a solid background in project management and business analysis, but we realized we missed a key requirement. We need a PM with 5+ years of hands-on experience with cyber risk assessment tools (e.g. Cyence, Arx Nimbus, etc.) in addition to SQL and Tableau."

3. Transparency

Transparent feedback fosters trust and mutual respect in the hiring process. Communicate openly with recruiters so they can provide candidates with meaningful insights into their strengths and areas for improvement. Avoid vague or generic feedback, opting instead for specific examples and actionable recommendations that empower candidates to refine their skills and enhance their candidacy.

By prioritizing transparency and accountability, you create a hiring experience that values integrity and fairness, ultimately strengthening your employer brand and attracting top talent.

Bad Feedback: "The candidate didn't impress me."

Good Feedback: "The candidate demonstrated strong technical skills in SQL, but their communication during the behavioral interview was somewhat lacking. They struggled to provide concrete examples of how they've collaborated with cross-functional teams in previous projects."

Feedback the recruiter would then give the candidate: "Our client said you had an impressive technical proficiency in SQL. However, they mentioned there is room for improvement when it comes to articulating how you collaborated with cross-functional teams. We recommend you keep up the good work on the technical front and focus on refining your interpersonal skills. I’ll attach an article about the STAR interview method, there are some great examples in it."

By providing specific examples and actionable recommendations, you empower recruiters to refine their search and identify candidates who closely align with your organization's needs. Remember, effective feedback is not just about pointing out shortcomings but also about acknowledging strengths and offering guidance for improvement.

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