Recruiters all face times they need to give negative feedback, but the goal is to deliver it effectively and constructively. No one likes to be the bearer of bad news, but it’s inevitable at certain stages of the recruiting process. For a recruiter, an interview can be seen as somewhat routine, but job candidates often view them as stressful situations. If a job candidate requires help in certain areas of the interview, delivering productive feedback can help them change the trajectory of their career and potentially land them a position in which they can thrive once they make the changes. Below are 5 tips on giving negative feedback where it’s needed.
Tell the Truth
Don’t be vague while delivering negative feedback: be direct and tell the truth. Holding back the truth provides a disservice to the interviewee, depriving them of valuable information they can use to improve. Don’t dilute your negative feedback with positive feedback; keep the positive and negative separate.
Provide Real Examples
Interviewees will know exactly what they need to work on for future interviews if the criticism is both constructive and concrete. Give real examples of areas of improvement, which establish the basis for a meaningful conversation. The interviewee will appreciate both the transparency and candor.
The ultimate goal of a conversation delivering negative feedback is to fix the issue at hand and set the stage for improvement. Offering some training to counteract shortcomings is one way to show the interviewee that the intention is not simply to criticize, but to provide a road toward better self-awareness and continual professional growth.
Don’t Give False Hope
Giving false hope is a waste of both the recruiter’s and the interviewee’s time. If you know the candidate is not a good fit for the position they’ve interviewed for, suggest another position better suited to their skillset. Offering false hope by telling them you will keep their resume on file for future openings is counterproductive.
Set the tone so the interviewee knows the conversation is a two-way street. Coming off as condescending can risk your reputation as a recruiter and leave the interviewee with a negative experience. Candidates will feel more comfortable to talk freely and ask any questions they might have about the interviewing process if they are encouraged by the interviewer to do so.
JW Michaels is leading executive search firm committed to providing specific recruiting needs of top-tier financial services, accounting, legal, technology, and business institutions. Our clients consist of investment management firms, hedge funds, investment banks, law firms, and Fortune 500 companies in every industry. We help place compliance officers, general counsel, patent counsel, IT, legal, accounting, and risk management executives. JW Michaels is dedicated to your executive search.
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