Integrating a Feedback Culture into Your Recruiting Efforts

Sharlyn Lauby, President, ITM Group
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(Editors Note: Today’s post comes from Sharlyn Lauby of HR Bartender and ITM Group.)

A key component in modern performance management is feedback. Whether it’s the feedback that happens during a formal performance appraisal or in a weekly one-on-one session, the exchange of feedback is important. Feedback helps employees become self-aware of their strengths and improve their performance. Companies can also benefit from the feedback that employees provide about processes.

Since feedback plays an essential role in the business operation, it doesn’t seem logical to wait until an employee gets hired to share with them the importance the company places on feedback. Organizations should make sure employees understand how the culture embraces feedback and get their “feedback” about it during the hiring process. (pun intended.)

There are four touchpoints where organizations have the opportunity to showcase their feedback culture during the recruiting process.

  1. Career portal. One of the most common ways to encourage candidate interaction on your career site is with “A Day in the Life” component. Whether it’s using pictures or video, organizations can share with candidates what it’s like to work at their company. Many organizations already do this by sharing what the office environment looks like and the company benefits package. Take the extra step to include the role of feedback. Candidates want to know, if they worked there, that the company would invest in their success. Mentioning a feedback culture does just that.
  1. Interviews. The purpose of an interview is to have a two-way discussion (versus a one-way conversation.) Interviews can be an opportunity for the hiring manager to set expectations. They can also let both the manager and the candidate know what it would be like to work together. Managers can ask interview questions like, “Tell me about a time when you received negative performance feedback. What was it and how did you respond?” or “Tell me about the last feedback you gave to your manager. What was the situation and how did they react?”
  1. Post-hire survey. Once the new hire starts, use their fresh set of eyes to solicit feedback about the recruiting process. If you’re concerned that new hires won’t immediately open up, send an anonymous electronic survey with a few questions. It should include questions about the candidate experience like, “How friendly was the receptionist when you arrived for your interview?”, “How long did you have to wait for your interview?”, and “How quickly did HR reply to your emails?” The feedback can be used to make the candidate experience stronger.
  1. Onboarding. After a few months, the new employee will have even better feedback for the organization. They will be able to compare what they were told during the hiring process with what actually happened on the job. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to solicit feedback. In fact, it could be worthwhile to tell candidates that after 30- or 60- days on the job, they’re invited to a focus group to talk about their new hire experience. And the organization encourages their feedback, so they can continuously improve.

Organizations with a feedback culture realize the value of both giving and receiving feedback. They also understand that feedback from multiple sources (i.e. candidates, employees, and alumni) provides a more complete picture of the candidate experience, employee life cycle, and employment brand.

For more information about creating and integrating a feedback culture into your recruiting program, check out this webinar, “Creating a Real-Time Performance Feedback Culture.” It provides a model for delivering real-time feedback and how to measure feedback effectiveness.

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