5 steps for using candidate feedback in the recruitment process


In recruitment, every candidate counts. Mining candidate feedback can be the key to improving your recruitment process.

Did you know you could be sitting on a treasure trove that can drive revenues, protect and promote your brand and accelerate the recruitment process? Candidates provide a goldmine of information that you can act on to transform your performance. We explore the steps you can take to use candidate feedback to your advantage.

Why is candidate feedback so important?

We know that talent is now the key driver of business competitiveness. But when it comes to recruitment, candidates have never had so much choice in picking their next role, or have never had higher expectations of the companies that they want to work for.

Currently, most companies rely on their applicant tracking system (ATS) for management information around recruitment. Yet while this can give you basic data, such as the number of people that have applied to your company, how many come in for interviews and how many join or drop out, it doesn’t give you the context behind the figures.

It won’t tell you WHY someone has chosen to drop out of the process, WHETHER they and others recommend your company as a place to work or IF you’ve turned off candidates so much that they’ll stop buying or recommending your products or services. An astonishing 64% of applicants say they’ll stop using/purchasing a company’s products after a negative candidate experience, demonstrating that poor recruitment processes hit your talent pipeline and bottom line. Gaining candidate feedback is your way to change this!

How to implement candidate feedback in your recruitment process

Understanding these issues is the first step to doing something about them, transforming your recruitment processes and ensuring that you attract top talent, prevent candidates from dropping out and protect your brand and revenues. But where do you start? Begin by focusing on these five areas of leveraging candidate feedback:

1. Join up the process

Recruitment often involves multiple teams and people within your organisation, from HR to managers within specific departments. It’s therefore easy for the process to become disjointed and inconsistent, causing potential delays or a failure to nurture candidates. This frustrates applicants, leading to candidate drop-outs during the recruitment process, with applicants likely to share with the world through the megaphone that review sites like Glassdoor provide. 

Companies need to take a lesson from customer experience – make sure that there’s a smooth, well-signposted journey for candidates, which sets expectations and keeps candidates continually up to date. That way you’re less likely to lose them unnecessarily, while also protecting your brand.

2. Listen to candidate feedback from recruitment – even unsuccessful ones

Companies know they have to listen to their employees, and can see the benefits that this provides in terms of engagement, retention and driving improvements. The same benefits apply to recruitment feedback. 

Find out what applicants think before the wider world does. They’re going to talk about their experiences, so it’s much better that they talk to you, rather than simply through review sites and social media. Therefore, make sure that you give all applicants the ability to share their views at every step of the recruitment process, even if they don’t make it past a particular stage. Why did they drop out? What did they like? Where can the process be improved? Listening to candidate feedback on the recruitment process helps you learn and improve how you operate while demonstrating that you value all candidates, even unsuccessful ones.

3. Use candidate feedback insight to take immediate action

Too many strong applicants drop out during recruitment, yet often a simple intervention would have kept them interested. One of the key benefits of listening to candidate feedback on the recruitment process is that you can use insights to take immediate action to keep them onside. It could be something as basic as an email confirming the next steps in the process or a positive phone call from a manager that shows they’re wanted. 

By spotting issues before they become major problems, managers can reduce drop-out during recruitment drives, ensuring that top talent remains committed and interested in working for you.

4. Measure the fit with your business

Research suggests that 2 in 5 new hires are a mistake, so companies need to work harder to ensure that they’re recruiting the right people, looking beyond the CV to attract and engage with candidates that will fit their business and culture. Listening to candidates and measuring their perceived fit by analysing their feedback, provides you with an early warning of their likelihood to turn up, turn on and stay on.

5. Improve your processes to become the employer of choice

As well as preventing individuals from dropping out of the process, candidate feedback and insights give you a better view of your entire recruitment operation. You’ll be able to identify issues across the candidate journey and take actions to improve how you operate. The result will be a smooth and seamless recruitment process that values applicants’ time and gives a positive impression of your business. Additional benefits include: 

  • Successful candidates being more committed to working for you
  • More positive online reviews
  • Strengthening your brand
  • Better prospects of attracting top talent


The value and benefits of encouraging, gathering and leveraging candidate feedback are clear and these 5 steps outlined should give you inspiration for improving your recruitment process.Do you have effective tools and processes in place to enable you to manage candidate and employee feedback? Tivian has a suite of software solutions for HR teams to help employers to gain meaningful data from people at every step of the employee lifecycle, including at the recruitment phase. Explore our employee experience tools to see how our technology can support your acquisition, engagement and retention initiatives.

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