According to “the live chat people” at LiveAdmins, these are four of the top reasons why customer feedback is so critical to the success of any business, in order to:

  1. Find actionable data on which they can act in order to improve their image and/or increase sales;
  2. Unearth otherwise unknown reasons, Unique Selling Propositions (USP), why customers opt for your company’s products or services versus your competitors. Your USP may not be the same as some of your customers’;
  3. Identify issues and fix them to retain customers and maximize Customer Lifetime Value;
  4. Get ideas for new products and services or ways to improve existing ones.

In our IT staffing & recruiting business, obtaining timely and specific customer feedback regarding our candidates is critical to our success…and that of our customers. That is why we refer to feedback as “the breakfast of champions” ®. That is also why I am taking the time to write this blogpost.

Communication Breakdown

Throughout our thirty-two plus years, it has become increasingly difficult to get timely and specific feedback from our customers. Since early 2020, the Pandemic has only served to exacerbate this problem. The increasing use of third-party vendor management companies by larger customers also contributes to the breakdown of the candidate feedback loop. We are fortunate, however, to do business with some who actually help reduce feedback delays.

Oddly, while technology has greatly improved our ability to communicate with anyone anywhere in the world, it seems to have come with the unintended consequence of negligence by many users longing to spend more time off the grid. As one whose inbox often looks like the LA freeway at rush hour, I can truly empathize. But, if it’s true professionals we are hoping to hire, then we must treat them in a truly professional manner.

There is nothing more frustrating to a professional recruiter than to wait many days, oft times weeks, to receive feedback on a candidate submittal or interview. Mind you, I am not talking about the average resume slinger who spends all of thirty seconds slapping a logo on a resume. Nor am I talking about unsolicited submittals. I am talking about true recruiting pros who not only take their jobs seriously, but personally, who are responding to submittal requests from their customers. Recruiters whose professional reputations are tarnished in the eyes of the candidates with each passing day. But more importantly…

Brand Ambassador

The reputation of the employer in the eyes of the candidate also diminishes as the time to feedback lengthens. We take that problem very seriously, because we strongly believe the most important role we play for our customers is that of Brand Ambassador. So much so, we simply will not do business with companies whose products, people or values we cannot support. Every candidate we interact with on behalf of a customer also becomes a Brand Ambassador for that customer…for better or worse. If a candidate leaves the recruiting experience feeling demeaned and devalued by either employer, recruiter or both, then both employer and recruiter lose some of their most valuable asset… integrity.

Maintaining Recruiting Integrity

Here are some tips to help employers maintain recruiting integrity in this hyper-competitive marketplace for talent:

  1. Establish reasonable timelines for candidate feedback and put simple systems in place to monitor how you’re doing. For example:
    1. Submittal response: accept or reject all requested submittals within 1 week of receipt.
    2. Interview feedback: provide interview feedback within 3 days
  2. Provide simple and straight forward feedback as to why you are rejecting a candidate. You don’t need to list all reasons, just a few or the one that was singularly sufficient for rejection. For example:
    1. Not enough xyz experience.
    2. Lacks experience with xyz required skill.
    3. Poor communications skills.
  3. Don’t open a requirement just before the hiring manager leaves on a two-week vacation. Yeah, it happens all the time.
  4. Have a statute of limitations on candidates within your internal HR system who are resubmitted by external recruiters for later requirements, both fulltime and contract. For fulltime applicants, two years is reasonable. Forever is not.
    1. If an externally submitted candidate for a fulltime position was previously submitted for a contract position, that should not disallow the fulltime submittal, regardless of the statute of limitations.
    2. Candidates existing within your internal HR system should have no bearing on contract submittals of the same candidates. The statute of limitations should not apply.
  5. If you are working through a Vendor Management System (VMS), recognize your vendor rep for the Brand Ambassador that he/she truly is…to your recruiting partners and every candidate they bring to the table.

I hope this has been helpful to you and your recruiting team. The telltale sign will be how you answer the following question when you rise and shine tomorrow morning –

What’s for breakfast? Feedback…”the breakfast of champions” ®.

Brad Lindemann, President/CEO