Vertical Communication Eskill 2

Feedback is one of the most powerful tools for any HR department. Knowing what candidates think can help you improve your recruiting process and candidate search. Feedback is a two-way street. Just as it’s important for HR to know what candidates think, it’s vital for HR to provide feedback to candidates as well.

Most hiring managers provide negative feedback about what was lacking to candidates who didn’t make the cut. Very few offer candidates who are hired feedback about what made them the right choice for the job.

Giving feedback to candidates about why they were hired can be very useful in ensuring they will be set up for success at your company. When you consider that 69% of employees are more likely to stay with a company for 3 years if they experienced a great onboarding process, you can see why providing immediate feedback to new hires can make a major difference in retaining employees.

Telling new hires the answers to the following 5 questions will help you provide them with excellent feedback.

1. Why did we hire you?

Think about every job you’ve ever gotten. Have you ever asked your employer: “Why did you hire me?” Many candidates are so glad they got the job that they don’t pause to ask why they were chosen. Similarly, most hiring managers have so many other things on their plates that they don’t take the time to explain to candidates why they were chosen.

Letting candidates know exactly why they were hired is crucial. It helps them pinpoint what separated them from the rest of the applicants, which gives them insight into what you thought was special about their skills and experience. If they know what made you want them, they can start accentuating those qualities that much faster.

2. What skills made you stand out?

According to a study on character by the VIA Institute, employees who believe their managers can name their strengths are 71% more likely to feel engaged and energized. They feel appreciated and understood, which are powerful emotions necessary for a successful workforce.

When providing feedback to a new hire, focus on the skills that made him or her stand out. Candidates who know what you noticed and which of their skills impressed you will give their best to prove you right in choosing them.

3. How can you grow within our company?

Professional advancement and development are the cornerstones of most employees’ careers. As people move from one job to the next, they seek opportunities to advance their careers. In fact, more than 70% of high-retention-risk employees say they have to leave their organization to advance their careers.

Offer feedback to new hires that outlines how and where you think they can grow within your company. Walk them through typical career paths for their position, as well as professional development opportunities like skills and certification courses. This will help them feel that your company is vested in them too.

4. What did you say that made us know you would be right for us?

The unfortunate truth is that many candidates say dumb things during a job interview. For those who say the right thing and are eventually hired, feedback on what they said that got them the job can be very valuable. For most job seekers, the interview can be so stressful that it just goes by in a blur. Some don’t even remember exactly what they said.

Around one-third of hiring managers say they know within the first 90 seconds of an interview whether they will hire someone. The first impression is a combination of how candidates present themselves and what they say. Consider sharing with new hires what they said that made you decide to hire them.

5. How long do we believe it will take you to be completely adapted?

It typically takes eight months for a newly hired employee to reach full productivity. This, of course, varies depending on the type of work and professional level. Most new employees strive to hit the ground running and start meeting their expected performance immediately.

As most of us know, that’s not always the case. Helping new hires set clear goals and providing feedback to them through performance reviews can help them reach desired productivity levels faster. Remember, in order to fully become part of the team, the feedback has to go both ways. Encourage new employees to regularly provide feedback to you during their first year to ensure you can give them the guidance they need.

Is your HR department already doing this? Let us know in the comments below.



  • Martha S. says:

    Wow! I loved your article. There is so much paperwork to do in order to speed up the hiring process that we forget to sit down at the table and discuss why we chose that candidate. And if we do not say anything, the chances that the candidates will ask these questions are really low. I will definitely do this.

  • Mario says:

    This is such a good idea! I will make a proposal to include this step in the onboarding process. I believe it will boost the employee’s motivation and will assure him/her that they are in the right place. Oh, it will be so interesting!

  • Oliver C. says:

    I am so proud to tell you that we are already doing this! We have noticed an increase in the overall satisfaction with the company and our employees are recommending it on their social media without us telling them to do that. Engagement – that’s what you can obtain by applying this simple strategy.

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