Back in college, I had a wrong impression of Yelp’s recruiter at a career fair. That memory was very vivid that not only that I never apply to Yelp as a Software Engineer, but I also didn’t associate the brand as a good brand because of one poor experience.
Just like customer service represents the excellent brand image of its product, the recruiter represents the company’s brand that each candidate is interviewing for.
I recently encounter something similar, except I have a brief interaction with a recruiter and move forward to the coding round. Unfortunately, I didn’t do well on the coding round and didn’t proceed further. The rejection letter was expected. However, after asking for further feedback, I didn’t believe that they have ghosted me.
I understand that there are many candidates you have interaction with, and it is not scalable to do a personalized rejection email to each candidate. However, when you said something along the lines of “If you have any other questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to me, and I would be glad to answer or address them!” you have to mean what you said.
Getting a rejection is normal in hiring, and employers and recruiters ghosting candidates is incredibly common. It is so common that many people just assume that they’ll never hear anything back after an interview and are pleasantly surprised if they do.
That doesn’t make it okay. It’s not okay - it’s rude and inconsiderate. Imagine how many hours and time off work we need to spend hours preparing for the interview, being excited about the job, and deeply invested in the process.
If no one ever gives honest feedback about how a recruiter treats job candidates, it’s unlikely to change.
This is one of the things that’s frustrating about the power of dynamics between employers and job candidates - we are pressured to speak up and say, “Hey, this isn’t okay.” because we are afraid that saying so will ruin our perspective on finding jobs in the future.
That pressure leaves most people in silent - which cause employer and recruiters to be oblivious on handling rejection towards potential job seekers.
Instead of staying silent, I decided to have an open letter for feedback I have for recruiters in my perspective so that other job seekers will not have to go through the same experience as me.
Transparency is Key
A lot of the time, the company promotes transparency throughout its hiring process. However, few actually take its words to action.
Providing transparency means being honest to every single candidate that is going through that hiring process.
Being honest means, you don’t play games or hide any details from the candidates. Having a general rejection letter doesn’t really help tell the candidates how they are doing during the interview. They are just merely telling the candidates that they don’t want them.
Being transparent means being honest to your candidates. If they are rejected, it will be helpful to tell them why they are rejected. Sometimes it is a subjective reason, and sometimes it is an objective one.
When candidates ask for feedback, please give honest feedback. Take the time to have a conversation and provide feedback and action items that the candidates improve in the future. This helps you keep a good brand not only on you, as a recruiter, but also on how they associate company brand in general.
Focus on Long Term Relationship
Although our interaction ends after the coding round, it doesn’t mean our path won’t cross in the future. You never know how small the tech community is, and ruining a relationship with one candidate can leave a bad mark on your brand in the future.
Besides, keeping a good relationship with your candidates is critical in helping the company retain top talents. A quote says that it takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one loses it. Therefore, if you want candidates to work with you or identify a good brand from your company, focus on a long-term relationship with the candidates.
If your candidate didn’t get one job, you should keep in touch and let them know if other jobs are suitable.
I have some good experience in another hiring process with other companies. For example, when I didn’t get the final round with Amazon, the recruiter emailed me and asked if I wanted to hear any feedback from the interview. I replied that I wanted to receive feedback, and we started having a brief conversation on what aspects that I did well and a couple of action items that I need to work on in the future. After the call, the recruiter told me that if I have any questions in the future for preparing for interviewing in Amazon and have some questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to her, and she will be happy to hop on a call to discuss.
The recruiter gives transparency feedback to the candidates and maintains an excellent long-term relationship with the candidates. The hiring process helps me understand how Amazon values customer obsession and marks a positive note for me searching for jobs in the future.
What Can Company Do To Leave Feedback?
Just like after calling the customer service line, we usually get feedback about our experience. The company can also receive feedback about their candidates’ experience by having a short survey regarding what went well and what didn’t during the hiring process.
Giving a good survey for and asking the candidates after their recruiter-candidate communication can help receive feedback to better increase the hiring process.
My initial intent of writing this article was partly a rant from those recruiters that have ghosted me. However, after thinking about it overnight, I want to give constructive feedback and action items so that the person that they recruit after me will have a better experience than I am. From the candidate’s perspective, if a recruiter is transparent and has a long-term relationship, it can help create a smooth interview experience. From the recruiter’s perspective, providing transparency and keeping long-term relationships can increase your companies’ brand and leave a mark on your personal brand.