The Gift of Mutual Feedback

By BriAnn Gibson

Nurturing a positive candidate experience isn’t at the forefront of every hiring manager’s mind. They’re often buried under a mountain of applications, scheduling interviews every hour of the day and sifting through potential candidates. It’s natural for candidates to crave feedback, but few hiring managers can spare a moment they don’t feel like they have. Taking a few extra steps to do so could make the hiring process a lot easier. 

Giving constructive feedback to candidates allows for an open dialogue about the entire process. This opportunity is invaluable for organizations that hope to evolve and improve their hiring culture. And if you can give honest, empathetic feedback to your candidates, you can often expect to receive it back. The back-and-forth sparks curiosity and forwardness, enabling your organization to work towards a more people-centered and equitable hiring process.

Unwrapping the Evidence

Feedback is proven to help affirm strengths and aid in accountability for shortcomings. When applied to candidates, it empowers them to make changes to better themselves for their next opportunity. Mutual feedback, where the candidate gives the organization feedback on how they felt during the hiring process, can foster necessary changes in processes, systems, and hiring culture.

Even though mutual feedback seems to be a net benefit, it’s just as true that egos tend to get in the way of this being an easy process. The mind doesn’t enjoy being critiqued, even if the critique is kind, valid, or useful. This defensiveness can arise in the candidate and the hiring manager and defeats the purpose of feedback, as neither party will view a defensive position as constructive.

Still, there are multiple actionable ways organizations can cultivate a hiring culture that emphasizes positive mutual feedback. And in doing so, you can harness that valuable feedback to create a more equity-based work environment.

Incorporating Feedback in Your Process

At Edgility, we make it it goal to provide one-on-one feedback once they’ve begun engaging with the client. It’s proven to facilitate mutual respect with our candidates, and it’s part of why we have strong relationships with them regardless of the outcome. Remember, just because a candidate isn’t the right fit for one role, doesn’t mean they aren’t the right fit for the next one!

We use actionable feedback and approach with good intent. It’s only human to feel like thoughtful critique can be harsh criticism. But the kind and human-centered feedback we aim to offer is difficult to deny and helps pave the way for a more constructive conversation about overall hiring process improvement.

One way to collect candidate feedback is by distributing post-search surveys. These allow prospective hires to be more candid with their thoughts and feelings about their experience. It’s another source of valuable information for organizers and hiring managers to tap into, and it’s built into Edgility’s process.

Giving some agency to the candidate with surveys and one-on-one feedback with individual recruiters, even if rejected, liberates the candidate from feeling the emotional overwhelm that comes with rejection. Instead, they’re free to analyze and reflect on the feedback they’ve received and make strides toward bettering themselves as they move forward. In turn, it also helps them give better feedback without being clouded by ego. 

It’s an ongoing endeavor to provide healthy, kind feedback to potential hires, and many hiring managers need help finding room for it in their busy schedules. But Edgility’s approach removes many roadblocks and uses a people-first approach to improving an organization’s hiring process. It’s a worthwhile effort to change processes and behavior to be more equitable, and when you commit to it, you’ll find it’s the gift that keeps on giving.

Are you interested in incorporating feedback into your hiring process? Chat with Edgility to find out how we can help today.


Put your values to work. Act on equity.

We believe equity isn’t a box to check. It’s a daily action. Someone’s unique identity isn’t something to overcome–when paired with the right opportunity, it becomes one of their greatest professional assets. We exist to empower social impact organizations to recognize and overcome unconscious bias, racism and sexism so they can build a workforce that reflects and strengthens the communities they serve.