Lack of feedback following job interviews for HRBP roles


I'd welcome any comments / observations on how companies feedback to candidates following an interview for HR roles and how you can engage with a company when they fail to notify you of an outcome or provide any meaningful feedback.

Is it just me but I sense that organisations are becoming more and more adverse to giving feedback?  Either through fear of legal challenge (subject access request / ET) or simply don't want a difficult conversation. It is somewhat embarrassing for us as an HR profession, where we are seen not to "walk the talk" and where we role model behaviours based on company values of transparency and honesty.

I have recently attended selection processes where I've had to push really hard for an outcome and feedback (and that was after a three stage process) or where simply companies do not even inform you of an outcome. These have been for large organisations in both Public and Private sector where there are clear recruitment processes in place. 

Can I ask what are people's experiences?

Do we just shrug our shoulders and say "well that's how it is" or is there a constructive way to challenge these behaviours and receive some useful feedback.

Many thanks, 


  • Hi Mark
    In today's context of very tight margins and fighting for survival, I suspect that many companies are probably focussing on only doing those things that add value or reduce costs. If you have interviewed 5 candidates for a job, giving constructive and positive feedback to the four unsuccessful candidates is certainly a laudable thing to do and would be seen as "good practice", but actually prepatring and doing it will take several hours, when time and money are at a premium. Feeding back a result ("yes" or "no") should nonetheless happen - if only by e-mail.
    By all means push for feedback - but I don't think you can expect it to be a regular feature at the moment.
  • We will always respond with a yes or no to all the candidates we interview and will give feedback if requested, but it may take a week or more to collate the feedback from the interview panel and send it out. We don't respond to candidates who aren't selected for interview (simply because there can be more than 100 and there's only one of me to do all the recruitment, payroll, employee relations etc - and we can't afford an ATS at the moment. ;-) ) but we do warn applicants upfront on our advert that we can't respond to everyone and that if they haven't heard anything two weeks after the closing date, that they will have been unsuccessful.

    It's not perfect but hopefully it's a happy medium.
  • This subject firmly gets me on my hobby horse - when we don't communicate well with candidates (and despite best efforts it does happen sometimes), it has much wider impacts.

    I'd be hard pressed to think of an organisation in the world that was so successful that it could be indifferent to bad PR - and where someone has been so positive as to want to work for your organisation, to feel OK with turning them to someone who feels negatively about the company must be a massive own goal. People talk to their friends and family about the way they are treated, so it's not just one person you can lose through this. Aside from the ethics of it all, it's just bad business.

    I want all the candidates who come for an interview with us feeling that they had a good experience, were welcomed and looked after, and (if they weren't appointed) that they really wish they had been - not that they'd dodged a bullet.

    That said, it does take time and I agree with those who said they don't always have the time to do it well. I make sure that everyone involved with an interview process follows up immediately with a few positive and developmental points for each applicant directly afterwards, by email. One person is cc'd to all of these emails, so that she can pull together some nicely worded, and useful feedback to our candidates. It's great to have her help, and I know it makes a real difference.
  • Steve Bridger

    | 0 Posts

    Community Manager

    29 Apr, 2021 13:04

    Hi Mark,

    Also worth you reading through many previous threads around this topic. Here's an example...

    Search for "interview feedback".
  • Thank you for raising this Mark, this is a particular bugbear of mine and it is also, easily, the biggest complaint candidates have during the recruitment process. Easily.

    I absolutely believe, submitting an application or following an interview, providing (a) an outcome decision and (b) a reason, should be an integral part of any recruitment process and should be better respected, valued and understood. If you applied for any other application in any other walk of life, you would get an outcome, even if it was a no. I don't see why candidates should be treated less favourably. These are peoples careers and livelihoods after all.

    The number of times I have heard HR candidates complain about this very issue, yet HR are the custodians of this practice; we have to take responsibility for this inadequacy and adjust the cultural mindset - from a 'nice to do' to a 'must do'; and appreciate that these decisions and feedback matter. Candidates are stakeholders after all, there is value to be gained from nurturing this cohort.

    Candidates have taken an interest in your organisation and invested and committed time and energy to the process, the very least they are entitled to in return - is a decision and a reason. The outcome may be inconsequential to the interviewing company, but it is significant to the Candidates. It's not about being laudable, it's about doing the right thing by people that have invested and taken an interest in your organisation. Feedback doesn't have to be extensive, but in whatever form and to whatever extend, it will always be valued.

    We live and work in a digital and automated age, where systems can support these processes. In 2021 it's all about the 'experience'. A poor candidate experience (and there's a lot of it) can be so damaging to a company's brand and preclude talent acquisition in the future. So in answer to your question Mark - no! This is not how it should be! (sorry to be so passionate but like I say, this is and has been a huge issue for so many!)
  • Hi Mark, as you can see from these excellent replies you, unfortunately, are not alone. One thing you may want to consider is asking in advance at your interview for some feedback, perhaps say to the panel/person interviewing that you'd really appreciate a few minutes with someone to discuss how everything went since you would find it beneficial should you not receive an offer. At least you've drawn it to their attention which may make it slightly harder for them not to play ball. And as for not being notified about the final outcome - I was interviewed for a job back in April 2011 and I'm still waiting to hear if I was successful in spite of chasing them. Somehow I just think it wasn't my lucky day, don't you??!?!? :-D
  • Hi Mark

    I feel your pain. I was subjected to this and.a lot more before finally securing my role as Resourcing & HR Manager and I started this week.

    I even did a post on LI about it and it went a bit viral

    I hope things get better for you soon.