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Feedback is critical to a search. Without it, a search cannot progress; it’s stuck in a holding pattern. To keep the hiring process moving forward and improving as it does so, be sure to establish a feedback loop with internal stakeholders BEFORE you start a search.

Hiring is a competition for all those involved. Companies compete against one another to attract the top talent, and candidates compete against each other to obtain the best position. As the saying goes “the early bird gets the worm,” so moving the process forward is key.

In establishing a feedback loop for a search, each stakeholder should be informed and committed to their place in the hiring process and what is expected of them. To do this, specify a reasonable time frame for the hiring manager to be expected to provide feedback. Typically, we allot a 48-hour period. This way the feedback is still fresh in the hiring manager’s mind. At this same time, it allows hiring managers time to process the feedback before making a decision whether or not to move forward.

It is also important to establish a feedback loop with candidates in order to set expectations on when they will find out whether they are being progressing through to the next steps or being taken out of the process. Recruiters base this time frame on both the process and the feedback loop that has been established with hiring managers. My colleague Lindsey Gurian recently blogged about the benefits of establishing a feedback loop with candidates. The major benefit is that an established feedback loop increases your chances of not losing a candidate, and helps provide them with a positive candidate experience whether they are the chosen one or not.

Now, let’s get real. The feedback loop sometimes needs to be adjusted. If the hiring manager is going to be out of the office for any reason – travel, a conference, vacation – the recruiter needs to know so they can set the expectation with candidates that they may not hear back for a specified amount of time.

Another major benefit of an established feedback loop is process improvement — hiring managers’ feedback helps to develop the search. As a search progresses, it becomes much more involved from the beginning to the end. With feedback from hiring managers, recruiters constantly change bits and pieces of the search to target (or stay away from) specific traits and backgrounds. Feedback loops allow for continuous fine-tuning of the process to improve the search incrementally.

Think about it – say the hiring manager is impressed with qualities A and B in the candidates, and decides that C is no longer a necessity. If you do not have this feedback in a timely planner, you continue to target your search on C and both time and resources are wasted. Lesson learned – before you start a search, establish a feedback loop with hiring managers to keep the search moving and improving.

Carlie Smith is a Senior Talent Specialist, actively recruiting top talent for OpenView and its Portfolio Companies.

  • http://hirethoughts.blogspot.com/ Donna Brewington White

    Yes yes yes! For all the reasons you stated but something intimated that is also an integral part of champion level recruiting is the ability to assess and adjust as you go…and feedback is a critical part of this.