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Industry white paper calls for major recruitment change to boost UK labour force

Global employers O2, Fujitsu, Network Rail, Capgemini, FDM Group and EY are all backing the campaign

The UK’s leading human resource and employment stakeholders have submitted an industry white paper to the Department for Work and Pensions, requesting a major change to the way employers recruit, to benefit individuals and the economy.

The white paper calls for government to encourage all employers to share quality feedback with candidates after a face-to-face interview, to motivate job seekers and speed up the recruitment process, in a bid to give the labour market a boost.

As part of the ‘Fight for Feedback’ campaign launched by student and graduate careers app, Debut, the white paper outlines the issues caused by a lack of feedback, and includes a list of seven guiding principles for employers to consider when inviting candidates to a face-to-face interview.

The white paper also recommends the launch of a ‘feedback friendly’ accreditation scheme, for employers to sign up to, in a bid to promote recruitment best practice and to help employers attract the best candidates.

All industry stakeholders backing the white paper attended the recent roundtable which informed recommendations – supporting stakeholders include:

  • Investors in People (IIP),
  • Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD),
  • Business in the Community (BITC),
  • Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) and
  • the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR).

Global employers O2, Fujitsu, Network Rail, Capgemini, FDM Group and EY are all backing the campaign, to promote best practice and instigate positive change as they strongly believe this will positively impact the UK labour force.

The 7 guiding principles

These guiding principles have been agreed by the key industry stakeholders, and are informed by independent research amongst employers and jobseekers / employees:

1] Manage Expectations – Proactively set and manage all candidates’ expectations by being transparent and clearly explaining your recruitment and selection procedure on your company’s website. This information should include interview stages, timings, what feedback they will receive, and how. Include this information on each new advert and state if the process deviates from the norm, if required.

2] Provide Feedback – Always proactively share feedback as a matter of course after a face-to-face interview, in place of only offering feedback if the candidate requests it.

3] Type of Feedback– Consider and share objective feedback about the candidates’ competencies in relation to the job role / person specification as a minimum, but do try to share subjective feedback where possible on the candidates’ performance during the interview.

4] Feedback Medium – If possible, establish how the candidate would prefer to receive feedback – this could be stipulated during the application process. Do consider the benefits of verbal feedback, as it enables the candidate to ask questions and for a two-way conversation, which may help you to shape your recruitment process.

5] Constructive and Positive – Feedback is designed to help individuals improve – deliver feedback in a positive way by identifying what a candidate did well, and ways in which they can be more successful next time.

6] Person Responsible – Candidates benefit most from receiving feedback direct from the person that interviewed them – avoid watering down feedback by involving too many parties in the feedback process.

7] Time Investment – Invest and dedicate a minimum of 15 minutes when preparing and sharing feedback with a candidate. Aim to feed back within three working days of the hiring decision being made.

Paul Devoy, CEO of Investors in People shares his words of support for Debut’s Fight for Feedback campaign and explains why Investors in People backs the white paper:

“I believe feedback is crucial for an individual’s development, employers should feel they have a duty to the workforce to provide them with the feedback needed to progress in their career.

“Improved feedback will enable candidates to develop their interview skills, in turn this will result in a higher standard of candidates for employers.

“In supporting the FightForFeedback campaign, Investors in People hopes to help challenge and influence employers’ behaviour on this key issue.”

Charlie Taylor, CEO & Founder of Debut is investing time and resources into pushing the campaign forward in the interest of tomorrow’s candidates:

“Feedback is powerful, and anyone who takes the time to attend an interview is entitled to it.

“We know from working with over 50 of the world’s largest employers that the holistic value in giving feedback far outweighs the time it takes to share it with candidates.

“We know this campaign will have a positive impact on the quality of candidates in the future and it will cut down the time it takes to find the right person –  eventually the UK workforce will benefit as more people will be in employment.

“This campaign is a crucial step change that will make life easier for employers in the future – especially as recruitment will be impacted by the ageing population and the uncertainty caused by Brexit.

“The Department for Work and Pensions has already acknowledged the powerful stakeholders backing the campaign, so we expect them to endorse the seven guiding principles and signpost the website where best practice case studies can be found.”

Fight for Feedback background

The Fight for Feedback campaign was launched on 15th June 2017, based on research undertaken by Debut, which revealed that four in five candidates who have previously attended a face-to-face interview and have not received feedback from the employer (83%).

The study also revealed the average cost of attending a face-to-face interview for the interviewee is £41, which can include travel, new clothes, dry-cleaning, but excludes annual leave from their current employer.

To add insult to injury, 51 percent of people say they also had to take a day’s annual leave to attend a face-to-face interview, which is a further £117 loss, based on the current average daily wage.[i]

The amount of time the candidates spend preparing for a face-to-face interview is anywhere between 30 minutes to five or more hours – with no feedback from a previous interview – the preparation for the next interview is a difficult task.

When asked how candidates would like to receive feedback, their preference was:

  • Via email (42%)
  • In person (24%)
  • Via social media messaging (14%)
  • Via phone (10%)
  • Via WhatsApp (6%)

Other mediums that candidates would least prefer to receive feedback via are post, video call, and text message.

Feedback is vital, and timing is also something to consider – according to candidates, it is reasonable to expect employers to share feedback within 48 hours (41%), followed by a working week (34%) – fewer people demanded feedback within 24 hours (21%).

To sign the petition, or to stay up to date with campaign outcomes, visit the dedicated page here.

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