Gimme a little feedback!

“Audio feedback is a special kind of positive feedback which occurs when a sound loop exists between an audio input (for example, a microphone or guitar pickup) and an audio input (for example, a loudspeaker). In recruitment, giving feedback is positive. Not responding or giving feedback is negative and potentially brand damaging.  The aim of this blog will explain our view on the responsibilities of the four main protagonists in the recruitment lifecycle.”


Recruitment Agencies:

It is easy to find a lot of material on the inadequacies of recruitment agencies and their disregard for giving feedback. Social media is awash with it; ask a client or a candidate a few questions and you will hear their personal horror stories.


The simple fact is that it is the agency’s responsibility to give feedback to any candidate who they represent for a role throughout the entire recruitment lifecycle. I do not understand why any agency would not do this.


The rise of digital job applications (see blog “One Click Recruitment”) means that candidates can apply for roles in less than 30 seconds. Consequently, one of the main challenges agencies face is that they are inundated with hundreds of applications for each individual role. For every candidate who genuinely fits the brief of the role, there are at least 10 who have applied and have not read the position description.


For this reason, and therefore to reduce the number of applications we receive that are not suited to the role, we have decreased our advertising over the last four years. We feel that there are other ways to source quality candidates.


Momentum Search and Selection has a means to respond to every candidate who has applied and we aim to speak to every candidate who we feel suits the role. This is not an exact science but we do our best.


I am not defending agencies who are inconsistent here; I am merely providing a recruiter’s insight to the issues we encounter. Many of our quality candidates are referred to us by others we have represented and who have been impressed by our level of service. It is, however, impossible for an agency to interview or meet with every candidate who applies.


Talent Acquisition:

The challenges for internal recruiters are similar to agencies, but with the added challenge that they are either getting bombarded by agencies who are trying to ply their trade or they are policing the line managers who have been working outside of the recruitment process. This can mean that the internal recruitment team spend time firefighting and dealing with non-approved agencies. I get it; it must be really annoying but all jobs have their challenges.

Internal Recruiters are the face of the organisation!

There is no point in having wonderful branding, videos, social media and other communications about how your company is “the best to work for” if you do not get back to job applicants.


I am not saying that internal recruiters do not do this, on the contrary. However, I would strongly recommend that Talent Acquisition teams have the relevant systems and processes in place to track and provide feedback to candidates.  If a line manager does not give you feedback on a candidate, do not accept this – Educate them on why this is important.


Line Managers:

The big challenge for business leaders/recruiting managers is that recruitment is extremely important, however this is not your day job. You have a challenging role and if you are lucky you have a Talent Acquisition team or trusted recruitment agencies who can assist you.


My advice to line managers is to take the time to educate your Talent Acquisition team or your recruitment agency. Ensure they understand your business and the roles that you are seeking to fill. Engaging an agency that specialises in the types of roles you are recruiting for is a major step towards receiving applications from high quality candidates who meet your criteria.


We have found the fact that we specialise in project, program change and transformation roles a positive thing. There is nothing worse than working with an agency who may be an approved supplier but they do not have a proven track record in recruiting for your domain. Ignore this at your peril…



I have written plenty of pro-candidate blogs over the years (example My name is candidate).


Finding a job is a frustrating and often stressful business. However, if you have received poor service from an agency this does not mean that you should follow suit and not return calls or emails. Treat others how you would like to be treated.


My success of the last 17-18 years has been built on having good relationships. I recognise that this may not happen with everyone; however, it is nice to work in partnership with someone and feel appreciated.


It is not nice when you feel disposable, for example if a practitioner secures a role and does not get back to you. It is just as frustrating as the candidate experience when a recruitment agent seems to disappear off the radar and not provide feedback…


Stay tuned for our next blog.


Momentum Search and Selection is a recruitment partner that provides executive talent solutions to local and international organisations.  We provide practitioners who excel at:
  • Digital, Transformation, Project and Change Management
  • Construction, Design & Architecture and Facilities Management

Alan Herrity