Why Feedback Is Vital to Effective IT Hiring

Why Feedback Is Vital to Effective IT Hiring

You know how it goes – you spend weeks sifting through resumes and conducting interviews to find the perfect candidate for that open IT position. After an arduous process, you make an offer to someone who seems like the ideal fit. A few months in, however, you realize they’re not quite working out. What went wrong? In many cases, the culprit is a lack of effective feedback.

Giving and receiving regular feedback is crucial for success in any role, but especially in technical positions. For candidates, feedback provides insight into expectations and helps determine if the job is the right match. For employers, feedback reveals how someone is truly performing and progressing in the role. Without this vital communication, small issues can turn into major problems, and the hiring process has to start all over again.

Though it may not always be easy, making feedback a priority in your IT hiring and onboarding processes is well worth the effort. Keep reading to learn some tips for giving feedback that will set your new hires up for success.

Feedback From Candidates

Getting feedback from candidates during the interview process is key to finding the right IT hire. As an employer, you should make it a two-way conversation and encourage candidates to ask questions and provide input.

  • Ask open-ended questions about their experience, interests, and goals to start a meaningful discussion. Really listen to what they say—and don’t say. Look for enthusiasm and passion.
  • Explain the details of the role and your company culture. Be transparent about challenges and opportunities. See how they respond and if they seem genuinely interested and engaged.
  • Discuss potential career growth and paths. Strong candidates will have ideas about how they want to develop their skills and advance in their career. They’ll ask good questions about mentorship, training, and advancement possibilities.
  • Share details on work-life balance, remote work options, and company benefits. Top talent, especially in IT, have a lot of choices. They’ll appreciate a company that values work-life balance and flexibility.
  • Ask for their feedback on the interview process and role. Candidates who provide constructive criticism and suggestions likely have a growth mindset and will give good feedback on the job too.
  • Follow up and stay in touch. Keep the lines of communication open, even with candidates you don’t hire. They’ll appreciate your transparency and interest, and you never know when you might want to tap into that network in the future.

Giving and receiving feedback is a two-way street. When you make the effort to get quality feedback from candidates, you’ll find it much easier to determine who’s the best fit for your open IT role. And you’ll build goodwill that pays off down the road.

Feedback From Assessments and Evaluations

Getting feedback from assessments and evaluations during the hiring process provides valuable insights into candidates’ skills, strengths, and potential areas for improvement.

Skill Assessments

Conducting skill assessments for technical roles allows you to evaluate candidates’ abilities objectively. Look for assessments that test the specific skills required for the position, such as:

  • Coding challenges to assess programming proficiency
  • Systems administration tasks to evaluate infrastructure skills
  • Data analysis projects to determine data science expertise

Review candidates’ work thoroughly and provide constructive feedback, especially for those you wish to move forward in the process. Let them know what they did well and how they can improve to be successful in the role.

Reference Checks

Speaking with candidates’ professional references is a chance to get feedback from those who have worked closely with them. Ask open-ended questions about the candidate’s technical and soft skills, work quality, strengths, and growth opportunities. Look for references that can speak knowledgeably about the candidate’s abilities and performance in a similar position. Take notes on the feedback to share with the hiring team.


The interview process itself provides feedback through discussions with candidates. Look for candidates who ask thoughtful questions, show enthusiasm for the work, and display excellent communication and interpersonal skills in addition to the required technical expertise. Be open and honest in providing constructive feedback for candidates, especially those you wish to bring back for additional interviews. Let them know how they can improve their responses and better demonstrate their fit for the role.

For the company, it helps ensure you find the best person for the job. For candidates, it provides an opportunity to learn and grow, even if they are not selected for that particular position. Valuing feedback results in a positive experience for everyone involved in the hiring process.

Make Improvements And Adjust

Once you have feedback from candidates and hiring managers, look for common themes and actionable insights. Some examples:

  • Candidates felt the interview process was too long. Streamline the number of rounds.
  • Hiring managers felt candidates lacked key technical skills. Revise the job listing to emphasize those skills.
  • Both groups commented that communication was poor. Improve how you convey updates and next steps.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different approaches based on the feedback. You can then get more feedback to see how the changes are working and make further adjustments. Continuous improvement is key to an effective IT hiring process. With an openness to feedback, you’ll gain valuable insights to help you connect companies with the highly-skilled technical talent they need.

The Power of Feedback

So there you have it. Feedback is absolutely critical to finding the right IT talent for your team. Without it, you’re flying blind through the hiring process and taking unnecessary risks. Make the effort to get references, read reviews from former colleagues, and conduct thorough interviews. Ask probing questions and listen for specifics. Get a sense of work style, strengths, and weaknesses. Provide your own feedback too, so candidates understand the role and company culture.

When you invest in feedback, you end up with IT professionals who are the perfect match. They assimilate quickly, need little oversight, and become vital contributors. Your team’s productivity and morale get a boost. And you have the satisfaction of knowing you made a hiring decision that was well-informed. Why wouldn’t you want that kind of outcome? Make feedback your not-so-secret weapon for IT hiring success.

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