After the interview, always give feedback
One of the strongest disconnects between older job seekers and employers we heard during our consultations for Work45+1 related to job seeker confidence.
- Employers said they were disappointed by older applicants’ lack of confidence and enthusiasm for the job.
- Job seekers said they were motivated to find work but felt exhausted and demoralised by the lack of guidance and feedback they received when their applications were unsuccessful.
This misalignment can become a self-fulfilling prophesy, with some older job seekers eventually becoming so disillusioned they don’t even apply for jobs they would probably get. For example, some employers said they valued older workers and were prepared to offer training, yet they had a sense that many job seekers aged over 45 lacked the confidence to apply.1
If employment service providers, recruiters and employers want more confident and enthusiastic applicants, it’s important to make the relatively small investment required to give useful feedback to unsuccessful applicants. When you do this well, older job seekers will feel more positive about continuing to apply for work, instead of deciding no amount of effort will ever pay off. With the benefit of your polite and constructive comments, older job seekers may be able to present their skills and attributes more effectively and confidently in future applications and interviews.
If you’ve received many applications, it may not always be possible to provide more than an email advising those who have not been shortlisted. However, they deserve to be notified in a timely manner.
If an applicant has been strong enough to be shortlisted and interviewed, they have earned constructive feedback.
As HR specialist Dianne Underwood explains in the video below, in a place like Tasmania word quickly gets around if employers have poor recruitment practices. When that happens, you may struggle to find suitable applicants.