Pay for Play? Feedback a New Money Maker!
Seriously, would you pay for “feedback” from an interview that didn’t result in an offer? This was the question Tim Sackett posted and answered in a recent piece on his blog, Fistful of Talent. I kind of think he’s joking but for the sake of having something to write about, let’s consider that he’s not for a second and see where that takes us.
First, what is “great feedback” after an unsuccessful interview? The article doesn’t specify other than to suggest that it would be “valuable.” I don’t know for sure and it’s not something that’s talked about much but I would venture to suggest that a lot of people are not hired for subjective reasons. Can a company tell a candidate that he or she talks too much? Or smells bad? Joking – Though either of those things would be useful to know and no, a company couldn’t. Can a hiring manager not hire a candidate because they don’t like them? Is it useful for candidates to learn that they weren’t offered a job because the interviewers couldn’t visualize them on their team? These are pretty soft things, hard to quantify, and frankly, perhaps not that useful for candidates to know or try to factor into future interviews. Can companies give truly personal feedback without incurring liability exposure? We might have to talk to the lawyers about that…
What’s that leave? Maybe there’s some useful feedback about about general interview techniques or specifics related to a particular job. That’s pretty basic and either generic and available everywhere or only applicable to that job – not really worth buying.
Part of the article’s premise is that “feedback” could become a revenue stream for companies that offer it. Supply and demand and all; feedback being valuable, candidates demanding it, comparisons to airlines; and all of a sudden there could be a whole range of a la carte items for candidates to purchase. How about charging for interviews? Companies could setup e-auctions and candidates could bid for telephone interviews and on-site interviews! Want to interview first or last? Add $50.00. Want your resume sent to the hiring manager? Add $25.00.
More from airlines – The pressure sell, do you want to be a “first class” or “coach” candidate? I really like this.
Wait, why not skip right to the end – How much will you pay to get an offer?
This has to be satire. I’ve had my fun too. I’m glad he posted it. I’m not sure “feedback” is always that valuable though. A lot of the time, people really aren’t hired for very specific job related issues or subjective things that only pertain to the people involved. Beyond that, feedback is also relative. I’ve had candidates that everyone agreed were great not receive offers because of very small experience differences in comparison with other candidates that had interviewed for a specific job. While helpful and reassuring to know, it doesn’t add value going into future interviews and probably not something people would pay to know.
The bottom line is that the vast majority of the time feedback, particularly after failed interviews (any interview that doesn’t move forward is a failure) isn’t available or is so general that it’s not helpful, regardless of any potential price. Candidates who are serious about their job searches have to be responsible for figuring out how to be self critical and objectively analyze their interviews themselves. Continuous improvement is part of the job search process – As it is once you’ve got the job.