Should it be mandatory for SMEs to give feedback to interviewees?


We recently got sent this question from The Daily Telegraph-

“Should it be mandatory for SMEs to give feedback to interviewees, particularly to those who have had face to face interviews? If so what kind of format should the feedback take?”

You can read the article here, but we thought we would share our full answer with you below.

It shouldn’t be mandatory but we recommend that SMEs follow up every interview with a thank you for attending and constructive feedback to interviewees.

Reasons for doing this:

1. People took time out of their lives to come and see you in the hope of a chance of joining your team. It’s good manners and it doesn’t take long to thank them and give a couple of pointers;

2. It leaves a good impression with the interviewees about your company; that you cared enough to take the time to provide feedback;

3. It can limit discrimination claims if you provide objective reasons for rejection rather than letting them think that you didn’t want them for discriminatory reasons such as race, disability, sex or age. Individuals can make claims for unlawful discrimination under the Equality Act during your recruitment process. Once someone has laid out the facts that may lead a Tribunal to infer discrimination, the burden will shift to you to prove otherwise. That is easier to do if you have clearly set out your non-discriminatory reasons in your interview feedback.

The format of your feedback can be whatever you feel most comfortable with – a quick email, phone call or letter. It doesn’t have to read like ‘war and peace’, just say something personalised and meaningful.

Keep the bigger picture in mind – they might be the right person for the job next time you recruit so don’t burn your bridges.


Written by Nickie Elenor, Managing Director at Your HR Lawyer.
Need Nickie’s help? Get in touch by emailing or by calling 0115 870 0150


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