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Eight Bit writes back to every applicant - here’s why

Stashed in: Hiring, Gratitude, Awesome, Jobs, Feedback, Give and Take, Corporate Culture, 8-bit

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What if companies TRULY valued talented applicants contacting them... what would that look like? Honest feedback is one of the rarest gifts that a job applicant can get from a hiring manager -- whether they get the job or not. This company offers it to every candidate because they feel that a job application is a gift!

I know that a lot of hiring managers are told not to give any feedback because it could potentially open the company up to liability. However I feel that if you make a practice of offering it to everyone, it does the opposite and proves that your hiring managers spent considerable time focusing on non-discriminatory factors such as the candidate's work product.

I'd like to believe that's true. It's hard to open the company up to liability.

I started thinking about the person on the other side and how tough it can be to look for work. I would see mistakes applicants were making because they probably just didn’t know any better. I thought about how green I was as a young designer, the people who gave me a break, and the mentors I was lucky to have. But mostly, I began seeing each application as a gift from someone who admires what we’re doing. And what happens when someone gives you a gift? You feel good and thank them of course. Once my thoughts changed, my actions followed.

I began writing very long and detailed responses to designers who submitted their portfolio, regardless of our hiring interests. For some, I would look at every single example and share my thoughts. I tried to be as honest and straightforward as possible, without passing judgement. I would also include advice, helpful links, and inspiration.

fwiw, we do the same. It wasn't always that way, but we believe that if people are going to invest the time interviewing, they at least deserve some amount of feedback on why we decided not to make an offer. There are exceptions (e.g. when someone submits a code example that is clearly borrowed from elsewhere on the web when it is supposed to be an example of your original work... in that case, we don't feel comfortable getting into it with the candidate).

Dylan, it's great to give clear feedback and I agree that it's best not to get into it with candidates that misrepresent.

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