When you tell someone they're hired, odds are they're happy to hear the news. But you also want top job applicants who don't make the final cut to feel good about their experience with your company. After all, perhaps a position will become available for which a runner-up is a perfect fit. (GE Capital's U.S. talent recruitment leader Kim Warne calls this the "silver medalist program.")

To find out whether you're leaving a bad taste in candidates' mouths, Joris Luijke, talent chief at software company Atlassian, suggests surveying them about the interview process to see where it could be adjusted.

"Over a longer period of time," Luijke writes on his blog, Culture Hacking, "the stats reveal when a process for a certain role isn't working well; what we can improve; and what we should keep doing."

We reached out to Luijke for a little more detail on what his process looks like. He offered this example via e-mail: Candidates for developer positions at Atlassian are asked to take a short coding test. A follow-up survey indicated that the candidates were upset they didn't receive feedback on how they did on the test. So Atlassian began offering feedback to some candidates. This helped the company determine how much feedback had improved candidate satisfaction. "The survey [did] two things," Luijke tells Build. "Firstly, (before using surveys,) we would have struggled to identify this frustration amongst developer candidates. Secondly, it would have been difficult to test the possible solution."

Luijke acknowledges that survey results may be influenced by the negative biases of candidates who aren't hired. But that just makes it all the more important to develop an awesome system, he says. "If we can make the process rock for everyone--including those who were rejected--we know we have a truly fantastic, fair, and responsive selection process."

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