How Your Feedback Helps Change the World

We all battle the neverending challenges of time management and some things, regardless of their importance, just slip through the cracks. Many times, sharing feedback with your staffing agency is one of them. It’s not that we don’t understand your lack of time. Lack of time is one of the primary reasons you work with us – so we get it, we really do.

Here’s the issue though: we have a talent shortage in today’s market, which runs all the way down to general labor. None of us can afford to pass up on a candidate who is fully capable of doing the job but doesn’t have the communication or interview skills to get their foot in the door. Even the simplest of jobs is hard to fill with quality people who will show up every day. Ask ANY production or plant manager and they’ll be happy to share his/her “labor pains.” So, unless each of us takes a personal investment in “upskilling” the labor pool currently on the market, no company is going to have the people they need to do the job – which then means additional overtime costs at a minimum.

The good news is, as hiring managers, you have the power to improve the situation by taking just five minutes out of your crazy, short-staffed day to tell us, your personal recruiters, what went wrong and to provide feedback. Even the embarrassing details that you’re not sure how to share, like body odor, bad breath, unwashed clothes, etc.,

because recruiters deal with this stuff all day long and know how to deliver those messages with love. At the next interview, that person takes may just get hired, and it will be thanks to you and your feedback!

Understanding the General Labor Market

Let’s think about general labor for a moment. They make anywhere for $15 – $18/hour, and I know I couldn’t live off of that. That pay rate comes with its own challenges, including daycare expenses they can’t pay, car repairs they can’t afford and literally living from paycheck to paycheck, hoping that have enough gas to get through the week. In addition, many of them grew up in poverty with no guidance on how to interview or even dress for the interview, let alone being able to buy new interview clothes.

A good example of this phenomenon are the kids from the Childsafe High School program I recently volunteered for. These kids are in a school district (Hazel Park) with the highest dropout rate in Michigan – even higher than Detroit. Many of their parents live off of public assistance. The average per capital income, according to is $17,279 annually, which breaks down to $8.30/hour – less than minimum wage. In fact, one of my mentees was forced to drop out of the program by her mom because she had gotten some traffic tickets that were preventing her from driving her mom to work and therefore her mom made her quit in order to get a job to pay for her tickets. This is the upbringing many general labor and inner city kids come from. Could you imagine if your mom made you drop out of school? Ludicrous right? It happens every day to these kids. Their challenges are beyond what we can imagine. In fact, this is a driving reason for alternative schools; adjusted hours so that they CAN work to help support their families.

A big part of the Childsafe program is helping these kids to become independent self-motivated contributors to society. We discuss different educational options (certificate programs, skilled trades programs, etc.), teach them how to write a resume and talk about appropriate dress for job interviews. At the end of the year, we conduct mock interviews and invite hiring managers from the area to help and provide feedback. Do you know how many kids show up in super miniskirts, stiletto heels and crazy hair? Or jogging pants, un-brushed hair and cell phones on and ringing during the interviews? To them, that is looking their best — and if it weren’t for the help of the Childsafe volunteers, they wouldn’t know any different. It is the volunteer feedback that helps shape them into great candidates. Many of the general labor candidates on the market come from the same background, and they don’t know any better. However, they can learn and make improvements that can shape their future. These are all coach-able items that your feedback can fix IF you choose share it.

The Power of Feedback

Another recent example of the importance of feedback was an interview I had with a Quality Manager. He was great on paper (except the unemployment gap during the recession), however, he showed up in very disheveled attire. So, once I finished the interview and was comfortable with his skill set and ability, I very gently asked him about his clothes, which appeared to be dirty and wrinkled. He shared that during that, during the recession, he’d been out of work for some time (remember those days? they seem so far away now). He said that he didn’t have money to dry clean a suit and hoped I understood. I did and then set him up with the cleaners across the street. Ultimately, he didn’t get that job but we did help him obtain a different job a month or so later. And guess what? He couldn’t stop thanking me for helping him get his suit dry cleaned, when all I really did was ask some basic questions in an effort to help him get back to work.

If you work with a recruiter or staffing agency that genuinely cares for people, your feedback will not only be delivered in a kind and respectful way, it will also help them to eventually find employment. That has to be worth the five minutes it took to share, right?

Never underestimate the power of feedback. It has the ability to change lives and to change the world.

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