How to Get Recruiters to Give You Feedback

by Evil HR Lady on September 17, 2020

I’m writing regarding a FB post asking readers “How many of you provide honest feedback when rejecting a candidate?”

I noticed the majority of respondents said that they do not provide feedback, citing possible negative ramifications.

I’m curious what advice you would give to applicants to regarding obtaining feedback? How can a candidate determine what needs to be improved?

As you noted, people responded that they won’t give feedback because it’s too risky–both in time and lawsuits. They don’t want to open the door to arguing. (“You said you didn’t hire me because I didn’t have enough experience in X. I do have enough experience! I’m a senior level black belt in X!)

They also don’t want to open up to a discrimination claim. The recruiter says, “you didn’t have enough experience in X.” Fine. It’s a concrete thing. But, then the candidate hired isn’t as good in X as this rejected candidate thinks. If the new hire is a different race/gender/religion/whatever, the person might claim discrimination. Or, as often happens, people get rejected before a hiring decision is made. So, the hiring manager/recruiter rejects you because you don’t have good experience in X. But, then three months pass and they still haven’t found someone with the experience they desire, so they lower their standards. Sure, maybe they should go back and look at the rejected candidates, but they don’t.

Or, maybe the person the end up hiring isn’t as good in X as the rejected candidate, but they are experts in Y, and Z, and they speak Spanish, and so that pushes them over the top.

This doesn’t answer your question and just rehashes the thread, but I point this out to say that it will be difficult to get people to give you feedback. Honestly, you’re lucky if you’re not ghosted.

But, if you want to try, here are some suggestions. No guarantees.

  • “I’m really interested in pursing this career. If I wanted to be a stronger candidate, should I work on X or Y?”

The reason this is more likely to help is that you’re not asking the recruiter/hiring manager to pull something out of the air, and you’re not asking them to tell you why you weren’t hired. You’re asking a question with a clear set of choices.

  • “Can you tell me three things I could improve on?”

Again, this gives them a clear boundary. And you’re already admitting you are not the perfect candidate. If they answer–even with one thing–the proper thing to say is “Thank you so much! I really appreciate your time!”

If they come back with something you totally disagree with, still say “thank you so much! I really appreciate your time!” They are not going to change your mind when you point out that they missed the 14th bullet point on your resume that says you’re an expert in this area.

I’m happy to hear any suggestions from any readers on how they’ve asked for feedback and gotten it.

It’s not easy!


I would appreciate some advice for my particular case.  My company recently got bought out by a big corporate company. Today I got an offer letter that offers a 20% pay cut and that would increase my benefit premiums from $0 to $200/month, all for the exact same role and tasks. 

As you can imagine, I am not happy about it. And it was a bigger slap in the face when the HR person from the new company didn’t even know I existed (I work remotely, while 90% of the company is in another city). 

I’ve sent an email to the HR team at my current company inquiring if this was just an oversight but haven’t heard back from them. The CEO did say in a slack room for questions of employees that anyone who will not take their offer from the new merged company can just resign…

If I don’t accept that offer letter, or they can’t justify this pay decrease, and if I don’t “officially” resign, does this just mean the company can terminate me at the close of the merger? 

A couple of things: I wouldn’t take it as a slap in the face that the new HR department didn’t know you exist. They know enough to get you a new offer letter. When you’re merging with another company–no matter the size–the new HR department won’t instantly know everything.

Second, I love email and text messaging and any way of communicating that doesn’t require speaking on the phone. But, it’s also easier for those things to get missed. Pick up the phone and call.

If all employees received a 20 percent pay cut, they will be super tired of answering questions, but that’s the job.

Then to get to your real question: what happens if you just say no? Well, as you said, you’ll be terminated. They’ve offered you a job, they’ve given you written notice, and you can say yes or no. But, the real question is, will you be eligible for unemployment if you say no.

It’s not like you can do a tricky thing where you just fail to accept and they terminate and now it’s a layoff rather than a resignation and you are eligible for unemployment! They will (undoubtedly) report to the unemployment office that you resigned.

Your state may consider a pay cut of 20 percent to be severe enough to count as a legitimate reason for resigning. I don’t know.

But, keep in mind that the federal subsidy is gone and so your unemployment check will be less than your current salary minus 20 percent, plus you’ll have to pay for COBRA.

My advice? Immediately start looking for a new job and as soon as you get one, resign. But in the meantime, keep this one.

Now, if you were actually thinking if you just stay quiet, will they forget to lower your salary? No, they won’t. That’s happening.

And i’m sorry. That sucks.



You should always encourage sick employees to stay at home while they recover, but Covid-19 took that to a whole new level. If someone tests positive, they will be out for a good, long time, regardless of whether they are asymptomatic or land in the hospital.

But, when can an employee safely return to work? The Centers for Disease Control’s guidelines may surprise you. Someone who has tested positive for Covid-19 does not need a negative test to return to everyday life. (Although, if their doctor recommends one, you should defer to their doctor.)

These recently changed guidelines came with some controversy. Previously, the CDC recommended a negative test after being exposed or being infected before resuming contact with other people. Some doctors are concerned that this change will result in an increased spread

To keep reading, click here: The CDC’s Guidelines on When Employees Can Return to Work May Surprise You


How to Approach and Improve Diversity Hiring

by Evil HR Lady on September 11, 2020

My vice president asked me to hire someone Black for a vacant position and include #BlackLivesMatter in the job posting. Can I hire a Black person solely based on race like this? It seems like I can’t. How can I even respond?

To read my answer, click here: How to Approach and Improve Diversity Hiring

Leave your own in the comments!


Dear ReWorker: Universities are going digital. Does this mean that MOOCs, training courses and independently gained skills are just as good as the university experience? Should we change our hiring criteria?

To read my answer, click here: As Learning Goes Online, Should I Reconsider My Approach to Hiring

Leave your own in the comments!


Join Brenda Neckvatal and me as we talk about attendance in a Covid 19 world. Plus, hear Brenda’s answer to my question about false accusations from yesterday and my answer to Brenda’s question about what to do with an employee who records everyone’s conversations.

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Rumors can send people into a panic. Additionally, some people are super nervous about exposure to Covid-19 that even if they don’t meet the Centers for Disease Control’s definition of exposed, they are concerned if they’ve had any peripheral contact with someone who tested positive. So, naturally, businesses want to keep things under control.

This backfires, and it may be illegal (depending on how you do it). Big-named companies, such as, Cargill, McDonald’s, and Target, have told employees to keep Covid cases hush-hush, according to Bloomberg. Companies don’t want employees to panic and they don’t want customers to stay away. But, here’s where you get in trouble: The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) grants employees the right to discuss working conditions–which includes safety-related discussions.

This means you can’t stop your employees from discussing their concerns surrounding Covid. Employment Attorney Jon Hyman of Meyers, Roman, Friedberg, & Lewis explains

To keep reading, click here: All the Reasons You Shouldn’t Prevent Employees From Discussing Who Has the Coronavirus


I am currently wrongful being accused of sexual assault that never happened and I am currently suspended. I am being investigated even though my supervisor nor the HR department never even talked to me about the situation. I have text messages, eyewitnesses, and can even get video recorded evidence to prove my innocence, but they won’t even talk to me. They are seemingly taker her word and only her word and running with it. I also feel like I am being discriminated against because I am male, while my manager and general manager are female. What do I do?

First, take a deep breath. Just because they haven’t talked to you yet, doesn’t mean they won’t talk to you.

Second, I would speak with an employment lawyer as soon as possible. Yes, this will cost you money. Yes, it is worth it. NELA can help you find an employment lawyer in your area.

Now, let’s go through what’s going on here.

HR has to take any accusation seriously. They are legally obligated to investigate any claim of sexual harassment. You said assault, which is a much greater accusation, and I do think the police should be involved if there was an accusation of assault. Not everyone agrees with me. But, for my readers, if you’re sexually assaulted by a coworker, the correct thing to do is call the police first and then HR.

What HR doesn’t have to do is prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty. They just have to act reasonably.

A responsible HR department will conduct a thorough investigation. That will mean speaking with you and listening to your evidence. Suspension is often the right thing to do during an investigation when the accusation is this serious. I would recommend suspension as well. I would also recommend paying you for the suspension if you are cleared and not paying if you are not cleared.

These things do take time. You know you are innocent and it’s super scary to have someone accuse you of something you didn’t do. You may wish to rush in and speak to all your coworkers and get them on your side. Don’t do this. It won’t look good.

Contact a lawyer, follow her advice. If you cannot afford an attorney, then write up an email detailing your evidence and send it to the HR manager. The subject line should be EVIDENCE RELATING TO THE [YOUR NAME]/[ACCUSER’S NAME] INVESTIGATION.

Make sure you send it from your home email and do not delete it. This prevents the HR manager from saying, “oh, I had no idea that this existed!”

And, start looking for a new job. I know you’re innocent. It’s possible to be found responsible anyway. HR managers aren’t not trained police officers. There is no judge and jury to sort out the evidence. And even if you’re cleared, you may find the environment unpleasant. I’m not saying this is how it should be–it shouldn’t. There should be no retaliation. But, there might be, and it’s better to start the job hunt now.


The Real HR Show: When to Get HR Involved

by Evil HR Lady on September 3, 2020

Brenda Neckvatal and I are back! We took August off because we wanted to pretend we were Europeans.

Come join us as we talk about what managers need to know, and we’ve added a question segment! Listen to me and Brenda answer questions with no preparation.