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Independent Reviews

  • SmartRecruit


Interviewer bias can influence someone’s feedback on a candidate, and affect the selection process. SmartRecruiters’ Independent Reviews feature limits bias by requiring Interviewers and Hiring managers to submit their own review before they’re able to see reviews from teammates.


Admins can activate Independent Reviews for just Interviewers, just Hiring Managers, or both. When Independent Reviews is active for a role,  users assigned the role on a job who have not yet rated a candidate will be unable to see previously submitted reviews or ratings for a candidate. Once they submit a rating for the candidate, they’ll be able to see previous ratings and reviews from other members of the hiring team. 

A User's type (excluding Admin) does not affect independent reviews. You will have the option, as an  Admin, to set Yes with override for individual or multiple roles.


Independent Reviews is not active by default. Admins can toggle Independent Reviews on and off from Settings / Admin. 

To activate Independent Reviews:

  1. Navigate to Settings / Admin.
  2. In the Permissions list, click Hiring Team Roles.
  3. On the Configure Default Roles tab, scroll down to the Candidate actions table.
  4. Find the Cards Down action:CardsDownAction.png
  5. Click Edit
  6. Make a selection for each hiring team role as desired:


  • Choose Yes to ensure that users with that role must provide a rating for a candidate before they can see the ratings/reviews left by other hiring team members for that candidate.
  • Choose Yes with override to ensure that users with that role are also not able to immediately see the the interview rating and feedback for other users, but the person can override this by clicking More > Show reviews. 
  • Choose No to allow users with that role to view ratings/reviews for a candidate prior to submitting their own rating for that candidate.

Visibility of reviews

Candidate reviews (including actual reviews, scorecards, and star ratings) show up in various places in SmartRecruiters. With Independent Reviews activated, those reviews will no longer show up until a hiring manager or interview submits their own review for a candidate. 

Once an interviewer or hiring manager gives an overall rating for a candidate, other reviews are “unlocked” and become visible. They will be able to edit their review and ratings as usual.  Simply adding a text review, or filling out a scorecard with ratings and comments, will not unlock other reviews. 

The next few sections illustrate what an interviewer or hiring manager sees if they have not yet reviewed a candidate.


The candidate’s average rating (out of 5 stars) -- as displayed on their profile, in their entry on the Applicant list, in the various emails, and in most other places in SmartRecruiters -- will appear blank. HiddenRating_applicantlist.png

An exception to this rule is the Top Candidates box (see below), which will omit the candidate completely if the user who is looking at the job page has not provided a rating for that candidate yet.



SmartRecruiters will hide any previously submitted reviews and scorecards on the candidate’s profile.

  • The Reviews tab will appear as if no one else has submitted a review, rated the candidate, or completed a scorecard.
  • The number of reviews (if any) submitted by other members of the team will be hidden.
  • Where you would normally see a feed with entries for each review, ratings, or scorecard submitted by each team member, the feed is empty. 


Once you rate or submit a review for the candidate, your teammate’s past reviews and ratings will show up as normal, and the Review tab will list the number of reviews submitted.


Activity and event feeds

Normally, when someone rates a candidate or submits feedback, SmartRecruiters adds an event “story” to:

  • Notes tab on the candidate’s profile
  • Activity tab on the job’s page
  • Hireloop, the front page of SmartRecruiters

With Independent Reviews active, if you haven’t submitted a review or rated a candidate, SmartRecruiters will simply hide any events that include a rating or review by other team members from those feeds. Once the review is submitted, the stories will appear on all feeds.


A number of emails to hiring team members contain information about candidate reviews and ratings. With Independent Reviews activated, SmartRecruiters will adjust what Interviewers and Hiring Managers will see in emails about candidates they have not reviewed yet:

  • Interviewers or Hiring Managers won't receive email notifications "New Candidate Reviews" with reviews from other people on the hiring team.
  • Ratings will be hidden from emails about interviews - “New Interviews”, “Today’s Interviews” and “Feedback Reminders” - but the emails themselves will be sent. 

Mobile Apps

Independent Reviews affect review visibility in the iOS and Android mobile apps. Ratings will not be visible on the hiring feed or candidate profiles in the mobile apps.


There are two places where Hiring Managers and/or Interviewers will be able to see reviews, even if they haven't submitted a review:

  • by comparing candidates using the Candidate Comparison tool. This allows someone such as an executive (with an Interviewer role on the job) to make decisions on candidates without having to review all candidates first. 
  • in the “Weekly Digest” emails that SmartRecruiters sends on Mondays. Digests are sent about each job to all subscribed hiring team members, and they include interviews that happened during a previous week. These emails are mostly used by executives who want to have a high-level view of what’s going on with the job. If you want to limit your hiring team from seeing weekly summaries, please adjust the company email settings. 

Unlock reviews and ratings

If you'd really like to see other reviews and ratings before submitting your own, you can "unlock" the reviews by clicking Show Reviews in the More tab:


This option overrides the Hide Reviews toggle.