While attending the recent HR Technology Conference in Las Vegas (#hrtechconf), we got connected by a fellow attendee to a blog by Joanna Weidenmiller on blogging4jobs.com?that shared a disturbing trend uncovered by Harris Interactive research: Poor treatment of job candidates by firms seeking to fill positions.
The key data that chilled us:
- 75% of candidates surveyed reported hearing nothing back from employers after applying
- 60% of the job seekers surveyed responded that they did not hear back after interviewing
When you treat someone poorly, they walk away with a negative impression of you. Since candidates could also be customers or future hires for a better-fitting job, why would any company put its brand reputation at risk? More specifically, how hard is it to maintain your employee brand in the marketplace by treating all your job candidates well?
Technology now provides automated tools that can nurture your candidate pool constructively even if you are understaffed and cannot respond to each application personally.
All you need to do is adopt a mindset that job applicants are not abstract entities, but real people who are trying to connect with you, and need to be treated with respect whether or not they fit your mold as a candidate.
Here are some simple steps to take:
- Create standard e-mails that your system can issue to every resume (person!) submitted that their submission has been received (lots of companies do accomplish this first step, by the way.)
- Create a second e-mail that informs all applicants that are not selected by your sorting software that you appreciate their interest, even though they have not been selected for the second round. Encourage them to keep in touch, and apply again! (This second e-mail is adjusted to go to every candidate who fails to make it past a particular step in the process.)
- A third e-mail goes to candidates who are selected for further consideration, letting them know their ongoing status as active candidates.
- Every contact from the candidate (inquiry e-mails, phone calls) receives a similar acknowledgment. This step is the hardest because busy recruiting officers must log in the e-mail or voice message to that candidate’s file, and trigger the acknowledgment message.
- Every personal interview (no matter how brief) is followed by a personal e-mail of thanks from the recruiting officer. Management consultancies have made this standard practice for years, and swear by it as a relationship builder.
Every chance you have to make a good impression, even with people who clearly are not qualified, helps you maintain and grow your employee and consumer brand. Do not abdicate this responsibility because you don’t have time? If you want to continue to attract the best quality candidates, every candidate must have a quality experience when they choose you as a potential employer.
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