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OK recruiters and employers, it’s time to think back to the days when you were a job seeker.
Here’s a familiar scenario you may have experienced during your job search: You’ve found a job opening with qualifications seamlessly matching your experience and skills. After some thought, you decide to apply. You write a cover letter, customize your resume, and hit send. And then you wait…and wait…and wait…
Wondering if you did something wrong, you begin to feel very discouraged about your application. A few weeks pass by, and you assume the company filled the position with someone more qualified or simply ignored your application altogether. Before you become too critical of yourself, there’s something you should know. You’re not the only job seeker who felt ignored during their job search. In fact, you were among 62 percent of the job seekers who felt companies weren’t responsive to their applications.
Unfortunately, many candidates are left in the dust during the hiring process. Fifty-six percent of employers admitted they don’t respond to all candidates or acknowledge the receipt of applications. This is extremely disheartening for job seekers, as they dedicated both time and effort to applying for your open position.
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So, why is it important to respond to candidates? As an employer, you need to provide an excellent candidate experience. For example, companies like Buffer do a great job at creating a space dedicated to job seekers. They provide job seekers with everything they need to know about applying for one of their positions and what to expect during the application process.
As recruiters and employers, you need to keep your audience in mind. Job seekers are vulnerable during their job search as they put everything they have to offer on the table. If you continue to ignore applicants — even if they aren’t the right fit — you could damage your company’s reputation.
Here are a few of the ways job seekers feel when you don’t respond to their applications — and some solutions to solve the communication gap:
We become frustrated.
Job seekers invest a great amount of time when it comes to applying for jobs. When they don’t hear from recruiters, it can make them feel angry about the process. Although it requires some planning, responding to applicants doesn’t have to be difficult. All you need to do is acknowledge candidates with the receipt of their application, provide them with updates on their status, and reject or accept them for a job interview.
If you’re wondering how you can improve communication during the recruiting process, look into the features your applicant tracking system offers. Most of these platforms allow you to create “auto” response emails, which is something hiring managers should take advantage of. Creating these simple responses can greatly reduce the frustration candidates experience when applying for a job.
We begin feeling sad or discouraged.
If a candidate has taken the time to apply for your job opening, shouldn’t you take the time to respond? Job seekers invest a lot of their blood, sweat, and tears into their resumes and cover letters — and when you simply ignore their applications, it can discourage them.
When a candidate doesn’t hear back from you, they immediately wonder if their resume went into a black hole. If you want to protect your recruitment brand, you should clearly outline your application process on your website. This will help you communicate to job seekers what to expect during the process and prevent them from feeling discouraged about their application.
We feel neglected.
Even if you’re receiving hundreds of applications every day, a simple response can make a huge difference for a job seeker. As much as candidates want good news, providing them with any feedback on their application can help them worry less and help prepare them for future applications. If a candidate has questions, answer them. You want applicants to feel like they’re becoming a part of your community, so make sure you leave with them a positive impression of your company, even if you don’t offer them an interview.
The impression you make on a candidate can determine how other job seekers perceive your company. If job seekers discover you’re a company that doesn’t respond to candidates, chances are, you’re going to see fewer applications and increase the likelihood of missing valuable talent. Don’t take that chance — take the time to respond to job seekers, even if only to reject them.
What are you doing to communicate with job seekers during your application process?