Responding to Job Applicants Increases Bottom Line

The Job Applicant Experience-Part 2 Communication is Key!

When did recruiting become robotic and inhumane? Behind every resume is a person. Usually, a far more talented, interesting and capable person than the piece of paper ever indicates. Yet, employers can easily forget about the human component in recruiting and do so when they fail to communicate with the people who are applying for their job openings.

How about some respect and a thank you? Thank you for your interest in our company. Thank you for preparing and investing in meeting with us. Thank you for being vulnerable. Even a thank you but no thank you will do.

Let’s forget about the basics of treating people with respect for a moment. Great communication in the hiring process should happen because it’s the right thing to do. However, if you need a business reason as to why treating applicants with respect is good for the bottom line just think about your online reputation.

Note CareerBuilder’s 2016 State of Recruitment study shows:

  • Jobseekers’ biggest frustration: Employers don’t respond to them (45%).
  • Today’s job seekers are savvy researchers, reviewing an average of 16 resources when searching for a job. Online reviews play a big role in attracting applicants.

The bottom line? Have a system in place to acknowledge your applicants.

Even Glassdoor, the company that gives employees a platform to review current and future employers, has struggled to get this one right, sites an example from Kirsten Davidson, head of employer brand for Glassdoor illustrating the importance of this process.

“A few years ago Glassdoor recognized that most of the negative reviews it received were because candidates got no response to their applications. In response, the company created a checklist of ways to improve the candidate experience, which includes sending some level of response to every candidate who applies.

  • Applicants who are clearly unqualified for the role receive an automated email thanking them for applying and letting them know they are not a good fit but to please stay in touch
  • Candidates who participate in further screenings and interviews receive more personalized notes with feedback on where they are in the application process and/or why they aren’t right for the job.

Since implementing this response process, Glassdoor now has a 73 percent positive interview experience rating compared with the 54 percent average across the entire site.”

If your current process isn’t working you can use candidate reviews as a means to turn the negative to a positive simply by responding to them. When you respond to negative reviews, in a positive and non-confrontational way say that you are sorry and how you plan to improve the process. This response alone can change a negative review to a neutral or positive one as it shows you care about the issue. Glassdoor research shows that 62 percent of employees say their perception of a company improves after seeing an employer respond to a review.

In response to the survey, we discussed last post, Dan Schawbel, Future Workplace research director and New York Times bestselling author of Promote Yourself has this to say on the topic,

“Companies need to start humanizing their candidate experience because job seekers can easily share their negative experiences online and decide never to apply to that company again. Treat your candidates like you would your employees or customers because they have the power to refer strong candidates even if they don’t get hired.

Whether they hear negative reviews from a colleague or read them on Linked In or Glassdoor, it can deter them from applying for a position that may otherwise be a great fit. Those reviews can shut off a lot of people who could be good employees. When candidates post negative reviews for the world to see, it can potentially poison the talent pool”

The extent to which you choose to communicate and the system you implement is open to customization for your business model. Great communication in your hiring practices is the right thing to do, an easy way to differentiate your business and will help you land talent and strengthen your brand.

If you need help with recruiting top talent or with expanding your contingent workforce, give us a call. 



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