By Mike Cieri
With the national unemployment in the single digits, many employers are struggling to find applicants that meet the Knowledge, Skills & Abilities needed for the job. This got me curious — how are employers targeting applicants, and how do they inform applicants they do not hire?
Consistently, employers go about generating candidates using a multitude of strategies and processes which focus mostly on:
• Company Brand
• Ad copy and placement
• Placement services, etc.
These are all great strategies for generating applicants.
Many organizations do a fine job at informing candidates they are truly interested in, in a timely manner and a terrible job informing the many others. This is a big mistake. These applicants are the candidates of the future and help brand your company.
Let’s say, you hire 1 out of 10 applicants. Ask yourself, what are the other 9 people saying about your organization and your hiring process? At best they feel respected or ambivalent, at worst they are trashing your company on social media sites for thousands to see.
The fix is easy and inexpensive — simply letting the applicant know where they are in the process in a timely manner speaks volumes about your organization. Are you still screening applications? Is this person a definite “No?” With today’s technology, it’s easy to set up a process that informs the applicant of their status within two weeks.
Option 1: Make it known to the candidate, at the time of turning in the application, that you received their application and if they do not hear from you within two weeks, they can consider that you are looking for a candidate that more closely matches your needs, or for them to check your website for application status
Option 2: (The best option) Send a letter, be active in informing applicants of their status.
Here’s a sample response to inform the candidate they will not be moving forward; (one of the best I’ve seen)
“Thank you for your interest in joining our team. We do our best to ensure that every person is given due consideration that is hopefully reflective of the time you invested with us. This time around you have been unsuccessful, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the end of your journey with us. We all develop skills and experiences throughout our working life and we’d like to ask if we can hang onto your details for roles in the future that may be of interest, and please feel free to apply with us in the future.
“If you would like any further feedback, have any questions or would like to discuss other roles, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
“Thanks again for your interest in joining “Company name”, “Applicant’s name”. We appreciate the time and effort you put into your application and wish you every success in the future.”
It’s not good enough to simply inform, it’s the timeliness of the notification that creates the positive impression.
About the Author
Mike Cieri, MSIR, is Vice President of Mardac Consultants and been in the Human Resource Management field for over 20 years. During this time he has held a variety of management positions, including several years on the executive management team of a large corporation as Vice President of Human Resources and Safety, as well as Vice President of Operations.