I have the privilege to work with many amazing people who are looking for new roles and I think, it’s important that organisations stop for a minute and consider what is happening from a candidates perspective.
I realise there is a lot going on in HR and Recruitment departments right now. We all understand, but many businesses unknowingly are reducing their chances of attracting top talent in the future, and are damaging their brand with potential customers in the process.
Having used numerous applicant tracking systems, I understand how these systems work to simplify the shortlisting process and I train those looking for work, how to get their resume to the top of the pile. We know it’s important to get in the top percentile otherwise their resumé many never get seen.
My clients and many candidates therefore spend a significant amount of their time tailoring their application to the job they are applying for. Many research the organisation, the market, competitors and even the interviewers before they post their application via the ATS. You have to admit that’s a lot of work.
During COVID-19 there are fewer roles advertised resulting in candidates being more fearful they will be unemployed for longer. Many press send and say a quiet little prayer when they apply online, hoping this is the job they get.
Let’s look at the 5 sins organisations make
Sin one: Not acknowledging receipt of the application – it just goes into the database void. The only way the candidate knows the organisation has seen their application is if they are invited to an interview, otherwise they hear nothing.
Sin two: Sending an automated response saying they have the candidates resume and application, but not letting the person know roughly when they will hear about the next steps in the process
Sin three: Sending an automated response saying they have received the candidates resume and they will get back to them, but the organisation never does and the candidate is left waiting and hoping.
Sin four: sending an automatic rejection letter with standard rejection text that says nothing such as
“Thank you for your interest in the role of XXX with our company. We received many applications from highly qualified candidates and regret to inform you that we did not select you for further consideration.” This just leaves the candidates feeling deflated and frustrated.
Let me tell you all a candidates wants and its not hard
- To have a system generated email tell them you received their resume & roughly when you will let them know either way, if they were successful to the next stage or not
- If they were unsuccessful to be sent an email to tell them this written in a way that acknowledges their effort such as
“Thank you so much for giving us the opportunity to review your resume and credentials for the position of XX. We wish we had better news for you, but after carefully reviewing your resume, we have decided to pursue other candidates whose backgrounds are better aligned with the requirements of this role.
We understand that looking for a new position is stressful, especially during these tough times and we know its time consuming, so we really appreciate the effort you spent submitting your application. Although we will not be moving forward at this time, we’d like to stay in touch and if you see anything else we advertise you feel you are suitable for, please reapply”
I know that this is also a system generated email, but to a candidate, it feels more personal and acknowledges the effort they made. At this this time, of huge unemployment and redundancies, anything organisations can do to be more thoughtful is important.
If you wanted to excel in the candidate experience you could add more tailored information or a phone number to call for feedback. But I understand people are busy, so minor changes to your rejection process and emails is all it takes to make your brand stand out as caring and thoughtful and encourage great talent to reapply.