When a potential employee puts in an application with you, they’re letting you know they’re interested in talking more about the job. Employers will take the application, review it and either call the person back for a follow-up to discuss qualifications, or move on. But there’s one step that many employers are missing: Notifying applicants of their status.
Applicants who are applying through online means with pre-screening are taking even more time than an average paper application fill-out process. They have to not only make sure their resume is up-to-date, but they also have to go through and answer a series of questions, including some that require paragraph-long responses. For all the effort that an applicant goes through, it is more than courteous to reply back even if they will not be considered any further than an initial application review.
By not responding to applications, you’re not only not respecting the applicant’s time that he or she put into applying for your open position, but you’re sending a message that you don’t really care to further the relationship.
More times than not, an applicant is also a customer – and by letting them know in an acceptable time period that they are not an ideal fit at your company, you’re giving them the opportunity to quickly pick up where they left off, and not put all of their eggs in one basket. An idea time period is somewhere between one to two weeks since the application was submitted.
You may say you don’t have enough time. But when you say that, you’re saying that you don’t have enough time to tie up the lose ends of the hiring process. The hiring process should be as perfectly wrapped up as other aspects of your well-oiled machine.
There are tons of easy ways to let applicants know they will not be considered further without costing you a lot of time during the hiring process. One, make sure whatever online system you are using allows for pre-populated e-mails. These emails are accessible to you by the click of a button, and will go directly to the applicant, letting him or her know that you have moved on with the employee hunt.
If you’re still using paper applications, stay on top of them. Letting them pile up in the back will not only cause you more stress when you finally get around to them, but you may realize that you let a really awesome candidate slip through the cracks.
If you do decide to go the paper application route, consider adding a required line on the application that retrieves the applicant’s email address. This will allow you to respond to applicants via a form e-mail you can draft and save in your account. You’ll be able to use this form e-mail over and over again in order to save time. It will also raise your rate of responding to rejected applicants since you’ll have an easy, non-invasive way to get back to people – simply by shooting them an e-mail.