You post a job advert – and you get inundated with job applications. Do you reply to each one of them?
The reality is that if a candidate makes an email application and is unsuccessful, then most companies will not bother to get back to the applicant. It’s understandable because there is no perceived value in it, but is this short-sighted?
Apart from the obvious reason to not reply (the candidate is unsuitable), we also hear feedback that a reply can initiate further contact. The jobseeker may reply asking for feedback on their application, or to ask about other jobs. All this wastes your time and doesn’t help you fill your vacancy.
Although these are quite good reasons not to reply, the other side is as follows:
– If you represent a big company, it can hurt your brand if people get a negative impression of you (when you don’t reply). Some national retailers generate over a million applications a year. If you end up turning down more than 95% then that’s a lot of people who will be disappointed. If you don’t even reply to their applications then that’s a lot of people who may not shop with you or use the services or products you provide.
– The power of social media now means that anyone who feels aggrieved, has an online voice, and has the potential to reach a lot of others. One bad review (or one person person complaining about not hearing back from you) could have serious implications for your company brand and overall image.
So – what do you do?
a) Always send out a simple email thanking the candidates for their application and confirming it has been unsuccessful.
b) Ensure the email is automated so it takes as little of your time as possible
c) If you can give feedback, then do. Whereas not replying can have a negative impact on your brand, feedback for unsuccessful applicants could have a positive impact.