If your organization is like most companies, you spend thousands of dollars annually on customer acquisition, marketing, and courting a positive public opinion of your corporate brand. Unfortunately, many of these same companies don’t realize that another one of their standard practices is chipping away at the positive public image they have worked so hard to create.
I’m talking about following up with those potential customers who have given you the ultimate compliment by applying for a job with your company.
So many companies post job opportunities, encourage candidates to apply, then call a “communication blackout” after applications have been submitted. When you go dark – and don’t tell someone you’ve hired someone else or decide not to hire for a position at all – you may turn a potentially vocal supporter of your brand into an angry bird.
My company, StartWire, recently completed a survey of 2,000+ job seekers, asking how a company’s application process affected their view of the brand. This is what we heard:
- 77% said they think less of companies that don’t respond to job applicants,
- 72% would be deterred from recommending or speaking positively online of your company
- 58% said they’d even think twice about buying your products or services if they don’t ever hear from you after they submit their application.
There’s a cloud of frustration brewing over the heads of job seekers who hear nothing but crickets from the companies they’ve applied to. Recruiters are busy, and have a lot of good reasons for why they’re not able to follow up on every application. However, the truth is that applicants are (usually) not involved in recruiting or human resources. They don’t know about the countless other applications you’ve seen for the same position. What they do know is that they put time and effort into their application with you. They’re engaged in a stressful job search, and want to know if they’re making progress and where.
You may even want to tell potential candidates that they can expect to hear back from you – even as you advertise your job openings: 96% of our survey respondents said they are more likely to apply if they know you’ll follow-up.
So get out there and share your process with your applicants – thank candidates for applying, keep them updated and let them know when they’ll hear back on their status in the applicant pool. It’s a simple process, but one which can pay off in spades with a higher accept rate when you extend an offer – and happier customers even if you don’t decide to hire!
Chris Forman is the CEO and Co-Founder of StartWire, a job search organizer that provides job seekers with automatic updates on job application status. The former CEO of AIRS and Chief Development Officer of the Right Thing, Chris likes to talk about business, recruiting and technology and has done so at over 300 conferences and web events.