You may not realize it, but your company’s brand reputation and engagement can start as early as the second someone hits “apply” on your website.
Prior to pressing that button the candidate may have done significant work and research into your company and the position they are applying for. They might have even looked deeply into the company culture and reputation, what the commute will be like and if they feel they can truly and realistically do the job as described. That is their responsibility. What is yours? To protect your organization’s reputation by being respectful.
According to CareerBuilder, a staggering 75% of applicants do not hear back from a company. Not even a simple email acknowledging receipt of the application and detailing next steps (which by the way can be setup as an auto-response online or in your email).
And of course as the candidate progresses into interviewing, you need to be more engaged with your responses. As we have talked about, an interview is a two-way evaluation process. A bad interview experience can lead a candidate to not only turn down an offer, but also to stop purchasing products or services from the company by being a brand detractor. A positive experience – even one without a job offer – can cause an applicant to be 23% more likely to purchase products or services from your company.
Additionally, the CareerBuilder study reveals that more than three in four (78%) of candidates will actively talk about a bad experience with their friends and family, 17% will post to social media and 6% will put it on their blog. These are all actions that can have lasting and public consequences to your organization.
So what can you do to make sure this doesn’t happen? Communication, timeliness and preparation. Make sure you start interviews on time and provide undivided attention. In October, we went over approaching interviewing as a conversation, not an interrogation and how you need to prepared to interview. Know who you’re talking to and what’s on their resume. Once the interview is done, check in with the candidate to see if they’re still interested and when they can expect to hear back from you.
No one likes to be on either side of a rejection – but you can’t leave candidates wondering. If they are not the chosen one, an email is the very least you can do; however, if you take it a step further and call the candidate to inform them of how the decision was reached, then you have helped give them a positive experience.
We’ve seen it before, companies who have great opportunities, but because of the way they have handled applications, interviews, and employee engagement in the past can drastically decrease the number of interested and qualified candidates. Don’t let this be you and your organization.