You’re not in sales, right? You don’t want to make cold calls or knock on doors. You also aren’t in marketing – who wants that hassle – plus as a HR or payroll person, you know how they’re paid. You chose HR and payroll because it’s what fit with your personality – but like it or not, you still have sales and marketing responsibilities. Each time you talk with someone who has shown interest in your organization you’re given a chance to further your organization’s reputation and understanding in the marketplace.
Most HR professionals miss the mark in terms of sales and marketing for their organization – because when job applications come in they are most often met with silence. From a candidate’s standpoint, your silence is sending a negative message about your organization. It’s a silent marketing message that shows disinterest in the person; it’s easily interpreted as rude. Whether you realize it or not, the message you’re sending could create lost opportunities in terms of sales, customers, and perhaps even a detractor who can influence others’ behavior. You may say, I’m in the business-to-business world; these are not customers I am turning away. Maybe, maybe not. You never know when your behavior or lack of action as an HR professional could come back to hurt your organization.
No matter where a candidate is in the process, be it application or interview stage, they deserve your respect. These are professionals taking the time to apply, so it is incumbent on you as an HR professional to take the time to find a way to communicate appropriate to the stage of interview process. For example, an interviewee should receive more follow-up than a blind applicant. If you don’t communicate, your silence can and will impact your organization’s bottom line and brand in the following ways:
The experience a candidate had with your lack of communication erodes your organization’s brand.
If the candidate is one of society’s “influencers,” he/she can and will steer people away from buying from your organization.
A candidate that was your customer can decide that if they are not valued by your organization as an individual, perhaps they should take their business to your competitor(s).
I completely understand, you are busy, and maybe you just cannot find time to follow-up with every applicant. In that case, find a system that will automatically send emails and updates to all candidates. Plus, no one likes to be the bearer of bad news, so why should you have to tell people that interviewed with you that they are not qualified or wanted? Because it’s the right thing to do – and candidates should be given the opportunity to ask why they are not the right person and how they can improve for other opportunities that will come along. Silence is deafening… and maddening. Don’t leave candidates wondering and then free to spin a story where your organization is not worthy of their business or respect.
We’ve all been applicants at one point in time – treat people the way you would want to be treated – with communication and respect. No matter who gets hired, you’ll be doing a great sales job for your organization.