Thanks, But No Thanks, Mr./Ms. Applicant!

Remember the days when every applicant was acknowledged by a company? I do and lately I have heard from several job seekers that companies are no longer contacting applicants about the status of the position they have applied for. It can be frustrating to apply for a position and receive no response. And it’s even more frustrating to go through the interview process and not hear anything back from the company. What is happening to this mainstay of recruiting?

Times have certainly changed and so has the volume of candidates. Many recruiters argue that it is time consuming and a drain on resources to contact each applicant. I see their point but I think the lack of communication could potentially tarnish an employer’s brand.

Back in 2001 when I relocated from Manhattan to Wilmington, NC, I had applied to work as a staffing person for a large temporary firm. I went through the entire interview process and even the background checks and drug screening. I never heard back from the company. They just left me hanging. Fast forward to 2 months later and I was gainfully employed with a company and lo and behold this temporary firm came knocking on my door to get our business. It was even the same person who had interviewed me! It is amazing how things come around. Moral of the story – it is always good to respond to candidates as honestly as possible because you never know when you will see them again or when they might become customers of your company.

Ironically, I found out from the employer who hired me that there was a case of identity theft that tarnished my record. I was able to clear it up and maintain my clean background. I have always wondered if this error is what held me back from being hired by that temporary firm. They never shared anything with me so I will never know.

We all get busy and have jammed packed schedules. However taking a minute to even send a generic group email to the applicants who were not selected can not only alleviate the wonder the applicants have but potentially save face for the company. It can be a bummer when you are not considered for a position but at least a bit of solace can gained by knowing where you stand in the process. At my current employer, we recently implemented a new HRIS that allows applicants to see the status of all their applications at any time. This feature has reduced the phone volume in our office which is a BIG time saver in itself. In the past, we did everything we could to connect with each applicant. Now it happens automatically. Thank goodness for technology!

Don’t forget to CELEBRATE!


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