Stop Fooling With Candidates and Respond to Their Applications

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Applying for a job and never hearing back from the company is like asking someone to marry you and having the person simply look over your shoulder, as if you didn’t just offer a proposal.

Sometimes, all one needs is a response; a simple “yay” or “nay” to release them from the agony of possibility and free their soul from the pit of false hope. Your failure to respond sends a message, perhaps not the one you intended to send but a message nonetheless.

The job market can be an ugly place, especially for someone who has been out of work for a while. Why make that endeavor even more challenging by overlooking an applicant’s submission?

How a failure to respond impacts your brand

This individual took the time to apply for a job with your company: submitted a tailored cover letter indicating their interest in the position, created a resume that highlights their relevant experience, produced a list of willing references, answered accompanying questions, and then crickets.

How’s that working out for you? More specifically, how is it impacting your brand?

Research shows that 44 percent of job seekers who don’t receive a response from an employer after applying for a job adopt an unfavorable view of the company. And it gets better: 80 percent of those respondents are prepared to share their negative experience with others.

Just how will they communicate this bad news? Try word-of-mouth, social media sites, job boards and interactive forums (the very places you’re looking for talent and employee referrals), eventually leading you to hire a dedicated PR team to patch the gaping hole in your brand.

The worst part is you could have avoided this kind of attack. An overlooked element of damage control is prevention. Don’t let it happen in the first place – if you can help it – and the good news is, you can.

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Yes, EVERYONE is busy

HR professionals are busy. That is totally understandable, but guess what? So is everybody else.

That woman who completed your 90-minute application process has an energetic toddler she must tend to and managed to squeeze in time to apply for the job while her little one was sleeping. That man who answered your 28 mandatory screening questions and submitted his resume through your career site splits his time between a part-time job, online classes, an ailing mother and seeking full-time employment.

These resumes come from human beings who have obligations just like you. Many of them have limited time and resources just like you. They have hopes and dreams just like you.

Think about the people behind that flood of applications. They need and deserve a response.

This article was originally published on the HireFuel blog.