The importance of responding to candidates

Posted on Tuesday, October 13, 2020 by Chloe Weddell1 comment

Understanding the hiring process from the candidates’ perspective is essential when trying to attract the best quality applicants. Responding to all candidates, even if it is with bad news, is a fundamental part of this process.

Generally, a job seeker will spend hours perfecting their CV, researching a company, writing a cover letter, applying for the role and preparing for an interview. As well as taking up a lot of their time, it is also a stressful process filled with uncertainty. It is then frustrating for the candidate when they don’t hear a response. Whether you’re going to hire that person or not, it is crucial and respectful to let them know.

According to a Glassdoor survey, three quarters of people read at least four reviews before forming an opinion of a company. The reputation of your brand can be affected by comments left on websites such as Glassdoor, and this in turn can affect the quality of the candidates that apply for your role.

Even if you don’t hire that person, letting them know and providing feedback means they are more likely to leave a positive review of their experience, which may encourage more people to apply in the future. If an applicant has a bad experience with your hiring process, it may put others off.

Personalised responses are preferable as they offer an insight into where the candidate may have gone wrong or why they weren’t the right fit for your company. When a job seeker has put in a lot of effort to their application and interview, feedback is greatly appreciated.

Of course it isn’t always possible to send personalised responses to every applicant and we understand that sifting through a multitude of applications to find those that ‘fit the bill’ can be time consuming. Even so, an automated response is better than none at all. We have all been in the position where we are left in limbo waiting for a reply, a simple response thanking someone for their time and effort goes a long way in improving your company’s reputation. A positive experience might even increase the chance of someone recommending a more suitable candidate to apply for your role. Sending a response will also save you from having to answer calls and emails from applicants chasing a follow up.

Remember that you want the best quality candidates to choose you. They may have other job offers and you need to make your company stand out in a positive way, so start by going the extra mile and providing a positive experience from the beginning.

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1 comment on "The importance of responding to candidates"

  • Duncan McDougall says: 19 October 2020 at 12:19

    Oh, how true.

    Far too many recruiters use a default setting: "if you have not heard from us within x days, assume you have been unsuccessful". At least that's some kind of indication, I suppose.

    Worse than that are the ones who assure you that the application was still live last time they looked but who have to be nudged every few days to give a response - or, as happened with one of my applications, NOT to give a response after four calls.