Employers: let candidates know if their application has NOT been successful

CV writing serviceOne of the biggest frustrations job seekers face is the frankly shocking practice by employers who do not tell applicants whether they have been successful or not. Candidates put a lot of effort into tailoring their CV and letter. Even more into arduous application forms. The very least they deserve is to be told ‘no’ you haven’t been successful this time. There is no excuse for this lack of common courtesy.

Managing expectations

In this age of intelligent candidate management systems it is very easy for an employer to send out an automated email politely telling candidates whether they have been successful. It can be set up literally at the click of a button. Some employers think they can cover themselves by having a message saying ‘if you haven’t heard back from us within 30 days please assume your application has been unsuccessful’. This is lazy and unacceptable. Even worse are employers who say nothing at all about what will happen to an application. Candidates are left quite simply high and dry.

Treat others as you would like to be treated yourself

There is an old adage in economics that producers are also consumers. The same is true of job seekers. Everybody will change jobs at some time. Less than two years on average. One wonders how a professional recruiter feels when they apply for a job and hear nothing? Hours spent preparing their dream application. Fuss over minor details. Finally press ‘submit’. The inevitable butterflies. Then a wave of calm and crossing of fingers. Days pass. Constantly checking the inbox or voicemail.  Still nothing.  It’s not a nice feeling is it?

Too little time. Too many applications. Too busy. These are all familiar excuses given for not replying to candidates. Employers often talk up their values. Positive terms abound like customer focus, helping others and respect. Employer values should be experienced by anyone coming into contact with an organisation. And that starts with job applicants. In too many cases these values disappear in the treatment of candidates. Think about that the next time that applicant goes to buy one of your cups of coffee and turns and moves on elsewhere. Applicants are also consumers.

Turning the tide

In cases of high volume recruitment, we understand that asking for feedback may be a step too far. But recruitment is a people to people business. It is time to haul back this malaise of apathy. Every employer and recruiter should put in place a process for communicating with all applicants – not just those that are successful.  You never know, your employer reputation might even improve.

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