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Want to Improve the Candidate Experience? Provide Some Feedback



I’ve been in the unfortunate situation where I’ve been laid off multiple times. It’s humiliating and unimaginably stressful. And it meant that I’ve suffered through being a job candidate far more than I would ever wish on anyone.

Why did I say that I “suffered”? Because it’s disheartening to spend multiple hours customizing your resume for a specific organization, crafting that perfect cover letter, and filling out the ATS application (why do I have to provide the same info in my resume AGAIN?!?), only to be met with, at best, a message thanking me for my application.

Here’s a sample of the communication I received from companies after spending hours submitting my application materials:

Thank you for applying for employment with the <company>. You will receive instructions by email/phone call as to the next step in the process.

(I never heard from them again.)

Thank you for submitting your application for <position>. We received your materials <date> and will contact you if more information is needed. Thank you for your interest. We look forward to reviewing your application.

(I never heard from them again.)

Your journey has just begun.

Thank you for taking an exciting step towards becoming a partner (employee) at <company>! We have received your application for the position,and are currently reviewing your qualifications and experiences. If you are a match for the role, a member of our recruiting team will be in touch with you to discuss next steps.

(I never heard from them again.)

Thank you for submitting your information for a position at <company>. Due to the large number of outstanding applications we receive, only the most qualified applicants will be contacted to interview for this position.

(I never heard from them again.)

Thank you so much for submitting your application to <company> for <position>, we really appreciate your interest! We typically review resumes and cover letters within a couple of days, although on occasion we do get a bit behind. If the requirements of this role are a good fit for your background, we will be in touch as soon as possible.

(I never heard from them again.)

The ubiquitous ‘thank you for your interest’ is NOT communication

I want to point out a couple things about these responses. First, these are companies with above average candidate communication – and the typical response shown above was lackluster and the same. Secondly, in all of the above examples, that was the last communication I received; no rejection, no feedback, just a simple acknowledgement that they did receive my application. And in every case, I was left with the distinct impression that the company did not care about me in the slightest – even after I spent so much time in proving I was qualified for the job. So why should I care about them?

So what is communication?

The Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology has released a white paper with recommended best practices for providing the best candidate experience to your selection system. One of the eight primary best practices is “providing candidates with informative and timely feedback on aspects of the decision-making process” with two specific recommendations:

  1. Use a computerized application system, or program, whereby the candidate can track their progress and view results of the decision-making process.

  2. Make timely feedback a priority and track time to give feedback for each selection hurdle.

It would not have been hard for the companies to have, at a minimum, send an email that said “Sorry, but no.” But, they didn’t even do that. No wonder candidate experience is always talked about – but none of those companies have done even the most basic courtesy of keeping a candidate up to date (the informing them that they are no longer in the running). Something so simple to do – but isn’t.

At career.place, we make this easy for employers. Our system provides candidates with the ability to track their progress and view their results at any time. And feedback is provided instantaneously – as soon as a decision is made, whether positive or negative, the candidate is informed – all of it automated with little to no input needed.

So what’s stopping you from improving the job candidate experience at your organization? It will pay off in huge dividends, from improving your brand, to your culture, to hiring candidates who, from the first step of the application process, felt like they were valuable and would be a critical part of the culture and team.

#NoBias


#candidateexperience #applicantexperience #bias #communication


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