Susan Hand's Tips "responding to job applicants" Make it a Process

Corporate recruiters and agencies are overwhelmed with job applicants in these economic times. Therefore, it is extremely important to make sure that all employment communications are planned prior to getting in the ring. However, I have witnessed a bulk of organizations, and company representatives that do not respond or follow up to jobseeker.

I'm sure this is not because they do not care, or do not have the manners to communicate. I believe most likely that it is due to poor planning, and process. Therefore, I'd like to suggest some easy to remember tips to those recruiters and companies having difficulties.

1) Use Technology with Accuracy:

A) Companies have various HRIS, and ATS technologies, others have email or manual processes. If the technology has a built in auto response email feature, make sure the feature works. Test it. Note: if the feature only works per applicant or per email vs per submission, state that in the auto response verbiage. i.e. We have received your application for role X, if you have applied to other roles, you will receive another response. Manual or email folks should have one point of contact or posted instructions with a general phone or email response and one address. i.e., or 1-800-get-work. Thanks for applying we will contact all qualified applicants.

B) Organize using technology. Don't use avenues, that aren't easily maintained. If you use Linkedin to post, make sure its directed into your email or HRIS system. If you have IE8 use it, it combines with other search avenues to make it simple to organize.

c) Preliminary qualifying screens built in. If an HRIS or ATS is available, or if you are lucky enough to be in the pre-screen qualifying questions up front. Make sure these are directly related to your qualifications. I.e.) in the US: Are you authorized to work for any employer in the US. Applicants can answer the question up front, which helps the review of bulk resumes.

2) Instruct and Direct all applicants and inquires.

A)Have a message on the website, job posting and career site that directs your applicants to the appropriate channel, and notifies them of the qualifications. If an applicant applies that is not qualified they will not expect a response. A common statement is "only online applications will be considered", or "All parties must formally apply and meet all qualifications to be considered". This is critical to OFCCP compliance and recordkeeping.

B) Communicate the process and the results if available.
i.e. Hi, your resume was reviewed by our hiring team and all believed you are qualified. However, we are far along in the selection process, and have offered a candidate the position. We will retain your credentials should anything change. OR thank you for your interview. Since we last spoke we have discovered someone that more ideally matched the competencies of our role. Therefore, we will not be proceeding to our next steps... We wish you luck on your career search.

3) Have a unified message and communicate that message to the larger organization: REMEMBER: Every communication you send is a reflection of your company. Therefore, communicate your recruitment process and message to all hiring managers, staff, and vendors. If Tom from Sales gets an inquiry he will know what to do with it, and whom to direct it too.

4) TRY to Respond with honesty in a timely fashion. This sets apart the dealer from the professional "We have a number of applicants and would like to respond individually to all, however, we can not at this time. " Or by phone: Hi Jack, I've noticed you have applied to several roles, for which you do not meet the qualifications. I wanted you to know I have reviewed your applications, but can only consider you for the team lead. I have submitted you for that role, and will inform you of the results, as soon as the team review is complete.

5) Thank all whom apply.

6) Re-assess your process every 6 months. Is it working? Ask applicants, managers, and recruiters? Can we improve it?

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