As an applicant, we’ve all been there – applying for a job, then waiting anxiously by the phone while compulsively checking email, hoping for a status update on where we stand in the hiring process. For applicants, sometimes the hardest part of the process isn’t hearing the bad news that they didn’t get the job – it’s the waiting for communication that’s the most difficult.

So why do some HR professionals seemingly “wait” to communicate to applicants that they didn’t get the job?

Most of the time it has to do with lack of resources and time. To follow up with applicants each step of the way is very time consuming, so to add this step to the process can be overwhelming to some. However, communicating to applicants in each step of the hiring process whether or not they got the job is not only professional and considerate, it’s also best interest of your employer brand, making this a must-add step in your process. Your employer brand is just as important as your company brand, so setting a positive image is extremely important. Customers talk, so do applicants. You don’t want to run the risk of developing a negative reputation that could impact the number of applicants you receive in the future.

Get Personal.

While the standard “thank you for your time, etc.” mass, automated email is useful for large groups of unqualified applicants, consider utilizing a more personalized approach when informing your final candidates that they didn’t get the job. You don’t have to make a personal phone call to every single candidate you’ve interviewed, but if you’ve narrowed your options down to a few applicants, then you should take a few moments to personally thank them for their time. Serious candidates invest a good amount of time into your interview process, so thanking them for their time is both professional and considerate.

Be Quick To Communicate.

If you know an applicant has been disqualified, then reach out to them in a timely manner to let them know they will not be moving forward in the process. Do not wait until the job requisition is closed to inform all applicants of their status in the process, which unnecessarily keeps candidates in limbo for a long period of time. If email notifications become time consuming, considering utilizing an applicant tracking system that can automate emails quickly and easily.

Be Honest. Give Feedback.

When communicating with candidates that they didn’t get the job, consider offering feedback that is polite and constructive. For example, use more specifics as to why they didn’t get the position like, “we decided to go with a candidate with more experience,” or “we think you have a great skill set but are looking for someone with more experience in XYZ.” Applicants will appreciate knowing why they weren’t chosen, so they know whether or not they need to improve in certain areas. While providing feedback isn’t necessary, it’s an extra step that improves your employer brand and helps applicants improve.

Utilizing the right etiquette in your hiring process is a win-win for both company and applicant. If you need help streamlining your hiring process and improving organization and efficiency, considering utilizing an applicant tracking system. You can request a personalized demo of ApplicantStack from one of our account managers.

ApplicantStack is a complete applicant tracking & onboarding system for HR professionals. Post jobs online, recruit via social media, communicate with applicants quicker and much more!

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ApplicantStack is a complete applicant tracking & onboarding system for HR professionals. Post jobs online, recruit via social media, communicate with applicants quicker and much more!

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Karen Tanzini

Karen is the Marketing Manager for Racarie Software.