Put yourself in an applicant's shoes. When they apply for a job at your organization what is their experience? Do they receive an acknowledgement that their application has been received? Will they be contacted even if they're not a good fit or when they fail at a step in the recruiting workflow? Stephen Bruce, PhD/PHR, in an article for HR Daily Advisor explains that, "More than half of employers (52%) respond to less than half of the candidates who apply. What these employers may not realize, however, is that not only do most candidates expect an automated reply that acknowledges their application, the majority (84%) also expect a personal email response, and 52% anticipate a phone call."
Does your organization fall into the 52% that doesn't respond to all applicants when they apply? This practice is being labeled as "ghosting." According to Ira Wolfe, President/Author at Success Performance Solutions, "Ghosting is a newly popular term for the practice of disappearing from a relationship and ignoring texts, phone calls and other attempts at making contact." While this also applies to relationships outside of the workplace - this term is becoming increasing popular in the HR world as more and more employers neglect to acknowledge or communicate with all their applicants. On the flip side, there is nothing more frustrating to an applicant than not knowing if their application was received or what the next steps are, if any. While HR teams and applicants may have different thoughts on what's acceptable, in the end, a poor applicant experience can be very damaging to an organization.
Let's shed some light on why good communication with job applicants is so important. Failure to provide a good applicant experience can damage a company's reputation. This is especially harmful when comments can spread virally across a variety of social media channels instantly. Not only is reputation at stake here, but a negative candidate experience can hurt the company's bottom line too. Applicants may choose to take their business elsewhere after having a bad experience during the application process. According to the HR Daily Advisor article mentioned above, "58% are less likely to buy from a company to which they’ve applied if they don’t get a response to their application; 69% are less likely if they have a bad experience in the interview; and the same is true of 65% if they didn’t hear back after an interview." Employers should be aware that the detrimental effects can be long-lasting.
The Applicant Manager, TAM, understands the importance of the employer-candidate relationship. TAM provides a solution to streamline personalized and professional communications and our clients recognize that.
"The Applicant Manager (TAM) system is the best (applicant tracking system) I have used to aid effective communication."
- Scott Smith, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, VP Human Resources, BVB
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A good applicant tracking system like TAM will help you stay connected with your applicants by offering a variety of communication tools throughout the recruiting process. These tools include:
- Thank you for applying messages. Ensure that every applicant receives acknowlegement when they submit their application. Decide whether applicants will receive this in their web browser after they apply or via email.
- Rejection messages. Notify the applicant if they aren't moving forward in the hiring process. You may know an applicant isn't a good fit right away or you might fail an applicant further down the road. Regardless, make sure you communicate with each applicant to close the loop.
- Create a workflow. When moving applicants through the hiring process, set expectations. Communicate what they should expect next.
- Use automation. In TAM you can create automatic triggers and automated messages. For example when an applicant is failed, have an email triggered two days later to let them know you won't be proceeding with them.
- Stay in touch. You will come across great candidates that you can't hire now. Store their information in TAM's searchable database. You'll be able to quickly access their information in the future. You can also send them information about new jobs that they might be a great fit for.
Don't be guilty of "ghosting" when it comes to job applicants. Put practices in place to make sure communication is timely, appropriate and professional. If you need help, contact us today and learn what TAM can do for your organization!