For many of you, it may have been quite some time since you have last searched for a job. Imagine back to that moment. Did your interaction with that company cause you to have a more positive impression than when you first began the application process? Was the interaction less than spectacular?
You are an extension of your company. I like to think of Human Resources as “the first encounter.” If the first alien life form you encountered was like E.T., you might have a pretty decent impression of aliens and the planet they live on. However, if the first alien life form you encountered was from the planet LV-426, you might decide to flee and have no further contact with anyone in any shape or form from that planet (that is if you got away alive).
Instead of thinking of ALL these GREAT things you can do to keep people from thinking they have just stumbled upon LV-426, pick one or two things that you can master. Here are the top two things that you can do as recruiting and human resources professionals today to help:
Tell applicants your general timeline
Tell applicants if they are not selected
Tell Applicants Your General Timeline
On your automated ‘Thank You for Applying’ email, add a typical timeline. You could also add a page to your applicant tracking system (ATS) that references your timeline. These timelines can be similar, or the email could reference the ATS page. I can hear you now, “What if we don’t have an exact timeline?” It is okay. Sharing basic time frame expectations, but if necessary acknowledging that exact time frames aren’t always known for certain positions, will work.
Consider this: you create a page on your applicant tracking system’s branded career portal called ‘Our Hiring Process’ or ‘What to Expect.’ Then fill it in with what you want your typical process to look like. Here’s an example:
We are so thankful you are interested in joining our team! If you have already applied or are considering applying, here are some things you should know about working at Our Company. After we review your application, which can sometimes take up to three weeks, we will let you know if we think you may or may not be a good fit. If we do not think you are a good fit for the position we will tell you but that does not mean that you are not a good fit for all of our positions. Keep an eye on our postings and consider applying for another listing.
If we think you are a good fit, we will contact you about exploring the possibilities further. Typically we will first request a phone interview. If that goes well, we will occasionally have a second step of application information for you to complete online. This does not happen with all job listings, but with a few it does. From there, we will conduct a face to face interview. If the fit still seems good, on our behalf and yours, we will conduct a second face-to-face interview. Sometimes we are still looking for that little differentiator and want to be sure YOU like us as much as we like you – it’s a two-way street around here – so we may ask you to come in to the office and job shadow someone. From here, we will make a decision on who to hire.
We will do our best to communicate with you if we think you would be a good fit for this specific position. Best wishes on your search and again, thank you for showing your interest in Our Company.
Tell Applicants if They Are Not Selected
Follow through with what you are telling applicants. Communicate if they are not selected. Even the standard email template is better than no news at all. I hear on a daily basis how applicants will never buy products or recommend a specific company because the company did not “respect” the applicant enough to communicate that they were not selected.
Be an E.T., not an alien from planet LV-426!