Are your Candidates Left in the Cold?

A commonly shared frustration amongst modern day job seekers is the lack of response to their job applications. We're not talking about a response to unsolicited speculative approaches to HR departments but a lack of response to applications made to advertised job vacancies.

It got us thinking.......

What could be the reason behind this growing trend?

True, there are a tiny minority of individuals who barely deserve a response; who blatantly ignore all application requests and forward something not much better than my 6 year old could produce. Haven't they ever heard of spell check? If they can't be bothered to put any effort into their application then why should they merit any effort being made in a response? Is that the reason?

If it is then it doesn't explain why numerous hair and beauty professionals with well crafted CV's and cover letters aren't receiving a response either.

Is it that HR departments haven't the resources to effectively reply to every applicant? Are they being overwhelmed by applications?

Or is it that there's a general apathy creeping into the modern workplace? It all adds to extra workload having to reply to people and anyway isn't it obvious that if you haven't heard back then your application has been unsuccessful?

And there's the misconception. No, candidates don't immediately jump to the conclusion their application has been unsuccessful. Instead they worry that their application has been lost in cyber space, that the job didn't really exist or that the recruiter is taking an extraordinary long time to sift through applications.

The end result is that they associate that company or recruitment agency with not being serious or genuine when they advertise a position. Lack of a response to the jobseeker equates to lack of interest and they think twice before applying that company in the future.

As recruiters and employers, is this really the end result we want or the image we want to portray? In today's competitive market place isn't brand value everything? It's as much about the jobseeker interviewing and forming opinions about us as it is the other way around.

And more fundamental than that isn't it only right that if we invite individuals to make contact that we acknowledge receipt of their application, indeed thank them for their efforts?

At the very least if we can't respond to every jobseeker with the outcome of their application then we should tell them what is going to happen at the outset so they are not left wondering. This should include explaining that due to receiving lots of applications it won't be possible to respond to everyone and that only candidates whose application will be taken further will be contacted. It also helps to indicate a time frame by which they should hope to have heard back from us.

Wouldn't this be so much better than leaving our candidates out in the cold?

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