Friday 24 February 2017

This One Tip Will Make You an Exceptional Employer of Choice

Not so long ago I found my dream job advertised. I was SO excited. I polished my resume and included my most up to date skills; I wrote a fabulous job application and even included something a little out of left field with my application so I might be remembered. I sat back and waited for the phone call asking me to come in for an interview because I was their dream candidate.
And I waited, and I waited...
How many times have you applied for a job thinking you had a real chance at it and then heard nothing? Sometimes not even an acknowledgement that your application has been received.
You might wait two weeks and give the company a call or send them an email and sometimes still get no reply. You feel frustrated because you don't know if the job is still open or if you should still be hopeful.
When four weeks pass and you haven't heard anything the light starts to fade from your eyes and all hope of getting the dream job withers away. You must now consider the next job to apply for.
This, unfortunately, seems to be 'situation normal' now. There are even disclaimers on job advertisements with lines such as
"If you haven't heard from us in 4 weeks consider the job to be taken"
"We will only contact shortlisted candidates"
I'm sad and I'm angry about the way recruiters and companies treat job applicants. It feels like companies consider candidates to be numbers and not people striving for their next big break. They have lost sight of the fact that they should be selling the company as a great place to work, regardless of the economy and how many people may apply.
So, if you're a recruitment company or a business advertising for new roles, you can easily become an employer of choice by doing just this one thing -
Acknowledging applicants
Yes, it is that easy!
As a candidate, I've gone to a huge effort to write a great job application and I only want three things from you -
  1. an acknowledgement that you have received it
  2. if the process has been delayed, I want to know I'm still in the race; and
  3. even if I don't get an interview I want a notification to tell me the process has been completed so I can move on and start applying for other jobs.
Many companies now have automated recruitment solutions so there no excuses for not keeping applicants informed but even if you don't have these systems it only requires a couple of templates to keep people informed.If you can do that you will stand head and shoulders above the rest of the pack and win the admiration of applicants. Even those who don't win the job will still be impressed that you contacted them because NOBODY else is doing it.
It doesn't matter if the job is in the mailroom or a senior executive position everyone deserves to be acknowledged for the time and effort they have taken to bother applying for a job at YOUR company.
I was lucky enough to get my dream job, even after a lengthy delay in the recruitment process, and I implemented this one change for my organisation because what was once said about nerds can ring equally true for candidates -
"Be nice to nerds, they'll probably be your boss one day"
Bill Gates
So, take some time to build the templates to acknowledge all applicants for all positions and watch your employer reputation soar.
If you need advice or more information on how to achieve this, I would love to have a chat.
Cindy O'Dea
I own the Perth, WA based Practical HR Strategies. I have over 25 years HR and Learning and Development experience and have worked in organisations in all three tiers of government, mining and higher education. I'm passionate about providing no-nonsense solutions to help with the toughest part of any business - managing people!