If you’ve ever been to the DMV, you know what it’s like to spend hours filling out stacks of paperwork and not hear back for weeks.
The only difference for job seekers is that they go through that process several times per day and almost never hear back.
To be fair, the hiring process isn’t always easy for recruiters either. You’re fielding a deluge of applications on the daily and you need to pinpoint the best one as quickly as possible. Sure, the idea of creating a better experience for candidates sounds awesome and all — but with so much on your plate, where do you even start?
First, know that it IS possible to create a better experience for candidates without having to deliver a handwritten note to every applicant, or waiting around for the C-Suite to finally wake up and realize this “candidate experience” stuff matters.
Here are four simple ways to make job applicants and candidates feel more appreciated starting now.
#1 — Say thank you for every application
Everyone likes to be recognized for the work they do and chances are your application took a decent amount of work. Between cover letters, electronic forms, resume pruning, and way too much more, your candidates have probably put hours into applying.
That’s worth a simple ‘thank you.’
Set up an autoresponder from your email or ATS to immediately send out a brief email letting them know you’ve received their application. Bonus points if you set up another to let them know when the position has been filled, or check in with an update if it’s taking more than a week to get back to them.
The surprising thing about “mass emails” is that they can actually feel pretty personal if you take the time to write them that way. An honest and heartfelt thank you will be make a big impact on your candidates.📧💓
#2 — Drop the jargon
Following up is crucial but it won’t be nearly as effective if your follow-ups sound robotic or distant. This tip comes from HR guru Liz Ryan, who writes that so much of the old, super “business-like” way of talking is impersonal and just straight up unnecessary. 🙅
Instead of the classic corporate-speak invitation to check out your newly-posted position, Liz recommends a more personal approach such as inviting the person to look at your company’s social media or mission statement.
This subtle shift in tone can have a big impact on potential candidates or applicants who are used to being approached with a jargon-heavy copy/pasted message.
#3 — Respond personally when you can
Take things to the next level by giving your candidates a personal reply, especially if they interviewed with you.
Many names will come across your desk and it may feel impossible to remember them all. That’s okay. A completely personal response is always best but if you just don’t have the bandwidth, use an email template with one personalized line that references the candidate’s qualifications, experience, or interview.
Most recruitment management systems make it easy to add personal notes about each candidate, but even if you’re using a homegrown system, it won’t take a ton of extra time to add a column for personal notes. (Pssst. If you’re a Breezy user you can easily add notes to each candidate profile.)
A simple nod to someone’s unique skill set, hobby or personal passion is all takes to let them know you value the relationship and want to leave to the door open to working together in the future (even if it’s not in an employer-employee capacity).
#4 — Use a smart ATS
The hiring process has plenty of moving pieces and unfortunately, names and faces can easily get lost in the shuffle. A smart recruitment management tool can take the admin burden off your back so you can spend more time interacting with your candidates. 👍🏽
Here are some of the things to look for in a super smart ATS:
- Is it easy (or even fun) to use?
- Does it integrate with your most-used job boards?
- Does it streamline the application process for both you and your candidates?
- Can it help you parse and engage candidates?
- Does it come with a friendly chatbot who can help you communicate with candidates?
- Is it fully optimized for mobile?
- Can you easily send automated emails to all your applicants at every stage?
A great recruitment management tool should do all of the above and more.
At Breezy, a better recruitment experience is what we’re all about.