Applying for a job can feel like playing the lottery.
You punch your ticket, apply, and hope your number is magically called. It's like throwing darts in the dark. Exactly what happens after you submit your resume is a mystery.
Luckily, it's gotten better.
With advancements in technology, automated messages are at least filling in the gaps throughout the application process. But, for most, this leaves much to be desired.
This job could be a dream scenario or offer an opportunity to work for a company you've been following for years. Imagine if the consumer experience was like this; you showed an interest in purchasing a new car, but the dealer never responded to your inquiry. As you could imagine, it would cause some pause and potentially brand damage.
Many organizations are starting to treat prospective talent like this; consumers. The process of treating applicants as customers throughout the recruiting process is known as the candidate experience. It makes sense. For some, this may be their most intimate interaction with your brand, and you want to make sure, regardless of the outcome, that they remain advocates.
Google understands the significance. So, it set out to tackle the most common complaint of candidates: poor communication. To ensure it's applicants have a positive experience, Google uses the three T's of follow-up:
Make sure the tone simple, understandable, and to-the-point.
In other words, be human, pragmatic and relatable.
Unfortunately, too many recruiting processes feel distant and inhospitable. If you think about it, applying for a job is a pretty vulnerable place to be in. You subject yourself to scrutiny and feedback. When your open and exposed like this, it feels disheartening not to receive some level of transparency in return.
Those organizations who really get it, use a friendly tone to disarm and engage their candidates and potential customers.
Responses should be timely.
It's important to keep candidates informed as they pass, or don't pass, critical steps in the recruiting process. When I was in third party recruiting, we had a saying: Time kills all deals.
As candidates wait, situations and perceptions change. In my experience, the clients of mine who consistently won the war for top talent ran efficient recruiting processes and provided frequent updates to keep candidates engaged in the process.
And, at the end of the day, timely communication is just more considerate.
The good news is easy. Relaying bad news is tough. Regardless of the nature of the call, it's important to be honest and forthright. It may be uncomfortable to tell a candidate that they are no longer being considered, but, it's far better than not communicating with them at all.
In my experience, candidates have always appreciated the conversation and any constructive interview feedback.
For some recruiting teams, it may be unrealistic to connect with every candidate that applies. In those instances, it's important to set clear expectations and encourage candidates to follow up if they have questions regarding their applications.
It's important to remember, even though applicants are not buying your product, they are still experiencing your brand. Make sure you give an appropriate amount of consideration to your organization's candidate experience. It could be the sole interaction someone has with your company.