It doesn’t matter if you’re a recent college graduate or a seasoned executive, finding a well-paying job these days can be tough. The United States Department of Labor reports Colorado’s unemployment rate at 8.1 percent as of May, slightly better than the national average of 8.2 percent. So it comes as no surprise that hiring managers nowadays must sift through dozens, if not hundreds, of applications per job posting. Typically, these gatekeepers pinpoint the most promising applicants and ignore the rest in the name of efficiency. However, failing to respond to all potential candidates is not only rude, but risky. Here are three reasons why.
1. It’s the right thing to do
On the surface, a stack of resumes is just another pile of office clutter to be dealt with. In reality, each one of these starchy pieces of paper (or digital files) represent a person who believes in your business’s mission, service, or product enough to spend a majority of their time working on its behalf. It is an incredible compliment, and to ignore it is like refusing to hold the door open for someone carrying a heavy box. This means, at the very least, you should let them know you received their materials, and whether or not they have been chosen to move forward in the process. There are even automated messaging systems you can install to make corresponding with a high volume of applicants easier.
2. It preserves your reputation
When a person is upset, they usually tell a friend or family member the reason why, and your business’s silence is no exception. If you don’t care about the reputation of your business, or its culture, then by all means continue not returning those phone calls or emails. But if you do, then make sure you respond to every question, comment, or concern that comes your way. You’ll build stronger relationships and attract the best candidates.
3. It eases a potential candidate’s anxiety—and yours.
It’s easy to forget about the stress of job hunting when you’re sitting in a corner office. But when you’re unemployed, it can be the only thing you think about. For a job seeker, a phone call or e-mail from a potential employer—even if it’s a rejection—can quickly ease that tension because it gives them a clear picture of their progress.
In many ways, responding to applicants comes down to one principle: how would you like to be treated if you were seeking employment from this firm?