What Your Applicants are Missing?

Posted by Guest Post

As a hard charging challenge junky, you’re totally focused on growing your career by taking on ever greater responsibilities. In your current role, you’re well thought of by your peers and your supervisors like your work and include you in the most interesting projects that come along. Things are good, but you’re still not satisfied with the speed of your career ascent (and probably never will be).


In your mind, you’ve reached a level of consistency and the road ahead is going to be much of the same for the ensuing future. Like most top performers, you make it a point of keeping tabs on other companies in your industry and where they’re headed. Part of that “keeping up” is staying abreast of the next tier of job openings at the competitors you most admire.


It’s not that you’re disloyal to your current employer, but they’re getting your best and are benefiting from it. If there are avenues for career growth elsewhere, you owe it to yourself to keep an open mind. Eventually, you find a role that is too enticing to pass up. You want to maintain a level of anonymity with your industry peers, so instead of networking to let your intentions be known, you decide to apply to the company’s career site.


After work, you spend a few hours reworking you resume so it is a direct match with the open role’s job description. Then you head to the company application page and spend another 40 minutes filling out the application and hit submit. Within a few minutes, you notice an email has arrived in your inbox from the company, and you read it:


[su_quote cite="Acme Co."]We have received your application, and should we determine that you meet our hiring needs for this opening, we will contact you with further instructions. Thank you for your interest in our company.[/su_quote]


You immediately realize it as a generic notice sent to everyone who applies and at least you know that you have managed to let them know you are interested. It will only be a matter of time until a real person reaches out to discuss the opening.


The next day you dive back into your work and only on the way home do you realize that you’ve forgotten to check your private email that you used for your application. Once you get home you log in and find nothing there. It’s only the next day, so you remind yourself that one of your key areas to improve is your lack of patience and set a mental note to give it some time.

A few more days and then a week goes by and you begin to think about the one bit of communication that’s been sent to you from the company. You begin to parse the meaning of this singular note. The line in the note that says, “if we determine you meet our needs, we’ll contact you,” begins to really bother you. It takes on the meaning of, “if we think you’re good enough we’ll let you know, otherwise, buzz off!” After two to three weeks goes by and there has been no communication, you cross this company off your list as a potential career stop. If they can’t see how amazing you are, they are the foolish ones. From then on, when anyone asks about cool companies to work for in your industry, you go out of your way to tell them to not bother considering that company.


Reality or Fiction?

If you find it to be far fetched, I appreciate your opinion, but I would challenge you to consider what the lack of communication does to the human mind. With a lack of information, we tend to conjure up all sorts possibilities to fill the void. In my example, this is a person who is clearly a high achiever, but most everyone believes that they are solid performers and possess qualities that are in demand. Let’s face it, this is the reason they’ve applied in the first place.


I understand that my scenario doesn’t describe all career consumers. Certainly, there are active job seekers who will complete multiple applications in search of work with less regard to their job match, but if we use these job seekers as our guide to how we communicate with applicants, I believe we are making a mistake. The reality is that as an industry, these ultra-active job seekers are exactly who we are designing our applicant communication programs around. On average, only about 10% of job seekers ever get past the apply button and these 90% never hear anything beyond the fact that we’re received their application. With our technology today, I believe this is a big mistake.


The Talent Board who surveyed about 90,000 applicants, tell us that in 2017 about 2/3 of the companies in their survey send out a “thank you for applying” message. Unfortunately, less than half of the applicants in their survey ever hear another peep from these companies. It’s important to note that this a survey has only 200 enterprise companies who have applied to have their Candidate Experience reviewed. They think they’re doing to a good job with applicants (its why they’ve submitted themselves to the survey in the first place!). I’d venture to guess that for the other 30,000 companies out there (with 500 employees and up) that these numbers are much worse.


Communication is an area where companies must do better and there are solutions within their grasp. Applicant Communication is the one area that is easy to improve and as the above scenario illustrates is one of the biggest negatives applicants endure.

ConveyIQ’s Applicant Communication Studio is the key solution to a remarkable applicant experience…

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