Recruiters: Be Courteous to Your Applicants or Beware of PR Nightmares

While you’re checking out a potential employee’s online footprint to ensure they’re every bit the professional they appear to be, they’re likely to be checking out yours too. That sour taste left in an unsuccessful applicant’s mouth from your last recruitment campaign may have led to a spiral of negative comments circulating around the internet about your company. Whether it’s a fair comment or not, do you want others seeing that?

With society heavily consumed in the digital age, we’re all tweeting, liking, hash tagging and ultimately; sharing. Candidates who have had a negative experience at your company throughout the recruitment or employment process are likely to tell family and friends, tweet and blog about it and share on forums, potentially putting off other candidates and creating an unappreciated reputation for yourselves.

While you can’t delete people’s comments, you can take a few actions to review your selection process and ensure you don’t leave applicants feeling worthless and bitter towards your company in the future.

How Do I Avoid PR Nightmares?

  • Use your manners

Although the candidate is applying to your job, don’t act high and mighty. Make sure you thank them for their time and that you appreciate their application/interview attendance.

  • Keep them informed

Recruitment processes can be long winded, sometimes taking months. Don’t leave the hopeful applicant waiting by the telephone for days on end; tell them what the next stage is and when they should expect to be contacted with the final decision.

  • Manage their expectations

As hard as it is to be painfully honest sometimes, telling someone that the interview “went really well” or their application “looks promising” when you know it’s going straight in the NO pile isn’t fair. Avoid building their hopes up by informing them that you have other candidates to see.

  • Get back to them

Although you may have had 50 applications for only one vacancy, it’s important that you let candidates know when they have been unsuccessful. Draft a template rejection letter that you can send out quickly and easily. Although it’s not the nicest thing to receive in the mail, at least candidates know where they stand. CV-Library’s clients are provided with a template rejection letter to send out to candidates with the click of a button, saving you the time it takes to write to each individual.

  • Give them a reason

While the ultimate goal is to fill your vacancy, the candidate is also trying to find themselves a job, so be aware of this when you’re putting them in the rejection pile. If you have a fair and definitive reason why you couldn’t hire someone, for example; not having enough experience or the right qualifications, share it with them to allow them to improve for their next application.

Some candidates may even ring you to ask for feedback on their application or interview, so try to allow them 10 minutes of your day to help them for the future. However, remember constructive criticism is key here…

Too Late – How Do I Damage Control?

If you’ve been a victim of online criticism in various global sharing platforms here’s how to resolve the situation:

  • Find the complaint

Search for your company online e.g. ‘<company name> reputation’ or ‘<company name> interview,’ to find any unfavourable comments. Particularly focus on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook, or forums like The Student Room and Wiki How where people regularly share their experiences.

  • Reply

If it was on a social media platform or a forum, express your sincerest apologies and thank them for their feedback. Assure them that you will try to change the protocol in which your company deals with applications. Although it won’t get them the job they wanted, it will at least show others that you’re actively trying to improve your methods and it won’t put them off applying for a job at your company in the future.

  • Change

It’s no use monitoring feedback if you’re not going to do anything about it. When you’re sifting through numerous applications, it’s hard to forget that these are actually the people you’re dealing with, so always try to treat them with the respect, courtesy and fairness that you would hope to be treated with.

If you’re looking for new staff and keen to learn more about how CV-Library can help you then visit our recruiter section today.

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