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Boost Your Employer Brand by Following Up With Applicants (Even Those Who Didn’t Get The Job)

Applying for jobs is one of the most stressful processes for today’s workers. However, with the sheer number of professionals applying for jobs, job seekers are well aware they won’t get hired for every position they’re applying for. Even still, the businesses that ghost applicants after an interview are doing themselves a disservice by causing potentially irreparable damage to their employer brand.

For many businesses, following up with candidates who don’t get the job has become an antiquated practice. Many companies are simply electing radio silence over informing the applicant that the hiring process has advanced without them. However, finding ways to let applicants know they did not quite make the cut is an essential part of the hiring process.

Why aren’t Employers Following Up With Applicants? And Why They Should

There are several reasons employers will fail to follow up with applicants who didn’t get the job. For starters, it’s not very efficient. Businesses are busy, and taking the extra time to deliver the bad news can be a time-consuming hassle. That was especially true before the COVID pandemic when, for years, businesses had more applicants than they could shake a stick at. 

And then there’s the element of being the bearer of bad news. Nobody really enjoys delivering bad news. 

While there are many reasons businesses fail to follow up with applicants, the main reason is they just don’t have the time or focus to work on anything else.

But the market for job seekers has changed. Now, with an extreme shortage of qualified talent, businesses are discovering, even if they’re flush for applicants now, they need to work on creating a better employer brand to pave the way for hiring in the future. 

Here are some of the top ways employers can follow up with all job seekers and, in the long run, create an employer brand job seekers will want to be a part of. 

Option 1: Send a Courtesy Email

By far, one of the most common and easiest ways to rapidly let applicants know they were not selected for the position is to send an email. The most effective emails are those that are concise and sympathetic. Instead of simply telling them they were not hired, take a moment to thank them for their interest in the role and your company, for taking the time to apply for the job and wish them luck in their continued endeavors. Likewise, let them know if you keep their information on file for a future opening.

While this sounds like a lot, you can write a template and automate these responses so that you don’t have to re-write the same email every time.

And while an email is a somewhat impersonal medium, it is still highly effective and, more importantly, expected as a common courtesy.

Option 2: Make a Phone Call

Perhaps one of the more humane methods of letting applicants know they were not selected is to pick up the phone and call. While digital applications are the norm, contacting them and personally informing them that they were not selected humanizes the applicant and makes it clear you care about their status as individuals seeking employment. 

Through a phone call, you will be able to offer the same information you might have written out in the email, but with the added benefit of allowing them to ask for clarification on some aspects. This opportunity is an invaluable asset to applicants struggling to find employment as the clarity will allow them to improve themselves in all the right ways. 

Phone calls may be time-consuming. However, in terms of improving your employer brand, there’s no better investment for enhancing the applicant’s outlook of your business down the line. Rather than telling them why they were not selected and leaving it at that, they can get specific. In some cases, phone calls even allow them to clarify and might reveal them as a better candidate than initially believed.

Option 3: Free Up Your Schedule & Focus

The main reasons employers can’t get back to their job applicants, time and focus. There’s just not enough time in the day – with all the other tasks of running a business and managing your workforce – to respond to applicants who didn’t get the job. 

That’s where ESSG is helping to make a big difference for our clients. Because we’re taking care of the most time-consuming busywork of managing a workforce, HR and hiring managers are finding they have more time to respond to applicants, and the focus they need to make a genuine, meaningful connection that can greatly improve your business’ employer brand. 

The Solution 

While letting an applicant know they were not selected for a role may be an unpleasant task, it is one of the most important steps you can take to improve your employer brand. 

Finding the most humane ways to go about it without shattering the applicant’s confidence while also providing constructive criticism is an arduous task. However, with your “back-office” tasks taken care of, you’ll have the time and focus you need to develop a great strategy for following up with all your applicants. 

At ESSG, we work tirelessly to make running your business better. Not only can we free up your time spent on the busywork of back-office tasks, but we can help mitigate risk and help you do what you do best, focus on your business. 

How can we provide your workforce solution? Contact us today.

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