Everyone who has ever had to make hiring decisions has, at one time or another, made a bad decision, hiring someone that they thought would be perfect who in the end turned out to be anything but. On the flipside, there are those who get passed over who then prove themselves to be outstanding, all be it with another organization. Everyone makes mistakes now and again but it’s not the end of the world. The mistakes committed in these examples however, pale in comparison to that one big mistake which nearly every company makes and never even gives a second thought to. The biggest mistake any employer can make in the executive search and hiring process is in their lack of follow up with everyone who applies with them for a position.
Studies have shown that roughly ninety-five percent of everyone who has applied for a job never received any kind of closure over their lack of acceptance. What is more, most of those who are committing this mistake are even aware of these figures, yet are unaware of the significance it is due. But why should they care? How is this a mistake?
Well to begin with, it is just undeniably rude. By not giving those who apply with them so much as the common courtesy of a response is essential equivalent to completely ignoring someone who comes up and talks to you. Most people would never think of being that rude in person, so why do employers think it is okay to treat their applicants this way?
Another point that employers never seem to take into consideration is the possible repercussions such behavior could have on their company. In one example, when speaking to a woman who had applied with a large organization but who never got any kind of reply, this woman said that because she felt so dismayed at the way they had ignored her, she would never shop with that company’s brand again. Now, the company in question is one who receives nearly four million applications annually. If, as in the previous statistic, ninety-five percent of those applicants never hear back from the company, and if they are as upset as this woman was, that is 3.8 million customers that will now be boycotting this brand each year. While it is unlikely that so many would take things this far, the company should still be asking themselves the impact that this inconsiderate behavior may be having on their customer base. This scenario does not even begin to touch on how individuals who apply and are completely ignored will likely tell their friends and family about how they were treated and the impact this alone could have on a company’s image.
It is not even as though this is a difficult matter to address. For one, there are automated notification and response systems that can completely cut out the need for the employer to take any action themselves, if manually responding to applications is just too much for them. How the company decides to handle this matter is not nearly as important as the fact that they do so before next beginning their executive search and hiring processes.