– By Daniel Schmitt
One thing about the ever-changing society we live in that will always remain constant is people will always be applying for jobs. People are surfing employer websites and job boards every minute of every day – I know, I’ve been there. I remember when I first hit the job market, many, many years ago, and had to physically go to a prospective employer’s human resource department and pick up an application to complete and return or fill it out in person while I was there. In doing so, I had the opportunity to get a brief idea of what the company might be like or an idea of how the employees communicated, that I could potentially be working with. Back then, when I would visit a prospective employer to pick up an application or to peruse their book of current job vacancies, in many instances, it would create an opportunity to maybe meet a secretary or an employee I might be able to get a telephone number from, for someone I might be able to call after submitting my application to follow up on the status and learn more about the process. Thanks to unending technology advances and the changes in the job market with respect to recruitment, job application processes have changed completely. Today, you can go to almost any employer’s website, find their career link listing current vacancies and after creating a profile and uploading a resume, you can submit an application in a matter of seconds. Employers are also using job boards such as ZipRecruiter and Indeed where all it takes is uploading and storing a resume and cover letter, and when companies post vacancies, you can apply with “one touch”. Most of these job boards will also let you create a resume through their site or app and house an email account for you for ease in applying with employer’s the sites engage with. As many of these technology advances make it easier and more efficient for applicants to apply for positions, in one way there would be draw backs on the applicant side is in the means of communication and engagement from the employer.
Like technology, communication and its methods change just as frequently. A few years ago, I found myself on the job market looking to better my situation and was applying for jobs. I liked the ease of applying on sites where I could apply with “one touch” and the flexibility to apply for jobs online rather than going to visit prospective employers. Throughout my process, I was finding that communication and engagement, or lack of communication and engagement from some employers I chose to apply to was leaving me dissatisfied. I recently talked with some peers I who I thought may have applied for positions recently, whether the positions were internal postings or with a different employer altogether, and found that many of us are feeling the same way…that employers are lacking when it comes to communicating with the applicant pool. For a majority of jobs I have applied for, it is common to get an email thanking me to inform me my application was received. On the flip side, there are those where no communication was received at all. If an applicant is going to take the time to submit a resume or complete an application, as a courtesy, the employer should communicate with a response letting the applicant know the submission was at least received, maybe even making them aware what the next steps might be. It might be an automated response, but it’s engagement.
Once an applicant learns he or she has received an interview or has interviewed with a prospective employer, communicating becomes more crucial to why employers should be actively communicating and engaging with their applicant pool. Many applicants are applying for several positions and for this reason, employers should keep the process quick and on point, to eliminate applicants potentially losing interest and moving on. It’s important for an employer to communicate what the next steps are and provide feedback applicants need, so an applicant can make decisions and move through the process effectively. It also keeps all parties involved. When an employer effectively communicates with its applicant pool, it upholds and shows the integrity and reputation of the company. If a company is unwilling to communicate before, during and after an interview, more than likely they won’t communicate effectively once you’re working for them. To sum it up, and many would most likely agree, in a perfect world, when it comes to communicating and engagement from a prospective employer, applicants today would appreciate confirmation of applications being received, moving through interview processes quickly and efficiently, having ways to track application status after submission, and having a feeling the their time is respected and appreciated. Poor communication is unacceptable and effective engagement maintains a good reputation and keeps all involved.