You might think that the worst hiring mistake a company can make is letting a valuable employee get away, or hiring someone that turns out to be an employee from Hell. But those aren’t it. The greatest small business hiring mistake of all, according to those at Inc Magazine, is failing to follow up with every person that applies to work at your company.
Sure it may seem like a tedious task to do so, but every one of those individuals that applies for a job is one of your biggest fans. After all, who would want to work for a company they hate? So, by ignoring them after they’ve put their pride on the line, you’ve inadvertently just pissed off hundreds (thousands?) of really valuable customers.
Here are some tips on how to let those job seekers down gently and potentially keep them in your corner:
Say thank you. It’s a great thing to have dozens of qualified applicants that want to work for you. So, make sure you tell them that their interest is appreciated, even if it’s just in a quick two to three sentence form email. The sooner you tell them, the better.
Be specific when you can. If you’ve been through three hour long interviews with a candidate and at the last minute decide to go in another direction, you owe him more than just a quick email. Give him a call and try to be specific about which qualifications you felt were not a good match or why you opted to choose another applicant. While this may be a tough conversation to have, the candidate will definitely appreciate the straightforward honesty and will be able to learn and grow from your feedback.
Keep them on file. If a particular candidate wasn’t a good fit for the position to which they were applying but had other interesting experiences, let them know you’ll keep their resume on file and will contact them if anything else opens up. Having a ready-made pool of applicants will not only help you fill future positions, but saying so could help you get back into the good graces of those you just disappointed.
How do you follow up with job applicants?