Improve the Applicant Experience With ONE Click

There are many reasons cited for people doing the hiring and not responding to job applications. I get too many, I don't have time, people who apply for jobs they can't do don't deserve a response from me ...

None of them are valid.

You're dealing with human beings who have taken the time to seek out your call for help and applied.

Even if you think they are wildly unsuitable, they deserve a response.

Why they applied when they were not suitable is a subject for a whole other blog - it could be YOUR fault for writing a poor advert, for example.

Responding to an applicant is more than kind and courteous, it's the best way to leave someone with a positive feeling about the experience, even if it wasn't the outcome they wanted.

And that's important because one day that person might be the perfect person for your organisation and they'll be comfortable applying in the future because you were respectful the first time around.

So let's assume you're here because you 'get' that you need to reply to everyone but you don't know how.

Trust me when I say that Applicant Tracking Systems are not expensive and are indeed worth the investment if you're a regular hirer.

But if you don't want to go that route, or only hire from time to time, let me show you a free and easy way to ensure that all your applicants hear back from you when they've applied for work.

My route is using MS Outlook, but I'm confident if you're using another email programme, the same facility will be available to you.

You're going to create a Quick Step.

It's a flow of instructions that will be actioned by Outlook by clicking just one button.

I have included a link at the bottom to show you the 'how to' in Outlook but this is what I do and the instructions I have programmed, in the simplest of forms.

A job application comes in, I open it, review it and for anyone I want to reject (for any host of reasons) I navigate to Quick Steps and select one I have created called "Reject".

I click ONCE and it does this, which you are going to create with the MS link provided:

  • Marks the email as read
  • Moves it to a folder called x named job rejected
  • Sends a kind rejection email after a few minutes (this gives you a little time to retrieve the email from your drafts if you press the button accidentally!)

You will post the content of that email into Quick Steps for it to send to the unsuccessful applicant.

It simply needs to read something like this:

"I should like to express my appreciation for your taking the time to apply for our job vacancy with (your company name).

We have taken the time to review your application but regret that you have been unsuccessful on this occasion.

Thank you for your interest.

Best regards."

Because I handle very large volumes of applications, I have invested time to improve our rejection even further with incredible results. Despite rejecting thousands of people a year we actually get thank yous from unsuccessful applicants for our handling of that bad news.

I'm happy to share what I send here (excuse the pandemic lockdown hair):

I also include a blog article I wrote about how to say positive during a job search. It's additional support to someone who might be having a tough time.

Once you've set this up and are using it, you'll wish you did it ages ago! And you'll see how easy it is to create these steps and expand on your library or improve what you already have created.

For example, you might have an additional Quick Step to send an email to those strong applicants asking them to make contact to discuss their application further.

I use Calendly software where people have access to my calendar remotely and can book themselves- including that link in a follow-up email means you give the control to the applicant to reach you at a mutually convenient time.

As promised, here's that instruction link from MS:

Now you can see how easy it is to be a good person AND make your life easier.

If you liked this article, you might also enjoy:

Reducing the Chances of a Bad Hiring Decision

Contact us now for a free, no-obligation chat. Contact Clare here.

Clare Wight is the founder and Managing Director of Clarity Appointments, an independent recruitment specialist. She served as a Regional Director for The Employment Agents Movement, supporting other independent recruiters.

She remains an active member of Recconnect (formerly Members Only), a recruitment leadership network promoting high ethical standards, collaboration, diversity, equity and inclusion.

She believes business owners are more fulfilled and higher-performing when they provide emotional and professional business support to other business owners, even those they deem to be competitors. She does this actively, whilst challenging and updating her skills and knowledge of the recruitment sector, enabling her to offer the best advice to firms looking to make their next hire.