Did you know that the interview process is a great marketing tool? People who are genuinely interested in your company will apply for positions, not just those looking for a job. It’s possible to have an audience of up to 500 applicants who want to work for you. While you can’t possibly hire them all, you do have a powerful opportunity to make a long lasting impression.

If you respond to your applicants in a timely and courteous manner, they will remember. I have received hundreds of thank you notes for rejection letters. Because of the vulnerability of the candidates, you WILL make an impression on them. They may never want to frequent your business again because they felt they were treated poorly. They will also never forget how great you were because you kept them in the loop.

I recently asked my network on Linked In how we can improve the relationship between job candidates and the organizations who interview them. I was stunned at the response. Every single respondent replied with a request to communicate more effectively. One person even stated “While I don’t want the answer to be no…let me get you off my list!”

Respond to every application. Taking care of your candidates, even after the application process is completed, is a direct reflection of your company, not to mention an incredible marketing opportunity. While, I agree, some respondents to do not take the news of rejection well, the incredible people who are ideal for another company deserve the respect of a response. It is as easy as an auto responder email stating, “Thank you for your application. If you haven’t heard from us by x date, then we have moved on with other candidates.”

I have also seen companies who are looking for employees post a blind ad, meaning they post an ad without using the company name. This ad will request that the candidate send their resume, which includes personal information like addresses and phone numbers. If you have ever responded to a blind ad, then you know that those ads are usually solicitations of some sort.

What does a company hope to gain by posting a blind ad? Anonymity? How would you expect to attract quality candidates while remaining anonymous at the same time? It is a conflicting message to candidates: “Please apply, but not really…” Placing the company name on an ad is setting the tone for the application process. The ad says that the company is proud to open its doors to the next best person to work here. It says that the company is serious about finding someone great. It says, “Please apply, quality candidates, come join our team.”

Somehow, we have gotten away from responding to our potential employees as potential customers. We have decided that we don’t have to respond to them, they don’t deserve a response or we don’t have the time or money to do it. The next wave of successful companies is those who invite people to apply and who respond to them along every step. Be Bold, Be Different and Respond!

Author's Bio: 

Beth Smith graduated from the University of Texas in 1995 with degrees in History and Social Work, a minor in English, and additional course work in psychology, philosophy and child development. She has won awards for Women Who Make a Difference in Boulder, Business Owner of the Year, and Certificates of Service for The Hill Alliance and The Responsible Hospitality Group. Beth developed the Response Analysis System™ that has proven effective with 91% of hires still employed by the company after 12 months. Beth Smith has conducted thousands of interviews using her proprietary Response Analysis System™.