A decade or so ago, if a person applied for one of your organization’s open position opportunities, they would be just fine not hearing anything from you for two weeks or more. It was completely normal for people to wait days — or even weeks — for any kind of response. If they did receive a response from you and it was a rejection letter, it was still a pretty good day. Why? Because someone actually replied to them in ANY way and acknowledged their existence. At that time, someone could send out 20 resumes and if they received 5 responses of ANY kind, that job seeker would be happy.

Have a moment with me, please… have you ever treated a customer that way? Ever make them wait two weeks for a response, if you respond to them at all? Not likely. If you did treat a customer that way, no one would be surprised if they left you and found a vendor that would actually respond. So why did companies treat applicants that way for the better part of the last 40 years? Simply, because they could. We took for granted that there would always be other applicants… Does it feel that way now?

Think about your life today. If you ordered something on Amazon and did not get an order acknowledgment for a week, how would you react? In fact, you fully expect that Amazon will keep you up to date on the status of your order with daily or semi-daily updates. We expect tracking information, delivery time estimates and delivery confirmation (including pictures).

So how would you rate your response time and interactions with applicants for your open positions? It may seem like a lot of effort to acknowledge receipt of resumes but there are automated responses for that. It may seem tough to give regular updates on the process to all applicants, but you do it with every customer who orders your products and services. With technology as it is, if you WANT to find a way, you WILL find a way.

But don’t worry, with two open jobs for every unemployed person in the U.S., if you ignore your applicants, they will go away and stop bothering you… just like your customers.

If you are looking for insight or specific action steps to grow a process within your organization to Win the War for Talent, please reach out. It’s my passion to help companies solve their talent issues, whether that is finding the right talent or retaining and developing that talent. With the right processes in place, your organization can grow and thrive even more!

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