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Building Empathy into Your Recruiting Process

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For many of us, there is barely enough time in the day to screen applicants between all of the meetings, emails and unexpected phone calls. For those of us with more than a few job openings, our teams are dealing with hundreds, if not thousands of applicants a month. That creates a lot of work. We click through profiles, shuffling those with potential into hiring managers’ inboxes and review queues and just as quickly dismissing those that aren’t a fit.

As we shuffle through profiles, it’s easy to forget that there are real people attached to those profiles. These profiles are people that have families, responsibilities, problems and feelings like everyone else. While we here at Newton write a lot about recruiting being akin to a manufacturing process because of the similarities to a supply chain, we never forget that recruiting is a “people” process and therefore a business process that requires a high level of empathy. Here are some ways to build empathy into your recruiting process.

ACKNOWLEDGE EVERY APPLICANT INSTANTLY
While most employers have evolved and don’t require applicants to create user names and passwords to only then fill out long online employment application to apply for a job, most applicants are still exerting quite a bit of mental energy into applying. Many have done their research, edited their resume and scoured your website for more information. Then, after they finally pull the trigger and apply, they are dismayed because many employers are still a blackhole when it comes to communicating status. If you don’t have an applicant tracking system that allows you to acknowledge every applicant that has applied, get one. We recommend hiring software that will double-acknowledge applicants by displaying a message on the screen after the applicant applies and sends them an email to the email ID they used during the application process.

BE HONEST FROM THE START
Have you ever prolonged an interview with an applicant because you knew he or she was just not going to be a good fit, but you didn’t have the courage to say so from the outset? Have you ever interviewed someone as an “also ran” just to have someone to compare your top candidate with? This is an example of being discourteous, noted a recent report by Roberta Matuson at Forbes. You don’t want unsuitable applicants to take up too much of your time and resources. Consider then, that applicants don’t want you to take up their time with a pointless interview just because you are afraid of hurting their feelings.

CLOSE THE DAMN LOOP
When you engage with a recruit over the course of weeks or months and then let things trail off without giving them a response about the status of the position they interviewed for, it can leave a sour taste in applicants’ mouths. Set aside sufficient time in your schedule so you can give everyone a response, and customize your message instead of sending out boilerplate whenever possible. The Best applicant tracking systems will even empower you to send stage-specific emails and change your signature on the fly to make every email appear relevant and personal.

Need an applicant tracking system that thoughtfully automates the iterative processes to help you create a more empathetic hiring process? Contact a Newton applicant tracking system expert today to learn about auto-responders, smart Thank You Letters and the best email templates in the business.

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About Andy Chan