The Most Important Piece of Hiring Advice You’ve Never Heard

Samantha Klein on the most important piece of hiring advice you've never heard before. 

As the Class of 2014 prepares to enter the workforce, the articles on “What Every Hiring Manager Needs to Know about Millennials” have begun to surface. These posts, slideshows, and e-books feature the same tips over and over again: offer mentorship and training, communicate your company’s culture through social media, and don’t forget to have a social mission.


Although all of this advice is relevant, everyone is missing one of the most crucial tips of all: Respond to all candidates who interview regarding the status of their job acceptance!  After all, they took the time to apply and interview and they deserve to know where they stand.

Can you imagine if you or your child applied to a college, had an interview with the admissions office, and then never heard whether he or she was accepted, waitlisted, or denied?  So why does that scenario occur when it comes to job applicants? Certainly, millennials love feedback, but beyond that they also expect at least some recognition and even a bit of common courtesy.

I can’t begin to count the times my job seeking friends have complained to me about companies that never responded regardless of how many follow-up emails they had sent to the interviewers or hiring managers. I can still remember which companies did this and, therefore, which companies I would never consider applying to or recommend to others. Any response is better than no response; by neglecting applicants you tarnish your company’s reputation and limit its ability to recruit talent.

I know there’s “not enough time in the day” to get back to every candidate that applies, but there is enough time in the day to take a minute to write and send a simple sentence or two in an email.  Even simpler, you could compose a standard form letter and email to young job seekers who took the time to interview and who are hoping to begin their careers. Certainly your response will be greatly appreciated if you offer them a position, but although disappointing, it is better to receive a rejection than to be left in limbo questioning a company’s commitment, communication, and values.

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