"I sent my resume and never heard a thing."

"I left a message and no one called me back."

"They said I would hear feedback on my interview in 2 weeks and it's been 4."

These are the comments frequently heard from job applicants and candidates. Sure, it's an employer's market and a gazillion people apply for every position out there. Many of those who apply have no applicable experience and you feel they have wasted not only their own time but yours as well.

Sign of the times, people are desperate. They think if your company is hiring for that position maybe one is coming up they would qualify for and they're doing the smart thing by getting their resume to you now. You know, being proactive, beating the crowd, showing initiative. Most people who aren't recruiters don't know how it really works and that secretly (or not so secretly) you are cursing them, calling them idiots for applying to jobs they're not qualified for.

It's often brutal on the job seeker's end; the hunt, the wait, the rejection... and I have observed on many occasions, a holier than thou, I'm in charge here and your future depends on me attitude - from recruiters, that is far from professional. We could be on the other end of an ATS in a heartbeat.

We should always remember that...

Yes, it is highly irritating when someone overkills with follow-up to the point of being within 1/10 of an inch of being an official stalker. It's horrid when someone files an unfounded EEOC claim of discrimination because they were not selected. It's worthy of hazardous duty pay when a candidate didn't deal well with being turned down and becomes verbally abusive or goes off the deep end of desperation and confronts you loudly in public, keys your car, or any number of illegal acts of vengeance (which always provide ample validation of your decision making skills).

But, none of that should desensitize us to the point of dehumanizing a process which should be just the opposite; engaging.

Here are 5 simple customer service tips to help ensure you're not hurting people or the employer brand you're representing:

Screening calls is fine, if you don't want to speak with the person, send an email - but send the email.

In your communication use time lines so applicants know when they'll hear by and that if they don't it's because they weren't selected.

Be organized enough to use calendar reminders, post-it notes - whatever - to remind you it's time to make those updates you promised.

Tone - Don't ever show or express frustration or irritability with applicants.

Remember to thank candidates for thinking of the company as a prospective employer.

Check out what Microsoft does to make candidates feel special when they come in for an interview in their candidate experience lobby. Just imagine how relaxed and psyched for an interview one must be after a hands on experience playing with all the toys. Granted, not every company has that to offer. But, even a warm greeting and scrapbook of good times in the lobby to provide a glimpse of the culture is better than staring at 4 walls.

What candidate experience tips do you have to share?


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