For job applicants who spend time researching, writing and editing job applications, it can be very frustrating not to get a reply. Nobody likes to feel ignored and without a response applicants have no way of knowing whether their CV has been carefully considered or tossed in a shredder on opening. However, is it really important to respond to every person who applies to work at your organisation?

No Response May Create Negative Impressions

According to this survey of American job applicants, 44% of those who didn’t hear back from an employer after making an application had a worse opinion of that employer as a result. 78% of all surveyed said that they would talk to friends and family about a negative experience and 17% they would post about it on social media. In the often lengthy process of obtaining a new job, it stands to reason that applicants would be disgruntled by a No Response policy. It could make them feel as though their efforts have gone to waste and might make them feel less enthusiastic about writing a high-quality application for a future role.

But what other benefit is there to replying to applicants other than courtesy? After all, at least some of the applications received will be poor in quality and written by people who likely haven’t taken the time to properly research your company. It is clear that some applicants will deserve a response more than others. Another benefit to responding to each applicant could be that it’ll save you time.

Saving Time with Automated Responses

Employers often state that the reason they don’t apply to every applicant is that there isn’t time. If you receive a stack of physical CVs totalling up to three hundred, it might seem impossible to write a reply to each one. Moving the application process online and investing in software to extract email address could make the process easier by allowing you to send an automated response. This is especially useful if you regularly receive hundreds of applicants and will at least provide a definite answer, if not a personal one.

Removing the Need to Deal with Follow-up Calls

By taking the time to respond to an unsuccessful applicant, there will be no need to spend time answering lots of follow-up calls and emails from earnest candidates who are still waiting to hear. Because the reasons for not getting a response could be numerous (lost applications, busy staff or managers being on holiday), applicants will rarely just assume they have been unsuccessful. If they hear a definite “no”, it will allow them to move on to other prospects more quickly and stop contacting you.

One Policy = Time Saved

Having one solid policy for responding to job applications can also create a flow of information within your organisation so that no staff member will be left in the dark. If your staff members know that all applicants (successful or unsuccessful) have been contacted by a certain date, there will be no confusion should they receive any follow-up phonecalls from jobseekers. There’s nothing worse than a staff member being unsure of whether a candidate has been successful and having to spend further time finding out from senior management and calling them back.

What do you think? Should organisations make it their business to reply or are applicants expecting too much?