The Economic Benefits of Treating Job Applicants Like Humans

Treating job applicants like humans, not machines, can be a huge advantage for your company. Credit: Wikipedia Commons

Today, if we are being honest, many companies aren’t treating most job applicants like humans.

And it isn’t the fault of the companies. With the Internet connecting everyone, HR teams are receiving more resumes than ever before per job, and yet they remain understaffed.

Quite simply, they are overwhelmed.

With little other choice, HR teams either use resume scanners or a recruiter will spend a few seconds reviewing a resume, with the top few people getting interviews and the rest wondering what happened. The problem is this is both an ineffective way to screen candidates and it is hurting brands.

Also, it is screening people as if there is nothing more to them than their self-reported work history. While this is understandable, is it ideal?

There lies a better solution. With some investment into the right technologies, companies can treat job applicants like people again, which comes with some very real economic benefits.

Ineffective Screening

As mentioned, because of this influx of applications, most companies are relying on a quick glance of the resume for initial screenings. While understandable, this can be a highly ineffective way to screen candidates.

There are three things you need to find out about a candidate before hiring them: can they do the job, do they really want the job and will they fit in with your team. A resume does a poor job of answering these three questions.

As far as can the person do the job, the resume puts all the emphasis on years of experience. While years-of-experience is useful, there are other aspects to a great employee. For example, have they stayed current with the most-recent technology? Are they familiar with the software your company uses? How do they handle stress?

And a resume does a poor job of answering the other two questions: does this person really want the job and would they be a good cultural fit. Bottom line, a person can’t be boiled down to a piece of paper, and a great screening process accounts for that. Otherwise, great candidates are excluded before the hiring process really even starts.

Hurting The Brand

But that’s a secondary issue. What’s worse is that many companies, as a CareerBuilder survey showed, are keeping job applicants in the dark – and it is hurting their bottom line.

Specifically, the CareerBuilder survey found that 75 percent of job applicants never heard back from companies after applying, not even an email saying the company wasn’t interested. What’s worse, 60 percent of candidates said they never heard back from employers even after an interview.

Granted, HR teams are busy and rejecting someone is never fun, but if somebody interviews with your company, they deserve some sort of update. When they don’t hear back at all, it hurts the company’s brand: 33 percent of applicants who didn’t hear back from a company after applying said they wouldn’t want to buy that company’s service or product again, according to the survey.

Solution

The solution is two-fold: make the focus of screening on people, not a resume, and give candidates some update on what’s happening. Both can be accomplished through technology.

Email updates on candidates’ standing can easily be automatized by a well-designed ATS or through candidate screening software. Not only will these emails improve candidate experience, it will also ensure applicants aren’t bugging your human resources department, wondering where they stand.

And personally, if you do conduct an interview with someone and aren’t interested, I think you should write a personal email politely telling them so. It isn’t just the right thing to do; it can really help strengthen your brand.

As far as screening goes, candidate screening software gives your team insight into the person who is applying, rather than just relying on a resume. Again, not only is it a better experience for the candidate, it is better for you as well, as this technology is a far better indicator of talent than a self-reported work history.

We know, large organizations (and even small ones) get overloaded with resumes and it is hard to please everyone. But a small investment into technologies that allow you to treat job applicants like humans again is well worth it, as ultimately it improves your company’s bottom line.

About VoiceGlance

VoiceGlance is a cloud-based hiring tool used by forward-thinking companies to hire smarter, instead of harder. Learn more here.

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Tags: HR, Hiring, Human Resources

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