It cannot get much simpler than this, if you want candidates to reply to you, reply to them. I recently talked to a group of professionals who were looking for work. Most of them, 98% in fact, said that they had been contacted by recruiters, at different times, replied only to never hear back at all.
What was most interesting was, as they talked more about the many times this has happened they also said they had mentioned it to other people who they knew where looking. What was most of interest was that they actually mentioned the recruiter by name, as well as the company the recruiter represented. So now we have a bunch of professionals who have been contacted by recruiters, only to have their replies ignored, all talking, and not in a good way.
So I asked how many of them would reply again to one of the recruiters who never replied back, or to one of the companies these recruiters worked for? They asked to further qualify the question, so I asked how many of them would reply to a recruiter or to a company they knew had several times ignored replies of candidates. Answer over 80% said they would not. So I asked what if the reason they did not reply back was because the opening was closed or put on hold.
Their answer was, since the recruiter contacted them, and they replied the least the recruiter could do was reply back and tell them things changed. It makes the recruiter look really bad if they do not at least reply and of course since the recruiter represents a company, the company’s reputation also gets nailed. Now to me this is common sense if you take the time to contact someone, and they reply you should at the very least reply back even if things changed. So if you are wondering why you are getting fewer replies then you are used to, this may be why.
You need to remember in the advent of social media, your reputation and that of your companies is very important. Don’t suffer because you did not reply back when someone replied to you.