It seems like those folks looking for work put quite a bit of time into what hopefully ends up at a mutually-fulfilling position with a firm that inspires them to be very successful. Think about it:
- Preparing Foundational Resume
- Preparing Foundational Cover Letter
- Researching Firms / Industries
- Reviewing Opportunities
- Matching Foundational Resume with Specific Opportunity
- Matching Foundational Cover Letter with Specific Opportunity
- Crafting Introductory Email / Post / Letter
That's a lot of work, and we haven't gotten to the phone conversation!
Given an applicant spends at least this much effort on contacting a company, why can't the company respond in kind? I'm sure crafting responses is time-consuming (actually, it is - I know), but shouldn't the company put just as much effort into reviewing and responding to these applicants as the applicants have?
I know in a tough job market like we're in today, it's tough to turn an offer down. But it has to say something about the company an applicant could potentially work for if the company responds in a half-hearted manner (or worse, not at all). Maybe it's just a yellow flag and doesn't mean much in the long run, but maybe it's a signal of something much more. A signal that could save you a lot of time and effort.
It seems to me that companies, especially today, should use this process as an outreach to all those folks that are interested in working with them. I mean, they are knocking down the company's door to talk with them - how many other departments would love for that to happen?
Take a few extra minutes and start a conversation with some of these applicants. You might learn more than your first impression.