If you’ve been hiring medical sales professionals for any length of time, you are likely well versed in what it takes to write an attractive medical sales job posting. If you’ve written the job posting well, the applications will start rolling in – sometimes even more than you bargained for. Hopefully, only candidates matching your requirements apply, but even if this is the case, not all of them will be invited in for an interview. In fact, you may not even have time to phone screen them all.
You use your best judgement to identify the top matches for the position and proceed with contacting them – but what happens to the others? The ones who were close but not quite there? Or even the ones who weren’t so close? What happens to them?
You know where we’re going with this. But before you say you just don’t have the time to reply to applicants, we urge you to keep reading to find out why your future success depends on it.
According to the Talent Board’s 2015 North American Candidate Experience Research Report, less than half of all job applicants received any information about the status of their application. The numbers are even worse for unqualified candidates – 91-95% of companies admit they make no efforts to contact unqualified candidates who apply from external sources.
The Talent Board report suggests that companies are actually regressing in the area of screening and dispositioning candidates – offering less personalization, communication , and accountability. This may be due to the increased use of technology in the screening process. Companies rely too heavily on automated processes to evaluate fit, and only those who pass this initial screening are ever evaluated by human eyes. The result? An increasingly frustrated population of candidates with a negative impression of your employer brand.
Shifting Job Market
In cased you missed the memo – it’s now officially a “candidate’s market” in terms of who holds the most power in the job search. That’s right, after years of recession giving hiring companies the upper hand, the tide has shifted and candidates now hold more power than they once did.
According to an MRINetwork Recruiter Sentiment study covering the second half of 2015, 90% of recruiters say the job market is candidate driven, up from the 54% who said candidates held control in 2011. The 2015 Candidate Behavior Study by CareerBuilder comes to the same conclusion. More than half of employers in the study said it has grown increasingly difficult to find qualified candidates over the past 5 years.
A heavily driven candidate market means it’s more important than ever to treat candidates well, and yet, according to the CareerBuilder study, 32% of employers still don’t think they need to reply to every applicant, and 29% say there are simply too many applicants to respond to. Another 19% acknowledges the need to reply, but say they simply don’t have the time.
Antiquated Hiring Processes
Despite the shifting job market, many companies are still using antiquated hiring processes that work against the goal of attracting top talent and leave the candidates who do apply with a negative impression of the company. The Talent Board Candidate Experience Research Report found lengthy online applications and lack of communication among the chief candidate complaints.
The Talent Board study found 43% of job applicants said the application process took 30 minutes or more and another 12% said it took more than an hour. In too many cases, the ATS did not allow for mobile apply, did not provide a status bar to indicate where they were in the process, and did not provide a way to save the application and return to it later.
When candidates take the time to complete this time-consuming and cumbersome process, they expect (and deserve!) more than an automated notification of receipt. The more time they invest in your process, the higher their expectations for a response.
What Goes Around…
It’s true that certain candidates can get a reputation among recruiters, but guess what? Recruiters can also get a reputation among candidates. Sales candidates are especially likely to talk – to their friends, to their colleagues, to their new managers, to anyone who will listen.
In this candidate driven market, you need allies wherever you can find them. So treat each applicant with the respect they deserve and let them know where their application stands. You need that unqualified candidate to tell his network that while you weren’t able to help him, you are worth talking to. That candidate’s network may hold your next hire – or even your next hiring manager.
No one has time to reply to every candidate, but the recruiters who want to guarantee tomorrow’s success will make time. The shifting job market, the increasingly complicated application processes, and the potential networking opportunities that each candidate represents make replying a must. Applicants are investing their time applying to your job, and they deserve to hear from you. Not to mention that the candidate you ignore today may be the one you’re chasing tomorrow.