You’ve all had a superstar candidate slip through your fingertips or, as Katy Perry would say, you’ve had “the one that got away.” For some hiring managers, this is even worse than firing someone who they thought would be a rockstar employee and turned out to be a dud. While these are both big mistakes, they aren’t the biggest one. According to ghostwriter Jeff Haden, here’s the biggest hiring mistake you can make:

Failing to follow up with every person who applies for a job.
embarrassed_

A recent study said that approximately 94% of the people who apply for a job don’t get closure. “We’ve yet to meet a job seeker, hiring manager, recruiter or company who feels that figure is off,” John Younger, CEO of Accolo, said.

So, if you’re asking yourself, “why is failing to follow up such a big deal?” you’ve probably never been the one left hanging. Not giving your applicants closure is incredibly rude, first of all. It’s the same as someone giving you a compliment and instead of saying thank you, you just walk away. More importantly, there are serious repercussions for your business. A friend of Younger is the COO for a global retailer with over 100,000 employees. He spoke to an applicant who was so upset by the way she was ignored that she never shopped there again.

“The company received approximately 3.5 million job applications a year,” said Youngler. The retailer lost hundreds of customers due to so many applicants being fans of the store and then not receiving any feedback after applying or interviewing. 

When friends and family ask how it went and the response is that they never heard back, it makes your business look bad and it shines a negative light on your hiring process. People talk. One bad comment turns into a thousand bad comments and before you know it, no one is even applying for a position at your company anymore.

So, before you post your next job opening, come up with a plan on how you will provide feedback to every single applicant whether they get the job or not. Type up a letter, send an email or use an applicant tracking system. Deciding how you close the loop isn’t as important as actually closing it. These applicants take the time and put themselves out there, knowing the possibility of rejection. Don’t leave them hangin’. 

Guilty of making this mistake? Find out why by reading our free eBook. 

Get our posts delivered to your inbox every week.

Subscribe to the Hireology Blog