What’s your company’s email strategy when it comes to talent acquisition, hiring and internal communications? Do you even have one? If you answered no, both your online hiring team and your company as a whole are missing out on a key opportunity to build goodwill in the ranks and to sell your corporate culture to job applicants. Sure, your recruiting experts and hiring managers probably send dozens of emails every day, and no one’s asking them to treat each one like the next Great American Novel, but having a strategy in place to optimize your email correspondence can boost morale and give your recruiting efforts a real edge. Here’s a quick look at three simple ways to improve email communications.
Online Hiring: Applicant Tracking Software to Rescue Your Inbox
If your online job postings instruct all applicants to reply to the same email address, that address’s inbox is going to fill up fast. When it does, sorting through the duds to discover your workforce’s future stars won’t be easy, and keeping track of your correspondence as you move through the hiring process will be even harder. Ditch this old-school practice and use The Resumator’s applicant tracking software to help you sort through applications instead. Your HR team can use customizable evaluation forms to rank candidates quickly and easily. Work at your own pace and sift through the results when you’re ready to choose.
Make the Most of Your First Impression
So your recruiting efforts have attracted a qualified applicant. That’s a good thing, but it doesn’t mean you can rest on your digital laurels. Talented workers are shopping around for a company they think is worthy of their skills and experience, and how you respond to their initial message or application matters.
Always remember to answer initial emails with a message that acknowledges that you’ve received the application. Keep your response positive and welcoming, and include links that showcase your company’s unique culture and achievements. If your hip office puts Google headquarters to shame, invite applicants to take a virtual tour. If your employee incentive program includes trips to Bermuda, share a news article to let them read more. Remember, it may take a while for your hiring department to identify your top candidates – and because they’re in demand, they’re not going to wait around. Don’t meet their applications with silence. Let them know you’ll be in touch soon.
Always Be the Bearer of Good News
Mass emails are tricky. When used correctly, they can boost morale and keep your current and future employees informed, but if you aren’t careful your efforts can backfire. Before you send a message to your company’s entire contact list, ask yourself whether the message is important enough to warrant an organization-wide email. Then ask yourself if the content is positive. If you answer no to either of these questions, it’s time to either do some heavy editing or ditch the email altogether.
So when is the right time to blast the company? Send a message to publicly congratulate a lifelong employee on a big promotion. Send one to announce an expanded benefits package or 5K charity run that your company is sponsoring. These kinds of messages help unify your workforce.
So what about the converse? When should you back away from the “send” button? Never send mass emails that spread rumors or threaten jobs, like CEO David Siegel did when he sent an email to over 7,000 employees suggesting that it was in their best interest to vote against President Obama. Your workers should always feel that their positions are secure, that the company cares about them and that they’re lucky to be a part of the news you’re sharing. If your emails don’t help them feel that way, it’s time to rethink your strategy.
The way we communicate with each other is changing – but if you think navigating the world of correspondence is difficult now, be thankful you aren’t hiring in the Victorian era, when the specific wording of a single sentence had the power to completely undo your social standing. Today, what you say and how you say it still matters a great deal, but at least you don’t have to worry about being laughed out of town simply because you forgot to announce a visit with a handmade card. The rules today are much simpler, but they’re still very much worth knowing – for recruiting, for online hiring and, maybe most of all, for making your office a worthy place to be.