Empathy killed the auto-response

Empathy killed the automated rejection

Written by Chris King

Chris is the Thunder and CEO of luxury travel and lifestyle recruitment firm Lightning Travel Recruitment. Having never worked a day in recruitment in his life, Chris founded the company because of frustrations with current recruitment agencies and their ways of working. Since it's launch in 2019 Lightning has become a disruptive brand in the recruitment world, taking a traditional recruitment consultancy model and giving it a personality.

At every recruitment conference, without fail, there is a discussion on human vs technology. Whether it’s about formatting CV’s or using automated rejection in hiring processes, there’s sure to be a speaker with an opinion on it.

2020, however, is a beast nobody expected.

And I’ve seen so many recruiters and hiring managers failing to adjust their ways of working to fit in with the love and support that candidates need right now.

You only have to go on LinkedIn to see a plethora of candidates frustrated at lack of replies. Or receiving automated rejection emails after spending time on applications.

There is only one conclusion – empathy has killed the auto-response.

Taking the time to reply personally to candidates is so important for so many reasons. I’ve listed the main ones below:

People need feedback, and in my experience will really appreciate even a couple of lines as to why they haven’t been successful.
– Candidates will remember those recruiters that take the time to respond and will recommend friends to the role.
– In a world where automation rules, taking the time to be nice to someone is good karma.

But why stop with email replies? Videos are standard right now. Why not offer them to candidates who just missed the mark? In doing so, you’ll get a true reflection of a candidate and their demeanour. I’m confident they’ll appreciate the extra personal touch.

Recently we had a BDM role with over 100 applications…amongst them, there were candidates with epic experience that had just missed the mark with their CV’s. We gave these candidates tips as to how to improve their CV, the weekend to re-do them and scheduled in interviews with the caveat that if the CV wasn’t up to scratch still that we’d do a 1:1 career coaching / CV video session instead.

Something that people continue to forget is these candidates will soon be hiring managers and will remember who took the time to get to know them, to understand their situation and ultimately who they’ll want to work with in the future. 

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