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Emails to job applicants are a branding opportunity

While writing emails to applicants and candidates is often viewed as an HR thing, I’ve always believed that this is a brand opportunity. These are real people and their careers are personal.

These emails are an opportunity to connect with real people who have real dreams of working to further your organization’s mission and it’s so deflating when these emails are cold, especially when they’re the “rejection” emails.

This is an opportunity for compassion and empathy—an opportunity to connect people with your culture from the jump, even if you aren’t inviting them to work with you at this time.

These might be automated emails inside your applicant tracking system (ATS) or they might be emails manually written. Either way, they should feel like they were written just for them.

Carefully consider every touchpoint.

Remember your brand tone. Some brands use this opportunity to be silly or cute or punny and honestly, some of them go way over the top trying to be fun which feels really odd if it’s not already a part of the brand persona. Don’t try too hard. They already like you.

Remember that some of these people will be very desperate for a job and have been looking for months. This was my situation at the start of the pandemic and it was extremely deflating to receive rejection after rejection written by a robot. I’m still getting rejections to applications from over two years ago and it makes me think less of the brands now that they don’t treat people like people.

Remember that while some of these people might not be out of a job, they may have had an eye on your business for a long time waiting for this role to become available. You might not know who they are yet, but they’ve been connecting with your social, your website, your content, and dreaming of the day they get to apply with you. Treat them well.

Remember that, depending on what kind of business you are, these people may also be customers and a poor experience will turn them away from you which is no bueno. There are parts of the business working hard to retain customers and maintain a great reputation. Don’t blow it being cold toward the customers who like you so much that they want to work for you.

Remember that they will tell other people about a great or horrible experience. Aim to write emails that people would want to share on their Linkedin.

Be real.

Don’t reel them in with faux culture for them to only be disappointed once they join. The “we’d love to meet you!” email should be in alignment with what they should expect their first call with you to be like. If the email is warm but the interview is cold, that’s going to create a disconnect.

This is why branding is more than a logo. It’s every touchpoint every person ever experiences with your business.

I hold up a mirror for my
customers to see their own
brand.

I guess you could say I’m like
a therapist for businesses.
No smoke.
Just mirrors.

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