5 Ways to Stay in Touch with Student Job Applicants

By Julia Dunn on July 13, 2017

These days, more and more students are eager to get jobs — they’re bright, enthusiastic, and energetic. But these valuable prospective employees will quickly give up on employers who don’t communicate with them enough throughout the application process. If you were them, you’d be frustrated too — so, as a recruiter, you need to ensure your job candidates feel seen and heard.

Here are five ways to stay in touch with your student job candidates throughout the application procedure.

1. Check your email once a day (more than once is better) and send applicants emails whenever possible

Students are fast at emailing — we’ve got our Gmail app right next to the Snapchat or Facebook icons in our smartphones, and we’ve got notifications turned on so that we can reply within minutes of receiving a new message. If a student emails you a question about the open position you’re looking to fill, a faster email response on your end makes you look much more organized. You’ll want to stay on top of emails because if you do, student applicants will get the message that you care about your job (and you’d care about them if they were to land the job).

Image via Pixabay.com

Additionally, to stay in touch with your job candidates, be sure to email them updates about the hiring process — if someone new submitted an application through your website, it’s great to send them a confirmation email to let them know you received their application/resume/CV/cover letter. This brings students peace of mind; we hate submitting applications and wondering how many of them actually went through successfully.

2. Set up in-person interviews in a timely manner

If a student’s job application and materials look promising, invite them to an interview sooner than later. This way, you’ll be able to learn about your applicants and make selections going forward.

If you require that applicants prepare anything prior to the interview, make sure to let them know with ample time so that they can complete any required tasks. Job recruiters and employers who fail to give applicants enough notice before scheduling an interview won’t look good to applicants.

3. Inform applicants about the next steps after interviewing

As stated in an article by HR Insights Blog, it’s important to give a “post interview update” to your student applicants: “at the interview, let the candidate know when you plan to follow-up with them, giving them a time period (within 3 days, within 1 week, etc.). After the interview, each candidate should be given an update regarding their status in the process, specifically if they made it to the next phase of the process or not, typically within 1 week of the interview.”

This is common courtesy, and it helps applicants with their job search/planning process (if students have applied for multiple jobs, it’s preferable if they know when decisions will be made for the positions they’ve pursued). As students, it’s no fun to hope you’ll get a certain job, but to be unaware of when the decision will be made, especially if you receive an offer from another employer before you hear back from your dream job.

4. Communicate, even with applicants you don’t hire

If you want to be extra courteous and helpful, contact applicants who don’t make the cut after you interview them. Although it can be hard for student applicants to learn they didn’t get your job, it’s definitely helpful for them if you can give constructive feedback about why they didn’t get the job offer. This way, you can assist students in getting a job elsewhere, as they’ll know what they need to improve.

If you decided against hiring a certain person at a given time because they weren’t a close enough match with the position that was available, keep their information stored in your files (provided they were a great candidate in other respects) in case future openings arise. Students really appreciate it when employers still remember them and consider them for other openings!

5. Utilize social media

Want to connect more with student applicants, attract new ones, and keep in touch with those who might be planning to apply? Make social media profiles for your business on Facebook and Instagram. These platforms allow you to answer questions informally, send out information to a large audience with just one post, and publicize your company all at once.

It’s also good to create a presence on LinkedIn, as you’ll be able to learn details about applicants, including their professional experience, career interests, education and more. Young people are very active on social media, so you’ll get many more student applicants to your jobs if you come to where they are, so to speak. In your correspondence with students, be friendly but professional, and give thorough answers to students’ inquiries.

Overall, there’s no harm in staying in touch with student applicants — students talk to other students frequently (especially regarding the best employers to work for), so establishing a strong rapport with student applicants in your area can make a huge difference. You’ll gain positive reviews and increase your reputation the more communication you initiate between yourself and prospective applicants.

By Julia Dunn

Uloop Writer
UC Santa Cruz
A writer, editor and educator based in Northern California.

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