Most Popular Ways to Communicate Hiring Decisions

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Throughout the recruiting and hiring process the potential employer and the job candidates engage in an ongoing series of communications back and forth through an increasingly diverse list of channels.

From phone call screenings and video interviews to applicant tracking systems and emails, this series of communications is ultimately leading up to one of two final pieces of communication- either a job offer or a rejection. What to say, write or do to communicate a hiring decision is certainly challenging for many organizations, but how the communication is handled can be equally challenging and important to consider.

Drawing from data reported in the 2013 ERC Hiring Trends & Practices Survey, the figure below illustrates the various communication methods organizations in Northeast Ohio use to notify job candidates of a hiring decision.

Figure 1 | Communication methods used to notify job candidates of a hiring decision

The Job is Yours

Clearly, notifying a candidate that they have been selected for the position is the less painful of the two options (selected vs. not selected), but should still be taken seriously be employers.

At 94% email is the top choice for communicating to a candidate that they have been selected and is 3 times as common as any other communication method. Email is direct, fast, allows the employer to include the details of the employment offer in the communication and can be sent at any time of day or night.

However, the data does suggest that some employers are not satisfied with email alone. In these cases organizations are choosing to pair the somewhat less personal and less formal email offer notification with a phone call (28%) or mailed letter (28%). In some cases selected candidates may be pursuing (or being pursued for) multiple avenues of employment or you the employer may be under pressure to cut down on the “time to fill”. Both of these pressures, along with the simple convenience factor, may have helped make email a strong favorite when organizations are making a job offer.

The Position Has Been Filled

According to the 2013 ERC Hiring Trends & Practices Survey, organizations vary a bit more in their approach when they are telling candidates that they didn’t get the job. Rejection letters, whether via snail mail or email, were the most common methods at 55% and 49% respectively. Although cases of multiple communication methods were less common for these cases of rejection than for the job offers, some organizations did pair a rejection letter with another less popular form of notification such as a change in status in an online application system.

A number of organizations also indicated that their rejection methods included one or more subtle variations. Typically these “other” methods of rejection were situation dependent with many organizations noting that communications were only sent to candidates brought in for a formal interview or only for exempt positions. This variation suggests that the 18% of organizations that offer “no notification” may actually be under representative of the frequency with which individual candidates do not hear back from potential employers when they are not selected for a position.

For more information on how organizations in Northeast Ohio make hiring decisions download the full 2013 ERC Hiring Trends & Practices report here.