Taming The Email Inbox With Auto Replies

AtSignIt’s not often I say anything good about automatic messages, but I’m going to do so in this post. There’s a particular situation where autoresponders are useful, especially when set up and managed with care.

Some recruiters receive hundreds of unsolicited resumes each week. Let’s be brutally honest and admit that many never get processed. I understand. You have a specialty or two and probably geographic restrictions as well and from experience you know that half the resumes coming in are from people that you won’t be able to work with. This is a perfect situation for autoresponders because the alternative is that candidates believe you’ve chosen not to contact them. They have no way to know about the volume of mail you receive.

Here are some things to consider when setting up an autoresponder.

  • Be transparent. Say your message is an auto response.
  • Always give something to your writers. Let them know the types of positions you work on and any geographic considerations they should know about.
  • Provide a link to your online job ads and tell candidates how they can set up alerts for positions that match their skills. If your system doesn’t have this capability, candidates can set up a Google Alert to do the same thing. They just need to make your company name part of the search parameters.
  • Provide your telephone number in the autoresponse so candidates can call you if they choose.

That last point may be surprising. Why would I suggest giving out your phone number if we’ve already agreed that you’re getting more applicants than you can handle? A phone call is often the quickest way to determine whether you and an applicant are matched to each other. Just think about all the subsequent email messages you’ll avoid once you figure out if you’re suited to each other.

Can you see yourself setting up a system like this to manage candidate expectations? Feel free to share other ideas or thoughts in the comments box. All input is welcome.



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