Why Being a Responsive Employer Matters in Recruitment

As a business owner or manager, you’ve probably got an always growing to-do list, and hiring new employees is just one task of many you need to check off. 

It can be hard to give the hiring process the attention and focus it needs, and keeping track of where every applicant is in your process, and responding to all your candidates in the various stages can get confusing and overwhelming. 

But even though it’s challenging to do, being more responsive during recruitment can actually improve your ability to make the right hires for your team. 

Why is being responsive so important? And is it even feasible as a busy manager or business owner? We’ll explain everything you need to know about being a responsive employer during recruitment, including some time-saving tricks to make it easier. 

How being a responsive employer makes it easier to hire the right person

In today’s competitive labor market, job seekers have a lot of options. You’re competing for the best talent with many other companies, and being responsive can actually give you an advantage. 

Applicants prefer responsive employers 

If you want to have your top choice of the best candidates, responsiveness should start as soon as those applications start rolling in. 

We found in our Applicant Expectations Report that nearly half of applicants would prefer an employer contact them within 24 hours of applying. Responding quickly after someone applies is a great first impression to all your potential candidates. 

Remember to respond to everyone that’s applying, not just the candidates you want to move forward. We found that 51% of job seekers wouldn’t apply to a company again if they didn’t hear from them the first time they applied.  

importance of responding to all applicants

Protect your employer brand 

Your employer brand is your business’s online reputation as a place to work. Reviews on sites like JobSage and Glassdoor by current employees can give job seekers an idea of what it’s like to work for your company. 

But your online reputation is built through the hiring process as well, and candidates are leaving reviews online regarding their experience with your company during recruitment. And the good news is that many of them are eager to share positive experiences online: We found that 60% of job seekers have left a review online after having a positive candidate experience.  

positive candidate experience and your employer brand

This means that taking steps to create a good experience for candidates, including being responsive and communicating with them can have a positive impact on your employer brand and help you attract and hire more top candidates. 

Keeps candidates engaged during your hiring process 

The best candidates are typically engaging with multiple opportunities at once. Not being responsive to them during the hiring process could actually be a reason they drop out and pursue another job. 

Hiring and recruiting expert Gabe Wilson says, “If an applicant is moving along through the hiring process and there are three interview steps and they’re on step one, maybe another company reached out earlier and they already have that applicant on step two. They’re going to take that other job because they’re going to get that offer letter first.” 

A couple of job seekers we spoke to share how they moved on to other opportunities because of a long communication gap from an employer: 

job seeker quotes on responsive employers

Indeed rewards responsive employers 

Another big reason to be responsive to candidates is that it can earn you a “Responsive Employer badge” on Indeed. Indeed will grant you this recognition if you update the status of more than 50% of the applicants you get on a job. 

This “Responsive Employer badge” shows job seekers that you are active on the job board or in your applicant tracking system (ATS) and that you’ll be more likely to reply to their application. It’s an easy way to market your jobs better on Indeed because it encourages more applicants to apply. 

How to be a more responsive employer

So how can you be more responsive to multiple candidates in various stages of your hiring process without being stuck at your desk or glued to your phone all day? The right tools can help: 

Automated interview scheduling 

Gabe Wilson recommends that employers reach out to applicants as quickly as possible – 24 hours at most, but a few hours is ideal. This may sound like a longshot for a busy employer, but hiring automations like those available in CareerPlug make this possible. 

With an automated interview scheduling system like CareerPlug’s Autopilot, you can automatically send candidates a link to schedule their own interviews based on your availability. This saves you and the candidates from having to go back and forth to find a time that works for you. The interviews automatically show up on your calendar, helping you book more interviews in less time, without having to manually respond to candidate emails or phone calls.  

Watch the video below to hear more from Gabe about how employers can gain an advantage by contacting applicants sooner. 

Text recruiting 

When it comes to responding to candidates quickly and conveniently, no method of communication beats text messaging. Text messages have a 97% read rate within 15 minutes of delivery, and the average response time for a text is 90 seconds. 

An applicant tracking system like CareerPlug will have built-in tools to send text messages to your candidates without ever leaving the software – so you don’t have to be glued to your phone all day.

And if you’re still hesitant to ditch email, 83% of applicants believe text message communication with a potential employer is equally as professional as email communication in a hiring process.

Automate tedious hiring tasks

When you’re not bogged down with the administrative parts of the hiring process – like sorting resumes, scheduling interviews, sending rejection letters, etc. –  you can focus on being more responsive and creating a great experience for candidates. 

In addition to automating interview scheduling and improving candidate communication, an ATS like CareerPlug can also organize and streamline other parts of the hiring process. For instance, CareerPlug’s FastTrack feature will automatically send candidates that meet your criteria a link to schedule an interview as soon as they apply. 

CareerPlug can also automate candidate rejection emails for you, so that you have more time to focus on responding to the candidates that you want to hire, while not hurting your chances of those candidates applying again in the future. 

Be a more responsive employer with CareerPlug 

Although it can be difficult to stay on top of your hiring process when you’ve got other things to do, focusing on good communication and being a responsive employer can actually help you make better hires. 

Being responsive creates a better candidate experience, keeps more candidates engaged, can make your job posting look better on Indeed, and improves your employer brand. You can work on being more responsive by setting a goal to contact all applicants within 24 hours (or sooner), and aiming to avoid long gaps of no communication with candidates. 

An ATS like CareerPlug provides the tools you need to do this quickly and conveniently. 

Want to learn more about applicant tracking systems?

An ATS can organize your hiring process, helping you be more responsive and create a better experience for candidates. Read more about the benefits of an ATS and how to choose the right system for your business.


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Originally from small town in central Texas, Ashley Johnson graduated from Texas State University in 2013 with a degree in Business Administration. She was hired by CareerPlug as a Talent Specialist in 2014, and moved up to ultimately lead the Recruitment Services team. From there, she pivoted to Implementation, and is now the Implementation Manager.

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Native to Texas, Jenny graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 2004 and joined CareerPlug in 2017. She retired her first career path as a Registered Dietitian after 10 years, and has found her true belonging in business operations.

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