If I built a company (IBAC): Denying Applications

Photo by  Niklas Hamann  on  Unsplash

I’m starting a new little series called If I Built a Company (IBAC) to play around with different scenarios. In this case, this would be if I built a company, what would it ideally look like?

You know that moment when you apply to a job and two weeks later you get that dreaded “Thanks for applying. Unfortunately…” email. You know what’s coming.

It’s such a sour note, and it really is such a disservice to people who take the time and write amazing cover letters about why they want to work for the company. The least we could do is treat their application with the respect it deserves.

Most companies don’t offer any solid feedback to applicants, and so applicants never know what to fix. So they will continually send shitty applications to other companies.

My company would give a detailed feedback on why your app sucked. And be brutally honest.

Now I hear about a lot of companies that get thousands of applications. “We can’t possibly respond to all of them” they would say. But we don’t need an in-depth analysis. I think a simple 140-280 character-sized response would be easily doable.

It just shows that we read your application, and it was disqualified because X.

Now the potential benefits of adopting a straight feedback model of hiring would be:

  1. A more detailed and transparent knowledge base of who we hired and why we hired them, so it’s clear to others
  2. Job applicants would appreciate our honest feedback and increase brand loyalty
  3. Society as a whole would benefit from better job applicants

Potential drawbacks would be:

  1.  Wasted resources (money, time, and opportunity cost).
  2.  Pissed off applicants (some people can’t handle the truth)

In the end, I think it’s the right thing to do if our goal is to hire the best applicants. This practice would go viral on major industry websites and cause an influx of talent to apply to our company.