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10 Things Applicants Learn From Their First Interactions With You

In Company Culture — by Noel Diem

When applicants are looking for a new job, they are hyper-aware of everything happening around them. They are looking for something in those first interactions that may stop them from accepting a job offer, attending an interview, or even responding to you at all. Applicant ghosting is at an all-time high, and it could be because people are looking for more information than ever before – and it’s out there!
Unfortunately, you can only control so much of the information on the internet. That’s why you must make a great first impression on potential employees. Using an applicant tracking system like Trakstar Hire is a great way to do this. If you are interested in improving your candidate experience, be sure to schedule a demo today.

Your Company Culture

What’s it like at your company? Company culture refers to the shared values, beliefs, attitudes, behaviors, and practices that shape a workplace’s social and psychological environment. It encompasses how people interact with each other, how decisions are made, how conflicts are resolved, and how work is organized and accomplished.

A company’s culture can be reflected in various aspects, such as its mission and vision statements, code of conduct, hiring and promotion practices, communication and collaboration processes, and physical and virtual workspaces. It can also influence employee motivation, job satisfaction, productivity, retention, and the perception of customers, partners, and stakeholders.

A positive company culture fosters a sense of purpose, belonging, trust, and innovation among employees and helps to attract and retain top talent. In contrast, a negative or toxic company culture can lead to high turnover, low morale, poor performance, and reputational damage.

Perks of Working With You

Why should someone leave the job they know and work with your company? It’s an important question to be able to answer because it’s part of your pitch. If you can’t answer the question, it’s worth discussing internally. 

Even if you can’t put it into a single sentence, it’s important to weave this throughout your conversations.


What benefits do you offer? This should be listed in your official job description! People aren’t going to apply for your job if they don’t see things they already have or things they want. Increasingly, benefits are the most significant selling points for someone making the switch – and can help attract more qualified candidates.

Listing your benefits and clearly defining them is important – “a robust benefits package” might not be enough.

Recognition of Hard Work

Do you recognize hard work? Think about how you talk about your workforce, the person exiting the role the new applicant is taking over, and other people in the department. It’s easy to make off-handed jokes to seem approachable or fun, but be careful not to cross the line.

Explain to your applicant how you recognize and reward hard work – this all ties back to company culture.

Work-Life Balance

What’s the work-life balance like at your organization? Is it something that you think about? Burnout is a huge thing people are thinking about, and having a life outside of work is important to many people. Especially for the younger generation, having a workplace that prioritizes that balance is essential. 

How can someone know about this from their first interactions with you? It’s in the way you talk about the job, your reviews online, and whether you talk about it or not.

Room for Advancement

Do you have a succession plan for your opening? Is there a lot of succession within your workforce? Showing room for growth and development within your organization from a role perspective is important. Room for advancement within a role is also important (more on that in a bit), but showing that someone can grow within their career is vital. No one wants to stay in one place for their entire career. If someone doesn’t see room for advancement, they may not take a role that seems perfect for them. 

If you can, map out what success looks like for this role and what that success could mean. A succession planning tool could help you do this.

Education and Training Opportunities

What opportunities do you have for someone to learn something new? This doesn’t necessarily have to be something for advancement, but it could be. Most people are wired to want to learn and do new things. Some people appreciate doing the same things every day, but most want some variety. Make it clear if your organization has training, education, and upskilling opportunities. For example, you can show off your learning management system or highlight other people in the department who did the same thing.

If you recently sent a bunch of your employees to a conference (like Trakstar did!), highlight that as well. These are the types of things that show you really care about your employees.


How reliable are you? No one expects you to answer them in a few minutes, but if their emails go unanswered for over 24 hours, things start to be questionable for the applicant. Sometimes life does get busy, so some applicants may be willing to overlook it. However, you likely notice if someone goes too long without an answer, so they’ll notice the same thing.

If you do go over 24 hours, it doesn’t mean all is lost. You can still get a great applicant, but it significantly reduces your chances of them signing. People want to know that the HR team, in particular, is reliable and trustworthy. 

The Tone of Your Workplace

What’s the overall feeling around your workplace? People can pick up on these feelings and understand the environment they’ll be working in on a daily basis. Do your emails sound rushed and like you’re struggling to fit everything into your day? Or are they composed and thoughtful? 

You can’t always control the way someone receives your words and thoughts. What you can control, however, is your approach. Setting up automated email templates within your applicant tracking system can help you send a response email in a shorter amount of time and still have it seem thoughtful. For things like offer letters, you can have the format perfected so that, while it should take you some time, it doesn’t have to take hours.

Whether They Want To Work For You

That’s right – within the first few interactions with you, a candidate is going to know whether or not they want to work with you, your team, and your organization. Why? They’ll be able to tell how you treat each other, how much pressure you’re under, and so much more. This will give them that “gut feeling” that so many of us rely on to make decisions.

Think about it: if you had a bad experience with a hiring process, are you likely to join that team? Probably not – and your candidates are thinking the same things. Even if your job offers better perks or a higher salary, they may still be wary of joining you. This is especially true in the younger generations.

Ready To Roll Out The Welcome Mat? Trakstar Hire is Here

Trakstar Hire is a comprehensive and user-friendly applicant tracking system (ATS) that can streamline your recruitment process, saving you time and effort. Here are some reasons why you might consider using Trakstar Hire:

  1. Time-saving: Trakstar Hire automates several aspects of the recruitment process, including job postings, resume screening, interview scheduling, and candidate communication, reducing the time required for administrative tasks.
  2. Improved collaboration: The platform provides a centralized location for hiring managers, recruiters, and other stakeholders to collaborate on job postings, candidate evaluations, and hiring decisions, facilitating better communication and collaboration among team members.
  3. Customizable workflows: Trakstar Hire allows you to customize your recruitment workflows based on your specific hiring needs, ensuring that you are getting the right candidates for the job.
  4. Enhanced candidate experience: With features such as personalized email templates and automated status updates, Trakstar Hire can help you provide a better candidate experience, leading to a more positive employer brand and improved retention rates.
  5. Data-driven insights: The platform offers a range of reports and analytics, which can provide valuable insights into your recruitment process, helping you to identify areas for improvement and make data-driven hiring decisions.

Overall, Trakstar Hire can help you to attract and hire the best talent more efficiently, while providing a better candidate experience and improving collaboration among your hiring team.

Trakstar Hire is considered the most user friendly hiring software on the market. If you’re ready to take your recruiting and hiring to the next level, request a Trakstar Hire demo today.

Who is Trakstar?

Trakstar is a multi-product HR software provider helping organizations put the people back in people management. Develop and align your staff through better recruiting and applicant tracking, performance management, and learning management. For a more integrated solution to talent management, check out our website and request a live demonstration today.

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