In the cutthroat world of job hunting, finding the perfect candidate is essential for any company’s success. But here’s the thing: it’s equally important to treat all job applicants with respect and care throughout the hiring process. Sure, we want to find the best fit, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be decent human beings along the way.

To keep up with the times I tend to hang out on reddit and it’s wild to read some of the stories people share about their horrific experiences working with recruiters. Being ghosted, interviewers who show up late, and not having questions about compensation answered in a timely manner are amongst the top complaints I read about daily. I’m sorry to say that it seems us recruiters have a bad reputation; that is not to say there’s no way to recover.

Whether you’re working with a recruiter, or hiring in house, here are some ways you can ensure all applicants, whether they are “the one” or not, feel respected throughout the process.

Promoting a Positive Brand

Let’s face it: your company’s reputation matters. Every interaction with job applicants is a chance to show off your organization’s values, culture, and commitment to fairness. Because news travels fast, if applicants have a negative experience during the hiring process, they’ll be quick to tell their friends, and vent on social media. When you treat applicants with respect and make them feel valued, they’ll be singing your praises to anyone who’ll listen. A positive reputation is a powerful tool for attracting top talent in the future.

Enhances Diversity and Inclusion Efforts

Treating applicants well isn’t just about being polite—it’s about fostering diversity and inclusion. When applicants from various backgrounds and experiences feel respected and supported, they’re more likely to fully engage in the process. And that’s when the magic happens. You’ll get a more diverse pool of candidates who bring unique perspectives and ideas to the table. By treating everyone fairly, you’ll create a workplace that celebrates differences and fosters innovation.

Improves the Candidate Experience

Put yourself in the shoes of a job seeker for a moment. Job hunting can be nerve-wracking, and the least we can do is make the process a bit less stressful. Providing clear communication, timely updates, and constructive feedback goes a long way in ensuring a positive candidate experience. Even if someone doesn’t land the job, treating them well makes a lasting impression. They might not forget the rejection, but they’ll remember the way you made them feel valued as an individual.

Treating job applicants well should be the standard, not the exception. By respecting and valuing applicants throughout the hiring process, you not only build a positive employer brand but also contribute to a more inclusive and compassionate professional world. Let’s commit to treating applicants right and create a more enjoyable job-seeking experience for everyone involved.