Rhona Barnett-Pierce


Image of Rhona Pierce, a Black woman smiling and looking at a video clapper. Includes the words: "Never Skip This Initial Candidate Touchpoint, Newsletter #011"

Don’t Skip Application Acknowledgement Emails

My friend Kat Kibben recently wrote about one of the most underutilized emails that can elevate your candidate experience, the Application Acknowledgement Email. You can read their post here.

That reminded me of a simple tweak I like to make to those emails, which is to include a video from a member of the Recruiting Team. So many companies either don’t send this email or send a generic; “Thank you for your application” message. It’s very easy to stand out and lay the foundation for a memorable candidate experience by adding some helpful information.

I’m not suggesting you share a video merely saying thanks for your application. I’m suggesting that you add value. The most important thing candidates want to know at that stage is when they can expect to hear back from you. So don’t forget to include that in the email. But your video shouldn’t be about you; it should be about them.

Make a Video Candidates WANT to watch

In my latest blog post, I shared the 5 types of Recruitment Marketing Content Candidates Want to See. According to the 2023 Candidate Experience Benchmark Report, candidates want to know about:

  • Company Values
  • Diversity & Inclusion
  • Answers to “Why” People want to work there
  • Company Culture
  • Employee Testimonials
  • Answers to “Why” People stay at the company
  • Frequently Asked Questions

You can choose one of those topics and create a short video. I like sharing about the interview process and highlighting how it reflects our values, culture, and commitment to DE&I.

Application Acknowledgment Email Template

Here’s a quick template that you can use for your Application Acknowledgement Email:

[Candidate First Name], Thanks for applying for [Role Name] at [Company Name]! Our team is reviewing your application.

We’ll get back to you in [Timeframe]. In the meantime, please watch this short video from [Name + Title of Recruiting Team Member], where you can learn more about what happens next [Link to Video].

Short and simple!

The more authentic and less produced the video, the better. It should be a quick 30 to 60-second face-to-camera video (TikTok style) that starts the process of humanizing your brand and gives candidates insight into your company culture.

If You Don’t Want To Use Video…

GIF of Wendy Williams rolling up window and the words: Fine... Be That Way

If you’re not creating video content (why not?), you can include an infographic or links to helpful articles on your site. The main goal is to utilize this touchpoint to set the tone for what’s next regarding candidate experience. That’s really what the application acknowledgment email is about.

Things You Shouldn’t Include

There’s a trend that I’m not a big fan of, and that’s sending a candidate experience survey at this stage. I think it’s too early to be asking for favors. The applicant knows very little about your candidate experience at this stage, so sending a survey in your first communication is quite off-putting.

These Touchpoints Matter

If you’ve been around my content for a while, you know I’m all about the small touchpoints. Adding a video to your Application Acknowledgment Email is such a low lift; I don’t see why you wouldn’t jump on this!

If your team doesn’t have the bandwidth or needs help implementing this strategy, hit reply. I’m happy to chat about how I can help.

See you next week!



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