How do you feel when you receive job applications that do not follow the instruction you have put on the job ads? You might feel frustrated when candidates do not attach their portfolios as requested, or write resumes in their native language while you actually request it in English. Dealing with this kind of job-seekers, you cannot help but question, ‘If the candidate fails to follow the instructions when applying for a job, how will they perform at their job if hired? Can they comply with the rule and follow directions?
Some recruiters believe that applicants who fail to follow job instructions do not deserve to be shortlisted for the next hiring process. Regardless of the reason, candidates who skip the instructions or simply forget to check the complete requirements can be considered as careless individuals. If you happen to receive bunch of job applications from one job opening, then you can just ignore those that come with incomplete requirements and process only the ones that provide what you ask for.
However, it becomes much more challenging when you only receive few applications and some of them do not follow the given instructions. Despite unable to provide certain documents, for example, you see that a candidate seems potential to fill in the position. If you are faced with similar circumstance, what will you do? Will you stick to the rules and pursue other candidates, or opt to tolerate the mistake and invite them for further tests and interviews?
Check out the following tips on how you should deal with applicants who do not follow the job instructions:
Recheck your instruction
Before blaming and calling applicants sloppy person for not following your instruction, first you should recheck the mentioned instruction and find out possible reasons why they are unable to comply with it. You might have written the instruction using uncommon terms that people find hard to understand, or made some typos that could mislead the readers. There is also a possibility that you use incorrect design or layout such as placing the instruction on the corner of the job ads that make it difficult to notice.
Ask for clarification
To stay thinking positively is the key in dealing with various kinds of candidates. When you cannot find the required files in an application sent to you, there is always a possibility of technical error. For example, candidates are not able to attach photos due to technical trouble that occur in the email system or slow internet connection. To solve this problem, you could find out the reason by asking the applicant about the missing files when you send them a thank-you email for their application. Your next action could depend on the reasons they provide.
Ask it directly
When you find one or two potential candidates are among those who do not follow the job instructions, then you can contact them directly to ask for the related requirements. You can mention and emphasise why you need the file, as well as let them know that their application will only be proceeded after they meet the instructions. Additionally, you should not forget to give a deadline on when they should re-send the application.