In our most recent survey, we asked roughly 300 hourly hiring managers about their interviewing and hiring practices. They divulged why they’re hiring, how they handle walk-in applicants and the types of questions they tend to ask in interviews. We also asked employers what is the best way for applicants to follow up after submitting an application.

The responses varied among hiring managers; some preferred job seekers to follow up in person while a few didn’t like applicants to follow up at all. But 42 percent of those surveyed believed the best way for applicants to follow up is through email. With email, managers can take the time to answer any questions and respond at their own convenience. No matter how you choose to communicate, it’s important to respect the job seeker and their time. By keeping that in mind, any connection the applicant has with your brand is more likely to stay positive, no matter what your final hiring decision is. So when it comes to following up during the hiring process, keep these suggestions in mind:

Let applicants know the best way to follow up. If there is a certain way you want job seekers to follow up once they turn in an application, let them know. Start your interview process off right by providing applicants with the right contact information, whether it’s a phone number or an email address, and let them know you’ll get back to them. If you’d rather job seekers not follow up, be just as clear with those directions so the applicant doesn’t make a mistake that could potentially cost them a job.

Avoid the “black hole” of email. If you prefer applicants to follow up via email, strive to keep the related email account active to save it from becoming a “black hole,” or an inbox where messages wind up ignored or forgotten. Give a hiring manager the responsibility of monitoring the account and responding to job seekers. Even if you set up your email to respond automatically, make a point to respond to each message in a timely matter.

Train managers on following up. Forty-nine percent of employers said they train managers on how to follow up with applicants. Meet with your hiring managers and figure out what steps the team will take for each application submitted. Establishing a detailed plan can help create a consistent, and fair, experience for every job seekers who visits your store.

Once an application is turned in, the interaction between employer and job seeker begins. Get off to a good start by developing a plan that works best for you when encouraging applicants to follow up about your open position. For more tips on connecting with job seekers during the interview and hiring process, check out a few of our recent blog posts. Happy hiring!