I’ve read these five words more times than I care to remember when a brown envelope has plopped gracefully on my mat and I’ve raced eagerly to open it to find out whether my job application was successful; then read ‘I regret to inform you that your application was unsuccessful on this occasion’
Unfortunately I’ve had to cope with a big disappointment – but then that’s life.
SHL’s research (based on job applicants’ views of applying for work in the retail sector) reveals that the way in which job applicants are handled can leave a long-lasting, damaging effect on that organisation. In other, words this is all about customer care and brand…and getting it right – or in many of the survey respondents’ cases, wrong.
Nearly 50% of the survey respondents told SHL they had a negative view of the organisation because of how their application was handled. 18% were going to take their retail custom elsewhere, 46% were unhappy to receive little or no feedback and 36% had no acknowledgement of their application.
SHL’s Chief Executive, David Leigh was quoted as saying “…unsuccessful job applicants are also potential customers and ignoring them could impact the bottom line,”
In my view this is also an issue for all employers, including the public sector – OK we don’t aim to make a profit, but we do have a community reputation to foster and many job seekers will also be local residents and tax payers. Whilst we are staring into the abyss of significant service retrenchment in the public sector we will still need to employ key skills. Anti public sector press is also hardly helpful to our employer brand image and features in an editorial piece in the MJ magazine of 10 June 2009 (page 2).
Clearly there is resource pressure to dealing with high-volume applicant enquiries, but I believe this research teaches us some salutary lessons. What do you think?