Lazy days – how to ruin your employer brand
Patrick Hosking in the Times 17th November wrote that Lazy bosses add insult to injury for jobseekers, this really caught my eye. Mostly because I have spent a week talking to people about employer brand, the importance of a great career site, how essential it is to carefully nurture your relationship with your jobseekers, etc. But all the time, I have been thinking about how much money and time is wasted by recruitment teams up and down the UK who generate huge numbers of responses to job adverts, social networking activities and resourcing, only to ignore these applicants, the very people that they have spent all that money and energy generating, by not bothering to respond to them.
Hosking’s feature has a slightly different angle, more to do with the frustration of people trying to find a job:
But there is one modest, virtually costless, way that employers could soften the misery and frustration of unemployment. They could trouble to reply to all job applicants
I could not agree more, what’s the point of spending all that effort on nurturing an employer brand and then not bothering to communicate with jobseekers?
We all know the answer and so does Hosking:
Over the past few years it seems to have become acceptable for employers to solicit for potential employees but then not bother replying to them if they don’t like the look of their cv’s…
This practice seems to have become the norm. The CBI acknowledges the problem but excuses it on the grounds of the sheer volume of applications.
Clearly the CBI have never heard of applicant tracking systems, recruitment portals that can at a low cost, solve the problem of volume, where every applicant will receive a response to their application. It’s quite staggering that employers are happy to spend money driving the applications but are then prepared to throw them away, if they do not at that stage meet the exact requirement. Hosking goes on to say that:
Today’s CV toting teenager is tomorrow’s customer, supplier or shareholder
He could have added that the CV toting candidate could also be someone that with 2 years more experience, could turn into a star candidate who will no doubt recall their earlier treatment or that the CV toting candidate could be best friends with a star candidate who may be appalled at the treatment that his/her friend suffered at the hands of the “lazy approach” to dealing with applications.
For larger employers, if cost is not an excuse, then perhaps ease of use of the systems that they employ could be a factor and that is why we focus on the simplicity of our recruitment portal because if it’s easy to use, administrators will get more value and get through more volume in less time. For smaller employers where cost is an issue, our aim is to provide a scalable and affordable platform for them to ensure that as they grow, their employer brand grows with them and does not suffer from its treatment of applicants.
In HR circles there is much talk about best practice, but talking doesn’t get things done.
A great deal of harm is being done by the approach and its quite scary that excuses are being allowed to kill off the employer brand or reputation which in some cases has been nurtured carefully over many years and destroyed at a furious pace.
Less ford thinking CEO’s, simply don’t care or don’t understand this issue. The average stay of a CEO is under 3 years and this can lead to there being more interest in maintaining the status quo rather than changing anything, too much focus on improving the margin by 0.01% before the next job comes along, gets in the way of making real change. The sad thing is that this kind of “lazy” approach is stopping any real innovation, any real improvement in the people aspects of the business. Snap decisions such as to “go direct” to save costs or cut PSL’s or whatever else is flavour of the month are harming the employer brand as well as making it difficult in many cases for the internal recruiters or HR to actually deal with the applications issue properly.
Hosking’s assertion that “there is one modest, virtually costless, way that employers could soften the misery and frustration of unemployment – They could trouble to reply to all job applicants”, would be a good start in saving your employer brand from ruin.
MyPeopleBiz create Recruitment Portals, yes I am biased……