Recruiters, what message are you sending? Real-life horror stories.

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Your company reputation should be a consideration in every aspect of your business.

Many stories, from clients and acquaintances, tells us that there are lots of companies giving no thought to protecting their reputation when recruiting.

If disorganised, incompetent, dishonest, stupid, or bullying is how you want your company to be known all you need to do is treat job applicants thoughtlessly.

You might see rejected applicants as having limited opportunity to damage your reputation.

Think again.

Are they potential customers who will no longer consider your product?  They may now be working for your competitor and have ample opportunity to undermine your credibility in the market.

What will they be telling friends and family about you? Their friends and family will tell their friends and family, and so on.  Bad news travels fast, especially in small markets like New Zealand.

Here are some real-life examples of what you should do if you are not interested in preserving your reputation:

  • Promote yourself as a people first employer, but don’t bother to let unsuccessful applicants know.  They are people!  You are now perceived as dishonest!
  • Tell them they are the wrong age/wrong sex/wrong ethnicity etc.  Yes we know that’s not legal, but they aren’t likely to report it because we all know who holds the balance of power.  You are now perceived as bullies!
  • Assure an applicant they will know by COB Friday, don’t make a decision, don’t update them.  You are now perceived as disorganised or incompetent! 
  • Treat your second choice carelessly and then ring them up when your first choice gets a better offer and leaves in the first week.  You are now perceived as stupid!
  • Tell an applicant they will need to remove some of their qualifications from their CV as they will intimidate the manager.  You are now perceived as having poor leadership.

Keep applicants informed as promptly and carefully as you would a valuable customer. Check out the Glassdoor research that shows with regard to candidates that ‘94% are likely to apply to a job if the employer actively manages their employer brand’.

I have one last warning today.  Tragically, some of the examples above come from professional recruitment companies.  Hence, if you are outsourcing your recruitment, what are you doing to ensure your chosen company is representing your brand well?

Happy recruiting,

Claire (Aka the Barefoot Recruiter)

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