What Employers Need To Know – About the Unemployed

Employers would do well to remember the “person on the other end” when they reject an applicant for a position. In sales, I was taught that every person you meet has potential to become your customer or client and one mentor often reminded me while pointing a finger to make his words stick, “Don’t forget it. Once you lose them it’s mighty hard to get them back.”

Let’s see. There are 5 million people unemployed or underemployed. And among the ranks no doubt are many who have submitted job applications into the black hole of the online world. After figuring out that a password must have upper and lower case and non numeric symbols, then reformatting their resume credentials after they’ve backfilled wrong into the form, applicants trust the universe to deliver as they launch their resume into the internet ether with simply a handstroke — and hope for the best. Days go by. Perhaps even weeks. But they rest easy in the knowledge that their resume surely has arrived somewhere and is being read by someone — it must be.

How do they know? Well, an email notified them, almost instantly after they hit the send button. Only an efficient, well-run organization with care in their heart would go to such ends, right?

Guess again. And many unemployed I’ve spoken with have reported with anger and sadnes that there’s nothing “human” in the Human Resource profession these days. Some wonder if the entire department has been taken over by robots.

There’s a lot at stake. The firms posting jobs and either ignoring candidates and not “caring” enough to send a thank you email or regular post letter within a reasonable time — even if it’s simply to say “thanks but no thanks”, risk losing a great deal, despite any “gain” they might feel they’ve received by hiring the right candidate.

Those ignored, well, they’ll tell their friends. And those friends will tell others about experiences they’ve heard about. And the firms themselves –odds are they will lose some customers. It’s hard to put a price on it when a company has sales into the millions or billions, but there is a price. It’s called goodwill. And it’s fast getting lost these days. But people talk and they spread the word and some employee want-a-bes voice their opinions on social networking sites. Others see it and yet again it spreads.

Companies would do well to think through their hiring and notification processes, not just to retain the clients they currently enjoy but to show respect for the human beings on the other end. Yes, humans.  With the advent of computers came what some perceive as anonymity.  It’s easy to post commentary, opine about a news organization that doesn’t share your views, or complain about a book purchase on a social networking site without ever being “known” — but when candidates get rejected for jobs: the companies doing the rejecting are known and anonymous or not, consumers talk about them. In some cases the firms are household names with great reputations — but reputations can change, and fast, especially today because of lightning fast computer speeds and access to inexpensive technology.

Never take for granted the opportunity to reach out to the face on the other end — that face might buy from you, and more than once. Turn your back, and they never will. Nor will their friends.

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