The bigger picture


Think about the bigger picture – especially when recruiting

Recently I was at a Social Media Club event and started talking to a woman about jobs. We both found it very frustrating and quite simply rude when you apply for a job, have several interviews and consequently never hear back, or if you do it is via a generic rejection letter.

Even though it takes time to personally contact applicants it is still  important that you do. For example, a few years back I applied for a job at an agency and had several long interviews with each of the directors. I knew I was up against some tough competition, and since they weren’t too sure whether to go for a senior marketer or someone with a bit less experience, the applicants they interviewed ranged hugely in experience.

The agency took a long time to say which applicant they were taking on and their form of rejection was a plain generic email. Now the generic email part was a bit of an insult. Fair enough if you hadn’t had an interview then the email was adequate, but as I had several interviews I expected at the least an email saying thank you for coming in for the interviews. Ideally, I believe you should ring everyone at this stage to let them know why. I do understand that they most likely did not have time to ring everyone and probably had a similar excuse for the poor email, but to me it’s an example of their poor communication skills.

Now you might be thinking what does it matter? Well to me it does as in all of my jobs from time to time I have had to find and use an agency. When choosing an agency for a project the one key thing I look for and expect is excellent communication skills. Consequently I wont use that agency and not because they didn’t employ me but for their poor communication skills.

The woman I spoke with at the Social Media Club had a similar experience to mine. She interviewed several times for a position and never heard back. Getting tired of chasing them up she eventually gave up. Her less than perfect impression of the business has now hindered her business from becoming involved with them and the business in question could have benefited from this.

It is more beneficial than you think, looking beyond what is right in front of you and thinking of the bigger picture. Sometimes people will simply hold a grudge no matter which way you let them down, however it’s better to know that you have communicated in the best way that you could. And in my experience, especially when recruiting marketers there is a great chance that they could end up becoming a client and/or a business partner, so always have the bigger picture in mind.


2 thoughts on “The bigger picture

  1. I agree, that they should have given you a personalised reponse after you had already given up your time to interview and shown definite interest in the company. But, like you said they were probably very busy.

    A good idea is to follow up on the interview to find out why it was that you didn’t get the position and ask what skills or experience you need to improve on to get such a position. This way you know for next time what employers look for and you can work to build on those areas for next time, and can state how you have worked on these areas in any future interviews. Also, this then shows that you are proactive and have good communication skills, which potentially could lead to other opportunities in the future with that company? (if you can get over that they didn’t send you a personalised letter or phone call after the initial let down). More often than not, it’s our ‘failures’ so to speak, that we learn from the most, cliche as it is.

    • I completely agree and I have previously asked for feedback, which has been helpful and often lead to other opportunities.

      I was actually having a discussion about giving feedback (so from the recruiter side) and our HR advisor said you have to be very careful on what type of feedback you give as it can result in a personal grievance i.e. if you didn’t think the candidate was a good fit for the team they could see this as discrimination. I guess if someone were to take a personal grievance on you with this then you probably wouldn’t have wanted to hire them in the first place! I would actually find it interesting to hear what recruiters have to say and how many are willing to give feedback.

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