The internet has made it easier to advertise roles – vacancies get seen by far more people, along with job descriptions and other information. It’s also convenient for candidates, who can submit their CVs and supporting statements electronically.
A thankless task
I sometimes wonder, though, whether organisations and recruitment agencies realise how much time and effort people put into completing job applications, and how often their technology is not that helpful. A spell-check function on the personal statement section at the very least would be wonderful.
Recently, I’ve witnessed my wife being reduced to tears when sites have crashed or information has disappeared while making online applications.
So, given all the effort (and several hours worth of time), it would be nice to think the application is going to be treated with respect. The first warning comes with the acknowledgement email, if you get one, informing you that if you don’t hear back within a certain number of days, you should assume your application is not being taken forward.
Some closure, please
What can be far worse is what happens once you have spoken to the recruitment agency, which might even have approached you in the first place: ‘Oh, yes, can you just send us your CV and a supporting statement. We need to get it to the company by close of play tomorrow’ – all said in a tone of voice that suggests Christmas cards will be exchanged.
Hours later the application is crafted – a little bit more of you revealed to the wider world – and you press the submit button (which should actually read ‘yield to the will of another person or superior force’).
And then, many days later…..
Should you take that as a ‘no’ then?
Any response better than none
It seems wrong that, after being encouraged to make an application, you seldom get a notification to say: ‘Sorry, not this time’. Even the patronising ‘we received lots of applications and on this occasion yours was not successful in making the shortlist’ is an indication that the process has ended, and the grieving can begin. Failing to send any response at all is just downright rude – after all, how difficult is it to send an email?
I suggest a code of best practice for recruiters in their dealings with Joe Applicant, and mystery shopper-type applications to test them.
Here’s a few recommendations for starters (please feel free to add more):
- In the information provided to applicants, indicate the expected timetable for the selection process.
- Acknowledge all applications within 24 hours of receiving them.
- Update applicants on the progress of the selection process at least every week, including any change to the timetable.
- Confirm with all applicants when the process is over and the vacancy is no longer available.
- Offer effective feedback to all applicants who have been interviewed for the vacancy.
Given the existing technology none of the above should be difficult. What do you think?