Have a rant: Recruitment process

I need to rant about the appalling standards of recruitment practised by companies and the agencies that represent them.

As HR professionals we are the first line of advertising for our company and we should stop acting as if we are recruiting for the workhouse. That rule also applies for agents working on our behalf, which still act using poor, if not illegal, staffing policies. I personally have been told that I have not been included in a shortlist because the company won’t have a man in that position or because, at 50, I am too old.

If you treat an applicant poorly during the recruitment process, they will remember. It may be a shoddy rejection letter with a comment like: “You don’t meet our client’s standards,” or: “If you do not hear from us within the next 10 days, your application has not been successful.”

Good manners and courtesy cost nothing. What is wrong with a positive rejection letter that says: “We were extremely impressed with your background and experience, but regret that on this occasion, we are not able to take your application further”? Just think that your poorly worded rejection might be the one that tips the recipient over the edge. HR has a lot to be responsible for, and we don’t want to add mental breakdowns and suicide to the list as well.

This may sound melodramatic, but if someone has been out of work for a long time, and has a large outstanding payment overdue on their mortgage, this may be the final straw.

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