Where are Customer Service and Common Courtesy? Why Recruiters Pet Peeves, Peeve Me

Here are some of my thoughts on recent postings on the Electronic Recruiting Forum regarding electronic recruiting pet peeves when it comes to receiving resumes by email. You can view the original message as well as the entire thread of messages here. I was really appalled by what I read – from people who are supposed to be providing a service to their customers/ clients. The job market is tight, as we all know; yet some recruiters are apparently taking the time to exclude potentially excellent people because, for example, they don’t like how they use capital letters! Come on, people. What if the clerk in your local department store wouldn’t serve you because she didn’t like your particular dress style? As recruiters we should be focused on filling jobs with the best people based on some sort of performance criteria, not on writing style (unless they are going to be columnists or writers) or on the fact that they didn’t include a cover letter or used an odd r?sum? format. We need to make it as convenient as possible for people to apply for jobs. We should figure out how to get the information we need in a friendly and interactive manner, and the Internet makes it easy for the first time ever to get that information – and more. On-line resume-builders make it easy for applicants to respond appropriately by asking for only pertinent information. By using them, we get the information we really want because we are directly asking for it. We don’t get odd formats because no one is cutting and pasting resumes. Information isn’t omitted because our resume- builder will not let a candidate submit the form unless it is complete. Many of the recruiters’ who wrote their pet peeves sounded to me like the old bureaucrat who slapped your fingers if one line of the form weren’t competed or an “i” wasn’t dotted. Why should a candidate have to tell you where they saw your job posting? Haven’t you figured out how to track them yourself like all the advertising companies have? Or, if you haven’t and you want to know, why not ask them directly on your web site? Most of us are trying to make an old-fashioned paper resume fit the Internet world. It doesn’t. The buggy whip didn’t fit the automotive age and the resume doesn’t fit the electronic one. Often the best candidates are busy and don’t have a perfectly formatted resume at hand, and because they are employed and probably happy, they are unlikely to take the time to write a perfect one. We need to come up with new ways to get information, build real time resumes with the candidate, provide testing on-line to screen out inappropriate respondents and make sure an email gets sent right back to the candidate acknowledging receipt of their resume. I was amazed that a recruiter would be upset because a candidate wanted to know if their resume had been received. Wouldn’t you want to know? Where is the common courtesy of responding to every candidate, especially in this time when jobs are plentiful and candidates scarce? And, it is so easy to respond with the Internet and email. He process can all be done automatically. It is too bad so many recruiters can’t learn to live in this new Internet world. Building relationships is a primary way of getting the best candidates into your organization and the Internet can facilitate that process. When candidates respond electronically with some initial information, the recruiter can ask for additional information and, over a few days, decide if the candidate is worthy of a more face-to-face approach. Paper can never do this in any reasonable timeframe. Relationships are built on trust and courtesy and respect. But, most of the recruiters with pet peeves are not going to be building many relationships, as they seem more interested in their own selfish needs than in those of the candidates or their employers Good marketers and retailers work hard to make it easy and convenient for customers to buy things. They don’t hide things or place them in strange places and then call their customers ignorant. Sadly, this is what I feel the recruiters were saying who responded with their pet peeves. I am truly sorry that candidates don’t pamper to these recruiters every wish. But, if these recruiters worked for me, they would soon be candidates themselves!

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Kevin Wheeler is a globally known speaker, author, futurist, and consultant in talent management, human capital acquisition and learning & development. He has founded a number of organizations including the Future of Talent Institute, Global Learning Resources, Inc. and the Australasian Talent Conference, Ltd. He hosts Future of Talent Retreats in the U.S., Europe, and Australia. He writes frequently on LinkedIn, is a columnist for ERE.net, keynotes, and speaks at conferences and events globally, and advises firms on talent strategy. He has authored two books and hundreds of articles and white papers. He has a new book on recruiting that will be out in late summer of 2016. Prior to his current work, he had a 20+year corporate career in several San Francisco area tech and financial service firms. He has also been on the faculty of San Francisco State University and the University of San Francisco. He can be reached at kwheeler@futureoftalent.org.

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