If you think job applicants are impressed with how your company hires, take a look at these comments from job seekers who read Ask The Headhunter:
- “Regarding the overall topic of respect and fairness [in the employment process]: I haven’t seen much of it.”
- “I’ve been nickeled and dimed and lied to about compensation.”
- “Companies should make managers go out and meet people.”
- “Recruiters. Employers. The hiring process is broken from both sides.”
Have you asked applicants for marketing jobs at your company what their experience feels like? It’s really no different from polling your customers about how they feel about your brand.
From where I sit, the recruiting and hiring process in most companies is at least a little bit broken, if not completely crippled, by automation and bureaucracy. Job applicants become disgruntled and even offended by your HR department’s failure to follow up and update them about interviews. They even tell others about their experiences. And this hurts your brand.
Your HR department has many reasons to explain it. When HR gets flooded with thousands of applicants, following up becomes unwieldy, and keeping job candidates happy can be as difficult as satisfying your customers. But HR is also responsible for selling your company to the people you want to hire. Which comes first?
As a marketing executive, you should be very worried because this means the people you want to hire are getting dissed—and you probably don’t even know it.
Eileen Timmens, an HR executive and professor of business, spilled the beans in “Radio Silence In Hiring: What is the Cause?” She admitted that “radio silence”—an employer’s habit of interviewing, then ignoring, job candidates—does serious damage to a company’s brand in its professional community. But, she said, employers behave this way for many reasons. Here come the excuses:
- “They are too busy in their day-to-day responsibilities and the role is not a priority.”
- “They need an update from the executive recruiter; they don’t know the most recent status.”
- “They honestly have forgotten who they have notified about the status of the role and whomthey have not.”
- “They really don’t care if they respond or not—talent is knocking at their door.”
If you’re a CMO, imagine using such reasons to explain to your CEO and your VP of sales why customers are upset by your latest marketing campaign—and that this is why sales are down. Such rationalizations would never fly, of course. You’d be told to get your act together and to realize that you’re putting your company’s brand at tremendous risk.
C-level executives sometimes forget that customers are just one important constituency. The professional community you recruit from is just as important. Perhaps HR gets those jobs filled in the end (hopefully). But how your professional community feels about doing business with you is just as important as how your customers feel, isn’t it? Everyone sees your brand in all of your company’s behavior. (See “Passing The Buck: Who’s In Charge Of The Talent?”)
You’re responsible when it comes to your customers. Are you responsible when you’re hiring? Or do you pretend that the people you want to hire are someone else’s problem? “Talent in today’s global economy is the driving force of any business,” Timmins said.
So what’s the talent saying about your marketing organization?