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Impersonal Personnel

A reader emailed this unique customer service issue to my attention:

A reader emailed this unique customer service issue to my attention:

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The
reader’s first complaint was, after spending innumerable hours writing,
editing, and tweaking their resume (I am referring to the paper or
electronic file that describes your life’s history in the work world.)
and the prospective company’s Website, they are asked to submit their
resume, and a cover letter, AND fill out an application! The
application usually asks for the exact same information described in
the resume!! (I have also experienced similar frustrations when
applying for college teaching positions. If anyone has ever applied for
a position at a institution of higher learning, then you know how
tedious it can be. I have spent up to two hours online applying for a
college job. I have been told that similar lengthy applications
occasionally are required for jobs in the corporate world).

If
you have applied for a job recently, you may have noticed that
application procedures have changed in the last few years. Gone are the
days that we perused the classified ads for the ideal position with a
recognized or at least recognizable organization. In years past, we may
have even dropped into the personnel office to inquire as to any job
openings. Today, job seekers look through one of several hundred
Websites (i.e. Careerbuilder, Monster Jobs, Hot Jobs, to name just a
few), and jump through dozens of hoops in order to submit an
application. And what makes things worse, in the past you competed with
local applicants, now hundreds of others may be applying for the same
position from across the globe.

Now, here is where the customer
service angle comes in: my reader’s second complaint is, in more cases
then not, they may NEVER receive a response from the organization to
which they have submitted their life story. Job seekers sometimes spend
hours massaging their letters to the Human Resources (HR) Director, and
meticulously editing their resume to show how their vast experience
matches the specific (and sometimes seemingly endless) list of job
requirements. Then the candidate waits for a response, sometimes for
months, and receives only silence.

In
this day of computers, MS Word, instant messaging, high tech Web
devices, and company rooms full of computer geeks, it would seem to
this observer that it would be easy to create a form letter (a personal
letter would be even better) that automatically goes out to the job
applicant informing them that their resume has been received. Also, a
letter should be sent to those unfortunate applicants who applied for
the position, but were not considered. This may not seem like customer
service in the purest sense, not internal customer service, nor
external customer service, but think about it; doesn’t this seemingly
lack of caring about job candidates taint the organization’s image?
After such an experience the applicant may be left with a feeling of
disillusionment believing that either the job posting was either a sham
or they would not work for a company that treats potential employees
with such disrespect. They may think,”I am glad that company never
called. They must treat their employees in the same impersonal manner”.

Before leaving the corporate world, it began to become obvious
to me that HR had less responsibility than they did in the days of the
Personnel Manager. Most of what was once required of HR (employee
insurance coordination, hiring, attendance, employee disputes, and
payroll) has been automated or outsourced to the point where the HR
department is slowly disappearing from the corporate landscape. Now, I
have had wonderful relationships with several HR managers in my life,
and maybe I lack knowledge regarding the demands placed upon today’s HR
departments, but it would seem that the HR director or generalist would
welcome the chance to help the corporation’s image through the hiring
process.

By replying promptly to those who wish to become part
of their company, HR could say much more than just the words in
messages they write to candidates. Corporate leaders, as well as HR
personnel should always be aware of how the outside world observes
them. After all, applicants may be potential customers.

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Let me know your thoughts on the subject. Thanks.

D.J.C.

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