Candidates Are Customers Too - Make Sure Rejection Doesn't Harm Your Brand
10 February 2017
It’s generally seen as bad practice to dump someone by text. Telling someone they haven’t got a job they’d just interviewed for in the same way is equally heinous.
An interview situation is incredibly fraught for a candidate – they at least deserve a phone call outlining some feedback for their time.
I refer, of course, to the case of Megan Dixon. The 18 year old had applied for a job at the Leicester brand of well-to-do steak house, Miller and Carter. Whoever had interviewed her then accidentally sent her a text (intended for a line manager) saying that she hadn’t got the job because her answers were too basic. They then used the ‘crying laughing’ emoji.
Naturally, Megan was upset. She may not have been the best interview they’d had all day, but she’d certainly tried her best. Finding out in this way was humiliating and unprofessional.
At HR Consultancy, it’s fair to say we were shocked and appalled by this. Even if the interviewer was relaying information to a line manager, why didn’t they pick up the phone? Sending a text is incredibly lazy and amateur.
Apparently, the normal Miller and Carter policy is to send an email a few days after any interview to let a candidate know the outcome. We don’t even agree with that.
We try to ensure that any post-interview feedback is given via phone call – at the very least – but most likely face-to-face. If a person has taken time to attend an interview, they deserve the respect of a personal follow up. It only takes a few minutes to be courteous.
Candidates’ communication needs are changing. Certainly, many people are unable to answer their phones at work – and this is where leaving a voicemail asking for a call back is appropriate – but that does not mean that sending a text is an acceptable alternative.
By going through the proper channels, workplaces can also reduce the chance of an error. For example, the interviewer would have known straight away that they had dialed the wrong number when an unexpected voice answered the phone.
What’s more is that it’s incredibly damaging to your company as a brand to be known for ‘dumping someone by text’, as it were.
Miller and Carter have apologised for the unprofessional nature of the text message and have promised to ensure that there is never a repeat situation.
This widely publicised incident – it was picked up across several newspapers online and by broadcast media – will perhaps make more companies re-think their approach to hopeful applicants.
Even if it’s a ‘no’, it should definitely be relayed as respectfully as possible.
Written By Mary Palmer