Poor Etiquette Hurts Business


By Samuel Greengard

A new survey commissioned by job site CareerBuilder found that a whopping 75 percent of individuals who apply for a job no longer hear back from the potential employer. No e-mail. No letter. No phone call. Nada, zip, zero.

What's arguably worse is that 60 percent never heard back from the employer after showing up for an interview, and 43 percent found out during the interview that the job they were applying for didn't match what was written in the job ad.


If this is the outcome from HR automation, then businesses are clearly rocketing down the wrong path. Yes, we're all overworked, and keeping up with the daily crush is increasingly challenging. And yes, a lot of etiquette has vanished as the digital age has taken hold. But this type of behavior doesn't bode well for business, especially when the economy improves.

Consider these statistics: Eighty-two percent of workers say they expect to hear back from a company when they apply for a job, regardless of whether the employer is interested. Nearly one-third (32 percent) said they would be less inclined to purchase products or services from a company that didn't respond to their application.

But wait … there's more.

A sizeable chunk, 42 percent, indicated that they would never seek employment again from a company that didn't respond to their application, and 22 percent said they would tell others not to work for that company. In addition, 9 percent reported that they would tell others not to purchase products and services from the offending business.

On the other hand, the study found that a good applicant experience has a positive long-term effect, even if the candidate isn't hired. Fifty-six percent of the people in this group said they would consider seeking employment with the company again in the future, 37 percent said they would tell others to seek employment there, and 23 percent indicated that they would be more likely to purchase products and services from the company.

Sometime it seems as if today's enterprise can't get business strategies and IT systems in sync. While the marketing department is building up branding, HR is tearing it down. Or vice versa.

In the end, the lesson is simple: IT systems can't go on autopilot, and there must be a human touch to virtually every aspect of the enterprise. Treat people well, and everyone wins in the long term.