human resources

How your HR department is destroying your brand

February 12, 2014
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human resources How your HR department is destroying your brand

The modern job hunt

I’ve been watching my son’s job hunt as of late with great curiosity after having spoken at a Human Resources Management Association (HRMA) conference a few years back, where I chastised their lust for more new systems rather than utilizing their existing systems. Oh, the gasps I received for pointing out positive ways to promote their brand, and reminding them strongly that they are on the front line of their brand image (most especially with applicants).

I watched as the younger professionals nodded in absolute agreement, and veteran human resources management folks cringed at the idea that they had a responsibility to better interact with applicants, i.e. social media, responsive email, or just being responsive with new applicants at all.

bar How your HR department is destroying your brand
How simple would it be to include a thank you acknowledgment email, and then listing community resources to local job boards, job re-training opportunities, or even promoting their own HR blog that suggests what the company is looking for in a resume, best practices for job hunting, and so much more… oh the horror! You’d have thought I set the building on fire and locked the door! But having said that, many were inspired enough to speak with me afterwards for more ideas, and application of some of the social implementation, and how to integrate the same relationship with currently employed team members – I had hope.



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Fast forward to today, and guess what?

Well, the human resource departments got new systems alright – they can now completely disenfranchise applicants online now. “Online Application” is now the online file 13, and hey, many managed to ignore even the common courtesy of letting the applicant know that an application was even received. And of course, there will be no help with any glitches the applicant may run into such as, your social security number is invalid, say what?

They even found newer ways to aggravate the applicant by defaulting applicants into “sell your information” companies like snagajob.com where your information is sent to participating online ‘Universities’ that endlessly call without warning. Watch out for companies like Kohl’s in particular. Now you’re making money while ignoring applicants?

Consider this analogy

Here’s the analogy I gave HRMA in my presentation: I’m a young kid, who on Friday nights curls up with mom, dad, and family with popcorn and Coca-Cola. This weekly treat as a kid was epic, and I love Coca-Cola. As a child, I thought that one day I might like to work for this magical company – their commercials were so appealing, especially at Christmas. Needless to say, this memory made me a huge fan of Coca-Cola growing up. Fast forward to applying for a job with Coca-Cola (this never happened, but stick with me) where I apply either on paper or online, and I’m ignored, not unqualified, just ignored.

I apply again in 60 days. Same thing, file 13 and so on and so forth – I now bleeping hate you Coca-Cola, crushed fan, even worse, ignored. Do you know how much effort and dollars advertising and marketing spent to make me a fan over all of those years, and this is how it ends? Bleep you, I’ll have tea.

This applies to all companies, so here’s the answer

This could be said of nearly any company out there that does not understand that this is a tandem endeavor throughout the company to attract brand fans whose point of final sale might just be with your brand’s HR department. This has to change. You must do better.

My son is on month two of his job search, and the most response he’s received was from those who wanted his money and his information for that ridiculous company, snagajob.com. Thank you Kohl’s and so many other stupid decision makers in human resources.

Every CEO should immediately do three things -

(1) Have their HR director read this in front of you and watch their reaction – nodding in agreement and you’re fine, but an annoyed director means you’re in trouble.

(2) I think every CEO should force their HR director to job hunt for the type of job they are hiring for, especially if it is entry level, for two weeks of unpaid leave just to experience how it would feel should they be “unemployed.” Seriously.

(3) When hiring an HR Director, ask how long they’ve been on the job hunt, where have other HR departments FAILED, and how they propose to do their lion share of making sure your company isn’t leaking talent and fans to file 13 in those same ways.

P.S. Still Loving Coca-Cola over here.
P.P.S. Use Snagajob and other sites at your own risk.
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As AG's Founder, Director & Publisher: I've dedicated the past two decades to focusing small, medium and large businesses on consumerism, consumer needs, trends, and what consumers find valuable within the user experience. I founded AG in hopes of furthering your business growth. I hope you enjoy AG, and that you will reach out if I can help your company or association communicate it's value.