organisation culture

Recruiters should respect candidates – not make fun of them

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businessman_relax_desk_1600_wht_5638Too often recruiters don’t care about candidates. And too many managers aren’t trained to interview and assume that they have a natural gift for it.

But in these days of reputational damage they can’t afford to actually insult candidates on social media.

All the national press this week covered the story of a teenager who applied for a job at a new Miller & Carter steakhouse (owned by Mitchell & Butlers).

Megan Dixon asked at the end of the interview when they would let her know and was told by the assistant manager Shantel Wesson, who had interviewed her, that she would get an e-mail in a few days. To her surprise, and dismay, she received a text within minutes saying “it’s a no x” (why managers would add a kiss to a text message is beyond me).

Dixon replied “Okay. How come? x” (and there’s that kiss again for goodness sake).

Shantel Wesson then replied “Just not engaging. And answers we’re “like” basic” followed by a ‘laughing so hard I’m crying’ emoji and another kiss.

Naturally Dixon was upset and complained to the company on twitter  saying the interviewer was unprepared and her phone was going off throughout the interview. So unprofessional.

She then told The Sun newspaper about the interview: “She didn’t even shake my hand, didn’t have my CV out and was just sat drinking a coffee. Maybe because I’m 18 she thinks it’s OK not to be professional with me? I don’t know.

It was so rude. At the end of the interview, I asked when I would hear back. She told me it was never more than a few days and she had my email. But I got the texts a few seconds after leaving

I was shocked. The least she should have given me was some proper feedback. And the laughing face emoji was so unprofessional. It was a really bitchy thing to do.”

Miller and Carter had advertised up to 50 jobs at the new branch in Enderby, Leicestershire, and student Ms Dixon wanted to earn some extra cash for college.

Newspapers explained that the term “basic” was American slang meaning an unstylish or unintelligent person.

3cffa0e500000578-4206284-image-m-28_1486635507566The company apologised and said the text was intended for the manager, which seems odd given the string of messages. Wesson (pictured) refused to comment.

A spokeswoman said “we can’t apologise enough to Megan. It was never our intention to be disrespectful or upset her in any way. The texts were sent in error and were intended for our manager, not the candidate. However, we expect our team to act professionally at all times and to give constructive feedback after any interview via email. We are taking this extremely seriously and will be investigating to ensure it never happens again.”

In anyone’s book this is totally unprofessional behaviour. Candidates deserve respect and proper feedback – something sadly lacking these days.

And what does it say about the culture of the company that managers send each other such mocking text messages? If it were indeed actually intended for the manager.

HR probably doesn’t exist in this company but if it did some recruitment training seems well overdue,and possibly some disciplinary action against Wesson for bringing the company into disrepute?

Talking of being “basic” perhaps Shantel Wesson could take some English lessons as she obviously doesn’t know the difference between “were” and “we’re“.

And Megan, you’re young but don’t put kisses on business messages. You act professionally as well.

Coaching has high impact on performance

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P1000161Of course as coaches we knew that but research by Rebecca Jones at Aston Business School suggests that when compared to other workplace interventions coaching has a greater impact than training or 360 degree feedback.

She looked at 24 different studies of workplace coaching and found that it produced several positive outcomes such as positive attitudes, improved work behaviour, time management and overall performance.

Coaching achieved these in three ways:

  • by using goal-setting,
  • encouraging reflection, and
  • providing tools to encourage the transfer of new skills.

She found that having multi-source feedback could detract from the coaching process (which is a surprise as I’ve found it to be a powerful tool at an appropriate stage in the coaching process).

However the facility of the coach to tailor an approach enhanced the process and the use of telephone coaching facilitated confidentiality (my colleague is a great believer in Skype for career coaching).

She also found that internal coaches may be more effective due to their insider knowledge of the organisation culture. Past research has found that the more senior the client the more likely they are to prefer an external coach.

This was reported in Coaching at Work magazine Vol 9 issue 2.

In the same issue it was reported that executive coaching had once again become the province of senior leaders as organisations reserved it for their top executives.