The 12 Blogs of Christmas 2015 – #11

PSX_20151211_190654I first met Louise Amey last year when she was working in local government in New Plymouth.  Since then she’s made the big move to Wellington and an HR role in the Government sector.  Louise loves to share knowledge and is using her skills in volunteering roles – HR support to a sports organisation and helping a recent migrant find work through the Job Mentoring Service. You can find her on Twitter @luamey.

Giving your candidates a soft landing

If you’ve ever flown into Wellington, you know how bad it can be.

The capital is truly the World’s Windiest City. For travellers this often means a rattling plane, a few stomach drops and a queasy feeling that lasts long after you’ve left the airport. Some colleagues and I were recently sharing our flying experiences, but there was one that trumped us all.

It was this story about the time an Air New Zealand plane’s engine blew up mid-flight. There were flames, there was smoke, and there were terrified passengers. Yet for some reason, my colleague was reflecting on his experience in quite a positive manner.

You see, after the plane landed and the Fire Service did their thing, Air New Zealand handled the event exceptionally well. They did everything they could to both apologise and ensure that passengers made it quickly and safely to their destination. My colleague did not hesitate to fly Air New Zealand again.

Let’s take this example of customer care and apply it to candidate care. Wouldn’t it be great if even unsuccessful applicants were treated with the respect and understanding that my colleague received from Air New Zealand?

If a candidate isn’t right for a role, maybe they are for another one. Or they have a friend that will be. In a country the size of New Zealand, word gets around. Treating candidates poorly may mean their friend won’t bother to apply.

It’s inevitable that in our roles we will disappoint people. What we can change is how we go about it. Amanda Sterling hit the nail on the head in her book, The Humane Workplace. She advocates “open, honest, person-to-person conversations between real people.” We should always treat candidates with respect and keep the lines of communication open.

Is this what happens where you work? Do your unsuccessful candidates share their positive experiences?


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