How Human Resources is like the Receptionist, a reflection of your company

You may wonder: How could that be the same?

In times of financial crisis and lack of jobs, Human Resources often feel like they are in the King seat, they act like it too. Of course, they are in the luxury position and people seeking jobs are often pulling the shorter end, they do not realise that their conduct also reflects to their company image. That behavior should be just as customer friendly as the receptionist greeting and caring for their guests.

My experience
I, myself had been in contact with different Human Resources departments of different companies, either for a job or research. Most often I have been told off and not to call unless they call me. Another kind of way is the silent treatment… No confirmation, no rejection, like you have never sent them anything.

What they do not realise is, is that I’m still a (potential) customer. Or that in some way, I could bring business to them even if I don’t work there. I’ve been told that some vacancies get over 500 applications and that they are just not capable of responding to all of them. This just sounds like BS to me, I’ve worked for an Executive Search company and we were able to respond to each and every one of them. Because they could potentially become a customer or someone we could place somewhere. You don’t want people to think that your company is rude.

Say one thing, do another
One time on Linkedin, a Reputation Manager of P&G placed a vacancy. I emailed this Manager and told him I applied for that position before but never gotten an answer. He told me to apply again and would make sure that I would get a proper respond. But guess what? The Reputation Manager never replied… There goes your credibility. Companies like P&G are so big and so wanted as a resume filler that they have the top picks. That they can’t be bothered with people who would not apply again is understandable, if they find you interesting enough they would have done so in the first place. But from all those people they have done that to, how many would be consumers of their product? Would the potentials they ignored, do business with Unilever in the future because P&G had been rude to them?

The few good (wo)men
It is not all bad, I have had a few good encounters with Human Resources. Guess management of these companies understood the contribution of Human Resources to their company reputation besides hiring good people. Unilever is one of them, I have been called and received explanation to why they were not picking me for a vacancy. Diageo is another company that gets it. One of the Diageo Human Resources employees called me to inform me that they didn’t have any positions available for me, but that if anything came up they would give me a ring (phone call). They kept their word, and they did actually call me, unfortunately due to my circumstances it wasn’t a proper match at that time.

These companies have left my dignity intact and were there to answer my questions. I suppose as a customer that when I have any questions about their products they would be happily to assist. You might think that this is a bit extreme, that it shouldn’t be that big of a deal. But when doing business, all the departments should be on the same page. Your Human Resources department is the one who will be in contact with most individuals contacting your company besides the receptionist and customer service (if you have one of those).

In order to be a success, even if you’re in a luxurious position in financial crisis you will need to work on your customer service of friendliness. This will keep people coming back to you, also when times gets better.


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