Today I received a hand written letter in the post asking if there are any job opportunities at Wired Sussex. It’s very unusual to ever get anything like this by snail mail these days, especially when there’s only an address to respond to. It would be easy to dismiss it as like everyone else,we’re pretty busy here. My initial reaction was probably the same as yours in that even if we did have jobs on offer, only the candidates that understood our business being at the centre of the digital world would likely be considered. However, I then considered the following….
First of all not only had this person gone to the effort of handwriting and posting a letter to me, but they also showed that they were being proactive (something I think is really key for effective jobseeking) and I think they deserve a response. It’s tough out there at the moment if you’re seeking work and the last thing I want to do is knock someone’s confidence.
Secondly it’s really important to keep in mind your company branding when dealing with people at all levels. Wired Sussex aims to be helpful to the whole community so why shouldn’t this extend to jobseekers too? I know it takes effort to respond to every individual, but ethically I believe they deserve a reply when they have invested the time in approaching us. Any extra feedback I can give will only help with their career direction making them more suitable potential employees for our sector’s talent pool.
Thirdly I think of it as a bit of a marketing exercise ie a way of extending our branding and company ethos, reaching a potential new audience. Every applicant you receive will likely go on to secure work elsewhere and all of them would have formed some kind of opinion of your company as a result of your communication or lack of. Imagine in the future that this person will have built exactly the skills you’d love to hire but their previous bad experience means they wouldn’t consider working for you. Even worse it’s worth considering the implications if they become a potential client or might be the son/daughter of your most valued client; it honestly happens more often than you might think!
So I’m going to send a written response back to the letter I received this morning. Even though I can’t offer them any work, I just might have helped on some level which gives me and Wired Sussex a warm fuzzy feeling which is definitely worth 2 minutes of my time