Corporate Social Responsibility Base Camp

I rarely ever hear of medium to large sized SMEs ever attempting to develop any kind of 'employment brand' or being bothered about their employer reputation. I also hardly ever see any evidence of it in any of the recruitment communications that these companies put out.

Amazingly, they then compound the problem by treating those applicants who do respond to their self-indulgent job announcements/Internet postings, with very little respect. These applicants are people who invariably live within a 30 mile radius of the company’s offices and are always people who know lots of other people who live within the same 30 mile radius. People that talk to each other.

Ironically, these are often the same companies that can often be heard complaining about how unprofessional recruitment agencies are and how they don't want to pay fees to find people - but often end up having to.

So, by way of recognising these businesses contribution to their local communities, I thought I'd offer them a free template letter that they could use to send out to unsuccessful applicants to all their future advertised job vacancies.


Dear (misspelt christian and surname).

Thank you for applying for the advertised job of (insert job title here).

We could clearly see that this was a job that you'd be ideally suited for. After all it's not everyone that's got 5 years of relevant work experience. Furthermore we could practically smell the hours of effort you put into the covering letter and the CV - printing it out on nice textured paper was a nice touch that helped set you apart from the other applicants. Coming into our reception and dropping it off in person during your lunch break was also greatly appreciated. Nice suit by the way.

We could have told you two weeks after the deadline for applications stated in the ad that you were not going to be selected for an interview, but we thought it might be fun for you to slowly realise hour by hour, day by day.

We gave the job to the Sales Managers wife's sister's boyfriend who is fresh from University and who did a weeks work experience because of his 'connections'. We think he'll fit in well here because his uncle is the doorman at Stringfellows and he laughs at all our jokes.

Nothing personal. We just couldn't be bothered to send you this letter sooner, so when you'd almost forgotten about this application 2 months later, opening this letter as you leave your house to go to the rubbishy underpaid job you are still stuck with that you loathe with every ounce of your bodily fibre, we thought it would add a bit of ‘texture' to your day.

We will keep your details on file. You don't really believe us do you? No really, honestly we will. Honest.

Better luck next time.

Yours Sincerely

(insert company name here)


Sending out this type of letter to unsuccessful candidates could not do these companies any more damage than they are already doing themselves by not responding at all.

Views: 116

Comment by Phil Haynes on September 15, 2009 at 10:08am
Mitch is right on about this topic.
Having formed a socially responsible recruitment network (www.allianceq.com) I know that this is the #1 complaint of job seekers across the globe. The good news is that the AllianceQ companies have edited these terrible messages to provide HOPE to job seekers and allow them to actually continue their job search with fellow AllianceQ members. Here's an example of an AllianceQ email going out to millions of candidates right now:

Dear Applicant,

Thank you for your interest in employment with ! We appreciate your taking the time to apply online for the District Sales Manager.

At this time we have identified other candidates whose backgrounds more closely match the specific requirements of this position.

However, we would like to provide you with a resource that may help you in your search. is a member of AllianceQ - a partnership of leading companies collaborating to find external talent and to help external talent find work. One or more of these companies may have open positions that match your skills and experience.

AllianceQ is a free and confidential service. Simply visit www.AllianceQ.com/company to create your profile and you will be automatically-- and anonymously-- be considered for thousands of other opportunities with first class employers, including .

Please continue to visit us online at company.com/careers and we encourage you to keep your profile current and to apply for open positions that match your skills and experience.

Again, thank you for your interest in joining the team at . We want to wish you the best in pursuing new opportunities through this outside resource.

As you can see this email message (an easy edit in any ATS) provides, not a closed door "goodbye" but an open door "here are some friends". How do you think this message is affecting the employer brand of the members? 75% of the people who read this message take the company up on the offer - that's how.

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