virtual HR etiquetteOur company recently found itself in the enviable position of needing to add workers due to an increase in work volume. We are a virtual business, so we reached out to potential candidates virtually, by posting a Help Wanted ad on a website specifically targeted for job seekers in our industry.

As we knew it would, the ad generated hundreds of responses. In fact, the first response arrived in under 6 minutes. Our policy is that every person who applies for a job has done us the courtesy of finding our company worthy of working for, and therefore deserves some sort of response.

The first step in this process is to separate out the resumes of those people who clearly do not fit our parameters, by virtue of skills, experience, or perhaps geographic location (we do not hire outside the United States). Each of these applicants was replied to via e-mail, thanking them for their submission and explaining that they were not considered ideal candidates. That took care of about 25 percent of the resumes submitted.

The remaining resumes (still about 200) were then re-read and the top tier of candidates were contacted for interviews. From that much smaller pool, we were able to offer positions to several highly skilled workers who presented themselves as the very best fit for our company culture.

We still had a pool of 175 qualified applicants, any one of whom could potentially have been hired. Once again, these people have shown us the respect of offering us their services, and deserve to know the outcome of their application.

Here is the message that each of them received:

Thank you very much for your interest in EdocScribe. We have now filled all currently available MT positions. Please understand that there was a huge number of submissions, and it does take a while to sort through them all. We assure you that your resume was read, and although we were not able to offer you a transcription position, please do not interpret this as any sort of commentary on your skills and experience. There were many, many qualified applicants, and we were able to choose several highly qualified individuals who were also able to offer schedules that we considered ideal.

Thank you again for your interest, as well as the time and effort you spent in applying for these positions. We wish you the best of luck in your search for a transcription position.

Plain, old-fashioned common courtesy we thought, to let applicants know the status of their application and to thank them for their time, effort and interest in our company.

But apparently, common courtesy is not all that common any more.

We received more than 20 emails from the applicants whom we had turned down, thanking us for letting them know, and almost every one of them said that this was the only response they had ever received to an online job application.

Think about this for a moment: put yourself in the shoes of a job-seeker in these troubled times. The economy is shaky, your job went away to India or was replaced by technology, you are not quite certain how the bills are going to be paid.

So you did everything right, actively searched for work in your field, polished your resume and sent it to a company who was hiring, and they never even bothered to acknowledge that you had applied?

We think that is just plain wrong. We’re glad that we handled the responses to our job applicants the way that we did, even though it took a little more thought and effort. To us, each application received in the virtual world represents a real, live human being who has shown us courtesy and respect, and who deserves our courtesy and respect in return. As we continue our journey with Edoc Virtual, helping other companies transition to the virtual environment, we will continue to recognize the humanity of our virtual world.

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The blog was written by Sue Lawson, Edoc Transcription/Business Development Manager and Texas Cowgirl.