15 May 2017
Another company falls foul of ‘oddball’ behaviour

It’s been another week in the recruitment world and yet another story of poor candidate experience has hit the headlines. The candidate in question Anna Jacobs, a recent graduate, had applied for a position at Tonbridge-based Tecomak Environmental Services and got an awful response, one which no one deserves, especially when starting their career.

For those of you who missed it in the news, Anna from Kent received insulting comments that had been accidentally attached to the interview invitation. The role she applied for was office administrator and the response included the following comments:

“Home educated oddball.

“Can’t get a job since leaving uni.

“Forages for mushrooms.

“Difficult to assess her from her CV – might be very good but equally could be a biscuit short of a packet or a left-wing loon tree hugger.

“Worth an interview if only for a laugh.”

These notes were underneath an invite to Anna for an interview, clearly left there by mistake. She told BBC South East that she was “furious” with the email, as you would expect her to be. (Image credit: BBC South East)

BBC odd ball comments

Anna has since gotten an apology from Ross Black of Tecomak:

“Clearly the comments were informal and not to the high professional standard you would expect from a company like ours.

“I understand that it must have been upsetting to read the comments and I apologise on behalf of the company and the employees concerned.”

He added: “We genuinely felt your application and CV was interesting and you were shortlisted from a long list of over 40 candidates.

“We would be more than happy to interview you as one of the strongest candidates that have applied and, if you were to accept an interview, you can be assured that your application will be treated fairly and appropriately.”

Anna has obviously declined the interview as to no surprise of everyone who has heard the story.

Managing candidate expectations is a central part of all recruiters’ job spec: this includes, being able to let applicants down gently as well as counselling them through potential rejections. This is a clear example of what not to do when dealing with clients.

However, Tecomak aren’t the only firm to have made headlines for their poor candidate management.

Earlier this month the Birmingham branch of Turtle Bay, a popular Caribbean restaurant, left a jobseeker “humiliated” after she was rejected for being “too small”.

It goes without saying that all jobseekers are entitled to equal treatment when applying for a job. Being told you’re not right for a job is never easy, but it gets even harder when you’re insulted for your efforts to start a career. Most of us will attend an interview and be given positive feedback and criticism, as to cushion the blow of rejection. Anna Jacobs didn’t get that courtesy however, but let this be a lesson to all those who deal with candidates.

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