Who's damaging your brand?

I heard a story - could it be true?


A talented person was contacted for a contract role.  After initial discussions they were put forward for the role, and met with the apparent decision maker.  First meeting went well and the individual was put forward to meet others in the organisation and that went so well that days later, the individual was offered the role, with an imminent but yet to be firmed up start date.  

It was a sector they wanted to work in, they liked the people, the role and the contract duration.

All good.  "When can you start?" they were asked.  "Next week", they gleefully replied.

What next?  The clock continues to tick, one week goes by, then another, and another.  Emails ensued, "We need to speak to others", "It's a movable feast", "Just hang in there - there's no issue", "We apologise for the delay and hope you haven't lost interest".

And then?   Same talented person checks a leading online job board and guess what - there it is - the very same role, no doubt about it.  Although gobsmacked, they call it.

And the response.  Did the individual representing the organisation come clean?  Oh no, not at all,  "Things have changed again, might need you later ..".  Certainly no insight or concern.

And the impact

I'd suggest irrepairable damage to their brand in the eyes of that individual and no doubt those that may discuss it with.  Could it be indicative of a trend within that organisation?  And let's not even start on the ethics or legalities ...

Do you know what really goes on in your organisation?  Beyond the hype, how do you really treat people?

What can you do?

  • be personally accountable for your actions
  • It's an age old saying, "but treat others as you'd like to be treated", still holds true
  • if you think something's not right, call it - respectfully of course!
  • stand in the other person's shoes
  • act with integrity.

Alternatively, what could they have done?

  • advertise only when there is a defined role
  • should the landscape change during the recruitment process, fess up immediately and be the leader they are, or should be 
  • offer an apology
  • try to repair the damage, you never know when your paths will cross again
  • treat all people as people, regardless of whether it's a permanent, fixed term, employee or contractor arrangement.

What's been your experience of the recruitment process?  Have you experienced anything like this?  

I'd love to hear your thoughts.


Elisé Burch

HR with a dash of Legal

Taking the sting out of employment headaches