Make sure your rejection doesn’t cost you $19bn

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Social media plays an increasing role in all aspects of the careers process, not least of which is the unhappy occasion when you’re rejected for a position.  I wrote last year about a study conducted by CareerBuilder that explored how satisfied applicants typically were with how organizations were handling the rejection process.

It turns out that most weren’t very happy at all.  For instance, it remained commonplace for many applicants to not be notified that they had been unsuccessful in their application, and on the rare occasions when they were contacted, it was usually with a boilerplate response that gave little insight into where their application had gone wrong.

What’s more, with social media being as prevalent as it is, this was creating a cohort of people who were anti the brand they’d applied for.

“One bad applicant experience can have a ripple effect, with candidates not only vocalizing their dissatisfaction with how they were treated, but encouraging others not to apply or even buy products from that company,” CareerBuilder said. “It’s so critical that your employment brand effectively carries through at every touch point with candidates.”

Now I’m inclined to think that not much has changed since that study was published just over a year ago, but a timely reminder emerged this week.  Unless you’ve made a concerted attempt to avoid the news this week then I’m sure you’ve heard that Facebook have recently bought the mobile messaging service WhatsApp for $19 billion.  The huge sum sent Facebook shares falling as investors opined that the valuation was far too high.

Anyway, this isn’t an investment blog so I’m not concerned about the valuation at all.  What was interesting however is that a couple of tweets have emerged showing that WhatsApp founder Brian Acton had actually applied for jobs at both Facebook and Twitter back in 2009, and was rejected both times.

Would he have developed WhatsApp if a fully paid up member of the Facebook workforce?  I suppose we’ll never know, but you suspect whoever the recruiting manager was at the time is kicking themselves right now.

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