Your ATS Bulk Messaging Sure Can Backfire....
December 01, 2010
You have an ATS. That ATS has bulk messaging capabilities. All your recruiters have access to the bulk messaging capabilities of the ATS because, well, that's how work gets done.
Your recruiters live in email. They know how to use the tool, you don't have to train them.
Or do you?
The email chain below is the result of a recruiter at a Fortune 20 company (I replaced the company name with ACME) using the bulk messaging capabilities of an ATS to send an email referring to a pending job offer to 87 candidates in the pipeline. Nothing wrong with that, but here's the rub: She used the wrong message - the 87 candidates she emailed hadn't been offered jobs, and in the case of the friend of the capitalist who emailed this to me, some of the applicants hadn't been in contact with ACME for more than 5 years.
Big mistake #2: She put all 87 of the candidates/former applicants in the old "CC" line, meaning they could all see each others' identities to a certain degree....
Lessons learned? Your recruiters are just a send button away from making a human error (who among us hasn't hit the send button on a multi-person email and said "wait!"). In this case, it's the wrong canned message, the wrong recipient list and the wrong use of CC/BCC.
Ugh. Double check your stuff this week, people....
From: Email Address Removed - Irate ACME applicant in the list of 87
Subject: RE: Keeping in Touch: November 2010
Inconvenience? How bout raising and then dashing hopes of the unemployed or
underemployed during the beginning of the holiday season? How about damage to the careers of those who might lose their current job because someone thinks being on this list means they've a new job waiting at ACME? How about other identity theft problems? Do you have any idea what harm this list of names could do? Some folks would pay a lot just to get this list of email names. I do not like having my name sold because I already receive more email in my junk
folder than in my inbox. Sadly, it is a fact of our lives that we must just live with in this electronic age.
I really am sorry someone made a mistake, but we all must learn by this example to pay more attention to what is in and where we send an email.
- Name Removed (although signed with First Name, Middle Initial, Last Name - further exposing themselves to the aforementioned potential identity theft)
> Subject: RE: Keeping in Touch: November 2010
> Date: Mon, 15 Nov 2010 11:04:54 -0500
> From: Name Removed - Recruiter from ACME;
> The previous communication was sent in error. We apologize for any
> ACME Staffing Team
> From: Name Removed - Recruiter from ACME;
> To: Name Removed - Recruiter from ACME; Names Removed - approximately 87 ACME applicants
> Keeping in Touch
> NOVEMBER 2010
> We understand that you may have recently been made a job offer or
> accepted one from ACME. As you consider your options or await your start> date, here is some information currently in the news about ACME that you might find interesting.
> Important Links
> ACME Careers
> ACME Careers Blog
> ACME Careers on Twitter
> ACME Careers on LinkedIn
> ACME Careers on Facebook
Good job replacing with ACME. The "Send" button must be right next to the "Post" button :)
Posted by: Frank Zupan | December 01, 2010 at 08:31 AM
All of that, just to get traffic to their social media and news sites? Ouch.
Posted by: Emily White | December 01, 2010 at 08:33 AM
Hey Frank -
Just more proof that proofing is hard. This ran through me and a great copy editor multiple times. I took the name out of your comment, but left it up to let the record show how human we all are....
Posted by: KD | December 01, 2010 at 09:19 AM
Did you notice that the email also says,
"here is some information currently in the news about _____ that you might find interesting."
Does this also need to be removed, to protect the "innocent?"
Posted by: Rachelle Falls | December 01, 2010 at 12:24 PM
Hey Rachelle -
.... I did know. Just like the Frank comment, let the world be on guard... as someone who writes every day, it's so easy to do... edit oversight, ATS message to the wrong group. When Frank emailed me, I thought for a split second about saying "I meant to do that"... Then quickly came to my senses...
Thank god for readers!
It's ironic, isn't it.....
Posted by: KD | December 01, 2010 at 01:10 PM
Like you said, we're all human...heaven knows I've made my share of mistakes, no matter how OCD I am about checking before hitting "send"......
Love your show!! :)
Posted by: Rachelle Falls | December 01, 2010 at 01:35 PM
Measure often. Cut once.
Posted by: Andrew Hibbard | December 06, 2010 at 01:40 PM