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The Exhausted, Fantastic Candidate

Monday, February 2, 2009 by Slaughter Development

Last last week, an incoming response to a startup company’s job posting looked especially promising—except for a glaring typo in the subject line. But instead of hitting “delete”, the manager sent a quick reply back to the candidate.

The MyPunchBowl blog contains the full story, but the initial email response and commentary is particularly interesting:

Your email subject caught my eye — but the spelling error causes me not to look at your resume further. Thought you might like to know for the future. All of that stuff matters.

- Matt

I know that I didn’t have to send that email, but this person had a great resume. I know I was being a little harsh, but I wanted to see what would happen. Would she ignore the email? Would she say thank you? Or would she apologize and ask for another chance?

It may be no surprise to learn that “Matt” is actually Matt Douglas, one of the founders and current top managers at Punchbowl Software. His words show genuine passion for his own organization, and a desire to find and hire new talent that will be equally enthusiastic. The few seconds spent in his email experiment may help to demonstrate more about this candidate than many hour long interviews. The few minutes spent publishing a blog post about a workplace experience illustrates just how deeply Matt Douglas cares about building the best possible team and understanding the motivations and perspectives of everyone around him.

The complete response from the candidate is the subject of much conversation on the Punchbowl blog site and elsewhere on the web, but at Slaughter Development we are most fascinated by how both employer and potential employee are able to differentiate themselves as true stakeholders. As was just covered on The Methodology Blog, failure is a prerequisite to success. The candidate’s failure to spell a word correctly on a job application might seem dire, but the subsequent interaction may well earn her a new job.

Every workplace should be a source of satisfaction for stakeholders, whether they are employees, customers, owners or potential hires. If you want to bring enthusiasm back into your office through a rigorous analysis of work, contact Slaughter Development. We help organizations rekindle excitement and make the world of work a better place.

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Like this post? Here are some related entries from The Methodology Blog you might enjoy:

Successful Election, Wrong Candidate - In November, elections were running high. Candidates were campaigning, citizens were voting and positions were being filled. For one political hopeful however, the election was a bittersweet success. Read on »
What It Means To Be Productive - There’s an old adage that suggests “the cobbler’s children have no shoes.” As a productivity expert however, I don’t think this saying is acceptable. I make it a point to get a tremendous amount of work accomplished in a given day.
Read on »
When Your Emails Aren’t Being Read - Business process improvement is the reason we send emails instead of memos. What do you do if someone doesn’t seem to read your messages because they ask questions you’ve already answered? What happens if they simply don’t do the work assigned?
Read on »
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