Employers 'rude to job applicants'

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EMPLOYERS often treat job applicants with 'complete disregard and sometimes real rudeness', according to a report published today.

Many companies cannot be bothered to reply to applications, fail to inform candidates about interview results and treat people discourteously at interviews.

The study, Managing Best Practice, published by the Industrial Society, also urges companies to avoid aggressive questioning and 'peculiarities' such as seating interviewees on a lower chair.

The survey of 400 personnel managers and directors found that, despite the misgivings of experts in the field, interviews remained the most used selection technique. Assessment centres and presentations by candidates were both rated ahead of psychometric tests for reliability.

Elsewhere, managers are putting pressure on company nurses to divulge confidential information about employees, the Royal College of Nursing has said. Graham Johnson, chairman of the college's occupational health section, said nurses have been threatened with disciplinary action unless they comply with demands for information.

All registered nurses, however, were duty-bound to uphold the code of professional conduct and only disclose details where required by a court, or where it could be justified in the public interest, Mr Johnson said.

Mr Johnson, who works in the occupational health department at Aintree Hospitals NHS Trust, told the magazine Personnel Management Plus he would never reveal details of an individual's health, but would offer management advice on whether it affected his or her ability to do the job.

Managing Best Practice No 4 on Recruitment and Selection; Industrial Society Sales Unit; 021 454 6769.