Fashion company's rude response shocks job applicant

Steph Nelson seen here with her textiles graduate collection.

Steph Nelson seen here with her textiles graduate collection.

Applying for jobs can be a daunting task in the competitive market, particularly when you're told the application was a waste of time.

That's exactly what happened to Steph​ Nelson of Wellington when she went for a role through the SEEK job search website on Tuesday.

The company has apologised, and suggested it may have been the victim of hacking.

Nelson applied for a warehouse co-ordinator position at Apparel HR, an Auckland-based fashion recruitment company which bears the slogan: "It's all about people".

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A short time later Nelson received an email response from the company which said: "Thank you for applying for a role with absolutely no experience in the field. You have now wasted my time and yours."

The 26-year-old Massey University graduate said she was stunned. 

"It was just plain rude, to think it was from an HR company is just crazy.

"Throughout tertiary study we're expected to treat professionals in the industry in a respective manner and I would think it's only fair we are given the same treatment back."

Nelson provided a cover letter and CV with the application which outlined her seven years' experience in the retail industry, as well as a textiles degree she finished last year.

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She forwarded the curt response onto SEEK who reached out to Apparel HR "to have a chat about how to engage with candidates in a polite and constructive way".

Julie Malone, director of the fashion company, emailed Nelson to say "the reply was generated from an email address ... associated with our business."

"I just wanted to let you know that it was not from me personally and that it was not signed with a name, making it a little harder to pinpoint the person."

Malone said the company would be looking at their security systems to ascertain who sent the response. 

"I'm not sure what to make of it," said Nelson. "The application page on SEEK had Julie Malone's name as the person of contact for that role. 

"The format in which the emails are written all seem to be exactly the same, the spacing and paragraph style for example, and their replies have come from three different email addresses.

"It makes me think twice about the legitimacy of the company, especially when I read comments on Facebook stating others have had bad experiences with them too."

Malone said the company may have been hacked, and they were investigating what had happened.

"We are working through this situation to find out how this email was sent. I have apologised to Ms Nelson, as I know it it must be distressing for her. It is distressing for us too. 

"Our website and facebook accounts were hacked last year, which we reported to the police, it could be a similar situation with this. We have an external system engineer looking into it, but at this stage I don't know how long that process will take."

 - Stuff

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