How Would You Feel if You Received a Voucher after Being Unsuccessful in a Job Application?

Happy Tuesday OzB Community,

I work in internal recruitment, and an interesting idea was floated, the business I work for is a large retailer.

The idea is that candidates who progress to a certain stage in a recruitment process would receive a voucher if they were unsuccessful, a little way of saying thanks for thinking of us & to keep potential customers engaged with the brand.

I was interested to get people's thoughts if they found themselves in this situation, lets say you applied for a job at Amazon, got to interview stage, was made unsuccessful (given feedback post-interview also) and received a $10/$20/$50 voucher to spend how you want at Amazon, what would you think?

Poll has been included also :)

Poll Options

  • 723
    Yay for free money
  • 43
  • 26


  • Yay for free money

    This is ozbargain - who's going to say no to free money? lol

    I think most unsuccessful applicants would simply appreciate a phone call with some constructive feedback.

    • Yes to the feedback.

    • Negotiate for more free money?

    • +6 votes

      It'd be nice to just know you didn't get the position, feedback would be even more surprising!
      It's been a while since I've been in that position but the amount of times the recruitment contact goes MIA and you just assume you didn't get the role was stupid.

    • From the perspective of someone who's recently gone through a few interviews (thanks COVID) for professional positions, what actually made the difference to what was more likely to encourage me to use a company again is how I was treated after the fact.

      You can throw all the free money at me you want but:

      If I make it through three or four steps in an interview process which will likely involve me spending a not insignificant amount of time and money to prepare and then get turned down and thrown to the curb, you bet I'd be spending what I was given and not a cent more ever again.


      If you treat people with the dignity they deserve and provide genuinely useful and constructive feedback which they can go and build upon, I suspect you'll find brand loyalty is kept regardless of the circumstance.

  • By a job at Amazon what do you mean? If I got through the first three rounds of a senior engineer role and then got a $10 voucher, I'd be a bit confused and possibly insulted.

    What's the agenda here? Just trying to get additional customers? Seems like a bit of a weird way to get a few customers.

    • Agenda is to keep customers, always at risk of losing customers if they're not successful for a job.

      Of course we run a good recruitment process and provide feedback, this would be a cherry on top

      • As OzBargainers we're all going to vote for the free money.

        But from what I've learnt about normal people, they might take it as an insult. Might be better to ask this question elsewhere like Qooqle, Bookface or Twatter.

        • On second thought, why not just ask this as one of the earlier interview questions? Then you can tailor the offer to the individual.

          Also, how far would I need to go through the interview process to get the voucher? And what happens if I accidentally get the job?

          • @Scrooge McDuck: Personally I think it would be an odd question to be asked, I know if I got asked it during the interview would I be wondering if there's a 'right answer to it?

            It would be anyone we have met for an interview and was made unsuccessful, if you get the job, I would say you're feeling engaged with the brand and wouldn't be needing the extra little sweetener on top

    • maybe $50 tiered

    • that would be a pay rise for a mechanical engineer

  • better than nothing

  • You get WHAT NOW?

  • Not a bad idea at all. Does anyone else boycott companies that they weren't successful in applying for and secretly hope they go bankrupt?

    • +33 votes

      Why would you bother boycotting a company that just recently had all its offices burn down though?

      • This is an awesome idea: give a voucher to bring the offended people into your store to confront management or the poor person who did get the job.

        • You're offended at them because you're too useless to get the job? Odd logic…

          • @1st-Amendment: My bad, I thought I was applying for a job I was capable of doing.

            By all means I would happily accept a reward for failing to get a job I wasn't capable of doing.

            And I definitely think it was worthwhile coming to visit this post from last month, thank you for your timelyt contribution.
            Yes, and I'm the odd one in this converrsation.

            • @SlickMick:

              My bad, I thought I was applying for a job I was capable of doing.

              This is where you are going wrong. The decision of the most capable candidate is not yours to make.

              And I definitely think it was worthwhile coming to visit this post from last month, thank you for your timelyt contribution.

              You don't seem to understand how employment works, and now you don't understand that how the Internet works. Looking for work is not something that is only relevant to Oct 2020, and this information is not only published for your benefit.

      • Coincidences happen all the time right?

    • Yeah I didn’t get a job at a Bose store once and tbh it kind of turned me off them. Petty maybe but I guess that’s how I roll.

    • I was rejected by Myer Christmas casual around 2014 2015. Look how far they've come now :)

  • Well… I'd say use that money instead to improve the benefits and wages of your existing employees, but I'm assuming a large retailer with enough turnover of staff to justify a large recruitment team wouldn't really consider that.

    • It's a marketing expense that the company has a reasonable expectation of making a profit from.

      The profits then could be used to benefit their workers, in theory.

      • The hypothetical profits would likely only benefit shareholders and executives. As always.

        • Where I work they are company wide, though the execs and shareholders would of course receive more. Nothing this year though, stupid 'rona. Grateful to still have a job though of course.

    • A voucher isn't their money, it's your money that they're letting you keep in the hope that you spend even more money.

  • I'd sooner get a Cartier watch.

  • Id be stoked with a double pass movie tickets or something.

    • Agreed, this is more like it as there's a lesser intrinsic value attached to it. A $50 or $100 movie card. 'Thanks for sticking with us through this process, sorry it didn't work out this time. Getting a no for a job is always hard, so here's a night out on us. We hope the next interview is a great match for you'.

  • As long as an accompaying letter stated it was a sign of gratitude for their time then I personally like the idea. Minimum $50

  • You'd hope the voucher would reflect the pay of the job and the effort taken. For low level casual jobs who progressed to final group interviews maybe $5 would be cool. For a manager position that pays just 40k, maybe $20 would be fine. I bet after a few years your company would develop a reputation for these vouchers. But do you really want specifically people who care about small vouchers going out of their way to apply to work for your company? Maybe you do and maybe you don't.

    • I'm running for CEO
      I'll take a voucher for an amg Merc thank you, high yield woo hoo

      • Probably there has been someone who was being courted as CEO and given a Merc, throughout human history must have happened once. Maybe in the stone ages.

        • It happens a bit in European and American professional sports where athletes earn squillions. Have a free car so we can talk to you about switching clubs etc…

    • But would it be a good reputation? They will be sorting through so many applications from ozbargainers, they'll never find a suitable candidate again.

    • That is horrible. A $5 voucher for anyone should be seen as an insult. And if you're a manager in any organisation and being paid 40k, you are not a manager. Sorry.

      • Plenty of small cafes and stuff need a manager. It might not demand the 150k+ you demand, but it’s still managing people at the end of the day. And at the start of the day. All day in fact.

  • +8 votes

    Gonna be bloody weird for middle to upper management roles.
    If it was like entry level aimed at kids/tweens maccas/service industry maybe… but still effing weird.

  • Can I apply for a job?

  • Sounds like the AFL scoring system

  • Are we giving out participation consolation prizes to adults now?

  • I don't like it, it sounds like they're paying you for your time and your time was worth practically nothing to them. I would feel insulted. Especially at $50 or less. If I had spent 5-10 hours on CV, cover letter,emails back and forth, phone calls, preparing for interviews, travelling to interviews, taking time off from work to go to the interviews, and the interviews themselves. I would be insulted that this was worth 50 bucks. Better to get nothing. Even better to get some thoughtful feedback, this is worth WAY more than 50 stinking bucks.

    • How about you spend the same amount of effort in job hunting and got nothing back?

      I think the gift voucher is a nice idea

      • Have you ever volunteered for something, then later received money and you feel like, oh so that's all it was worth, I thought I was doing something really good, but I feel like my Saturday is worth more than that amount of money, so I'll never do it again? Volunteering is better when you feel your time is valuable and worth something not spoken. It is similar to something I read a while ago (I can try to find it if you want) where a daycare centre had problems with parents occasionally picking up their children late. So they added a fee for each minute late a parent was. What happened is that parents were late MORE often because now it had been monetised, so parents could decide if finishing a last task at work or whatever was worth the fee, and staff inconvenience was paid for. Whereas before, it was an abstract "cost" - inconveniencing the staff which parents were loath to do. It was a matter of personal relationships rather than cold cash.

        Same kind of thing here - better to receive nothing (except feedback which is worth more than some voucher), and not have your effort and time be ascribed any particular monetary value.

        • You can also have a choice not to accept those money and feel good about yourself.

          Not sure if comparing voluntary activities with going to interviews is a fair call

          • @Scythic: The fact of it being offered places a monetary value - it's not the accepting or not accepting.

            I'm not saying going to job interviews is like volunteering. Just that you can have a feeling of something in the abstract that's destroyed when a monetary value is ascribed to it (unless the monetary amount is very high, which is out of the reach of the organisation or person that is the target of the behaviour that has the abstract feeling associated with it, which is the main reason monetary exchange is customarily not a part of that behaviour, or the behaviour might not continue with the amount that they can reach)

        • The daycare centre example comes from the first Freakonomics book [while discussing the concept of incentives with the reader].

          Paying a $6 late pickup fee replaced the social guilt they felt for jerking the daycare staff around by showing up late.

          I think an unsuccessful applicant receiving a form letter that said "Thanks for applying, unfortunately you weren't successful, here's a complimentary $X voucher and thanks for your time" would be weird [as in no one else does it] but non-offensive [as in how dare you].

          Some might find it ridiculous however, which is a separate concept.

  • "Hey we don't want you working for us, take this $10 voucher and piss it up against the wall."

  • Is this compensation for when the business asks you in the interview, 'how would you solve X problem?' and they use your idea without hiring you?

  • +19 votes

    Tbh, I think if people just tell unsuccessfully applicants they were…unsuccessful, instead of just ghosting, you'll still win brownie points.

  • The idea is that candidates who progress to a certain stage in a recruitment process would receive a voucher if they were unsuccessful

    How about a voucher to everyone once they reach a certain stage, regardless of whether they will be successful or not?

  • I applied for a grad job a number of years ago at a large snackfood/food company, did multiple rounds of interview, online and in-person, before finally an assessment centre where I had to fly interstate.

    As part of this they had a bunch of displays of all the products they made, which were used as part of some assessment activities and also for snacking.

    At the end of the day we were able to take as many items as we wanted and even though I was ultimately unsuccessful, having gotten a bunch of freebies (and some constructive feedback) ultimately helped soothe the wounds…

    • Mars bars?

    • …>we were able to take as many items as we wanted and even though I was ultimately unsuccessful, having gotten a bunch of freebies (and some constructive feedback) ultimately helped soothe the wounds…

      Not to rub salt into a wound, but I do have to ask: Have you ever wondered whether there's a very slight possibility that "taking as many items as we wanted" could've contributed to you not getting that offer?

  • As long as there is no strict condition to use the voucher.

    For example if like Kogan where they give you $5 voucher if spend more than $100, that will irritate me.

  • I think a more slightly constructive way of doing this would be to call all unsuccessful candidates, give them a small chat about being unsuccessful, a little constructive feedback if available, and tell them a letter will come with a voucher and a little card with details on how to provide feedback on the recruitment process. That way you have done the best to keep them happy, given them a little something, and could get some constructive feedback on the company. Win Win.

    • Unfortunately calling everyone wouldnt be feasible… I'm receiving 400+ applications for roles.

      Anyone who progresses past an application gets a call though

      • Sorry let me clarify, not every applicant, we all know that a lot are useless anyway. I mean call everyone who progresses past X amount of stages.

  • Yay for free money

    I voted for this, 'cause yeah, free money. But gotta say, it would be weird AF in practice. I don't think I'd really know what to think if this actually happened to me … like, thanks for the $100, but was kinda looking for the $100k a year.

  • Another idea using the Amazon example, what about instead of a voucher you received 6 months free prime subscription, no strings?

    • Feels slimy

    • The company doesn't want anything to do with me, so why would I want anything to do with them?

      "We'll keep your resume on file and reach out to you if any spots that suit become available" is already enough of a kick in the teeth, I'd rather cut ties there.

      • I hope that's not right. I have an interview Friday for a job that I applied for after the company emailed me to say "we think this role would suit you".
        I'm sure it just an automated resume scan ,but I'm going to hold onto the idea that they have already decided they want me :)

        At what point in the interview should I ask what I get for turning up, and whether the successful applicant gets one also?

      • Because you're not good enough that means you automatically hate a company? Strange logic. Most wouldn't even apply for a company they hate, so you're saying you would instantly be put off by them for rejecting you? OP is definitely on to something for not losing customers, by giving out vouchers if applicants with your mindset are applying. People always seem to blame everyone else for their failings, not the one person that it actually is.

        • What an ignorant and extremely stupid reply, devoid of any sympathy towards anyone who has not landed a job after an interview.

          You do realise many people get jobs not through merit but through networks, yes? Simply because one doesn't get a job doesn't mean they weren't actually the best or that they weren't good enough. Your post reeks of ignorance as to what happens in the real world. There's a book called Game of Mates you should educate yourself with by reading.

          FYI I landed a grad role (beating about 8000 other applicants) after studying and I still aim to continually improve through further study through my workplace and through online courses. So grow a brain before you for assume that I blame others for my failings. SMH so many stupid ignorant people around who think they know everything. You must think everyone who is good enough will get a job. That's not how the real world works, get a freaking clue.

          Maybe you should read some of the news lately about the Aus Post CEO or the V/Line CEO, unless you think being corrupt is an admirable trait? Must be Australian.

          I wish I was as ignorant as you because then I wouldn't see all the crap that occurs in this country.

    • +1 vote

      Maybe some company merchandise that you can’t put a value on? Like others have said monetising the experience feels more like a transaction than some goodwill, marketing you are aiming for?

      I did vote take the money btw, but that’s the putting on the OzBargain hat, than what if I was in a real situation. IMO just something that feels valuable as a candidate and something obviously your company is looking to create (goodwill) from the interview experience and chance of employment/job-change.

  • A few graduate jobs I went for in the UK approx. 30ish years ago gave "showbags" to all those who got to a certain stage in the interview process, regardless of outcome i.e. got the showbag directly after the interview before they'd formally agreed who to offer the jobs to. The only one I specifically remember was nestle whose bag contained chocolate bars. Didn't keep me any more engaged with the brand than I would have been anyway.

  • If this ever becomes reality, can you please post as a deal?