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Does the whole email system need a re-think?

19 March 2015

Am I alone in becoming increasingly concerned about the inability of email systems to take and deliver messages these days? It seems that spam email has led to a myriad of spam filters becoming so popular that emails simply don’t get through to people unless you have known them for at least 25 years and can prove it – even then it can be hit and miss. Attempt to contact anyone for the first time, even if simply answering their email and you seem to have no chance of ending up anywhere other than in their burgeoning Junk Mail box – which of course, they never check. Getting a simple message through these days is as difficult as it used to be to find anyone under the age of 25 who thought to charge their mobile phone before embarking on a day’s work. Even if they did the chances of finding any of them with “credit” as the end of the month drew closer was a further hurdle.

Every time a candidate submits a CV to us at Badger we send an email within two hours asking some pretty crucial questions relating to the role for which they have applied. Over the past three months we have compiled some statistics which make pretty worrying reading given that email is such a crucial communications method these days. We request that our questions are answered within 24 hours and make it clear that their CV is going nowhere without the answers.

If we do not follow up on the original email only 24% will respond. That means 76% are happy that they have wasted their time applying for the role.

Following up with a text for phone call finds 72% saying they didn’t receive it and 28% who can’t be bothered even with an elbow nudge. When we go back with proof that it was sent an amazing 95% say that they have “found it” in the Junk Mail. 5% still insist they haven’t received it.

Even allowing for the fact that some of these people are just using Junk Mail as an excuse for not managing their mail properly there still seems to be an underlying problem caused, in the main, by our desire to filter out the advertisements for improving virility or obtaining a Russian wife (I fear the existing one might have something to say – even if it’s only “Good Luck” in Russian).

If our Post Office decided to deliver less than half our mail and placed the remainder in a shed some miles away awaiting our collection I’m sure we would have something to say. So, why not with email?

Email was at the vanguard of “online Interweb stuff” yet it has remained virtually unaltered over the years. As more and more irritating content and viruses have bombarded us we have all become far more selective about who we will let into our e-world and I fear the result will be commercially damaging unless  we find a solution, and quickly. The problem is that it needs to be one that we can all embrace immediately. If not we will have similar chaos to changing over to driving on the right – but, to avoid too much disruption, doing it over a month!

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