It’s a tough economic world out there today. We all know and understand that. Plenty more job applicants that job openings. Companies are overwhelmed with work. Many individuals are doing the work of two or three people. Anything not critical to the business many times does not get done.
Once a company does decide to post a position, however, things should be a bit different. Yes, they get hundreds upon hundreds of applicants today, and many are not even remotely qualified. It’s tough to sift through. But eventually, strong and qualified applicants are identified, and interviews begin.
That’s where Common Courtesy should take place. And it just doesn’t.
Look at it from the perspective of a job candidate. You’ve been contacted by a representative of the company, typically a recruiter or someone from the human resources department. They indicate you’ve been selected for a screening interview. Great! They set up a phone interview. All goes well. They tell you they will get back to you within the next week regarding the next steps. A candidate sometimes hears something; sometimes not. Let’s assume the company does contact the candidate for the next steps – onsite interviews. Super great! Dates, times and locations are set up. The candidate spends hours preparing. Meets with one, two or ten individuals within the company. Spends hours answering questions, sharing work examples, responding to specifics about their experience. All seems to go well again. Discussions were strong, a rapport seems to have been established, and verbal and non-verbal cues from the interviewers seem to be positive. The candidate is hopeful. He returns home, carefully crafts thank you notes to all involved in the interviews and then waits. And waits. And waits. Never to hear another word. He follows up. Leaves a pleasant voicemail a week after the interview. Leaves another one a week later. Sends a professional e-mail a week later, simply asking for status. Nothing. Ever.
What’s wrong with this picture? Something is missing here. It’s called Common Courtesy on behalf of the hiring company. We all understand those involved in the hiring process are busy. We’ve been there. We truly do understand. But to not respond in any way to a candidate who has been invited to spend anywhere from one hour to a full day interviewing at your company? To someone who has spent upwards of ten hours preparing? In many cases has spent many more hours researching your company, preparing notes, traveling and interviewing? Not even a response? For real?
Okay maybe the candidate wasn’t the right individual for the job. Maybe the job got filled internally. Perhaps hiring had to be put on hold. Candidates understand this. They understand that changes happen internally. The respect when a more qualified candidate gets the coveted position. But to ignore them totally? To not respond to polite requests for an update on the status? To not send a simple three line e-mail thanking them for their time and providing some insight? That’s uncalled for.
Common Courtesy is all about respect. Treat others as you would wish to be treated. Put yourself in their shoes. Have companies today forgotten this basic?
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