In the August 24, 2010 Ask The Headhunter Newsletter, a reader says:
After being tested and interviewed by the senior vice president of a local company for a senior executive assistant position, they dropped off the planet and made no contact with me. I sent an e-mail to the VP enquiring why there had been no contact and the HR manager responded to me:
“Your e-mail below was forwarded to my attention as [VP] is away.
“Please be advised that we had not yet concluded our recruitment effort for this position. I appreciate that waiting can be frustrating and you may have preferred more frequent contact during this process. It is our practice, however, upon completion of the interview process, to contact all applicants either once they are no longer being considered for the position or to make an offer. You had not been contacted yet because you were among those being seriously considered for this position.
“We have made an offer to a candidate today; therefore, this opportunity has now closed. Thank you for your interest in employment with [the employer]. We wish you well in your employment search.
Here’s the short version of my reply. (You’ve got to subscribe to the weekly newsletter to get the whole story!)
If by employers you mean hiring managers, I think sometimes they do and sometimes they don’t. But what really matters is that hiring managers relinquish to HR their front-line interface to the professional community they recruit from (that’s you). In other words, hiring managers let HR make them look bad. They let HR make their company look bad.
This dismissive attitude — and this kind of behavior — is just one of the Stupid Hiring Mistakes employers make. Employers take note: How much time would it take an HR manager (or the hiring manager) to return a call from someone who took the time to apply for a job, attend an interview and take a test? Very little. It would have been a good investment for either manager.
It’s a safe guess that, like disgruntled customers who have been treated poorly by your company, this disgruntled job applicant will invest a bit more time — to poison your well by sharing their experience with others in the business. Including your customers.
Good luck with your next applicant, and with your next sales prospect. And good luck to the sucker that accepts your job offer, because bad behavior is pervasive, and Death by Lethal Reputation is slow and agonizing.
And to the reader who submitted this story: If the candidate who received the offer rejects it, and the company calls back to offer you the job, What’s your poison?
The person whose story is featured in today’s Q&A asks a very important question: Do employers know what HR is doing?
In general, I think not. I think the problem is pervasive. Does the board of directors know what HR is doing? Does the Public Relations department? Companies spend enormous sums to create good PR. Meanwhile, on a daily basis HR provokes the professional community from which a company recruits. Today’s Q&A is just one example. Maybe HR should report to PR for a while, until HR learns the impact of its behavior.
You’ve no doubt seen employers thoughtlessly poison their own wells during the recruiting and hiring process. Please share your stories. I think employers just don’t get it. And they need to hear it.