Monday, June 11, 2012

Hiring Courtesy

I really hate when I've reached out to someone and they don't respond. It's even worse if you've made an effort on their behalf--you've invested time and thought and they can't summon the courtesy to simply say no, this isn't going to work. 

And I'm a hypocrite--I do that from time to time: failing to acknowledge someone who has reached out, invested a bit of time, and asked for something. But I'm going to add that to my list of principles I'm committing to as part of the new and evolving daily routine. 

What sparked this post was a comment by Carl on today's post by Fred about the hiring process, along with a friend's story about how his incredibly qualified girlfriend was in the top 3 choices for a rare position at a college in New York, and after the process she still hasn't heard back from them after not simply going through the process, but also being told she's the likely selection (a mistake in any case). 

It's rude, and you should adopt a policy that all interviewees will be given a call or at least sent a letter. If you haven't decided and the process has been delayed for one reason or another, don't leave them hanging. Reset their expectations. 

As I said, I'm a hypocrite--I've been discourteous by allowing interviewees to come through the process without telling them that they didn't get the job. If you were ever one of those people, I apologize. I'll do better in the future. 

Emails hit my inbox that I'll choose not to respond to because it's not immediately urgent or my interest is low, and I don't get back to them. Recently I've been reviewing my inbox to make sure I've responded, but it's almost guaranteed things have slipped through. 

Hiring's not just about you, and it's not just about filling the slot. It's about the people you don't select, but who have made an effort on your behalf (and theirs) to help you come to a decision. They prepare, the interview, and they wait. 

They deserve communication, regardless of the likely outcome. Your interaction with them is a message, and they can and will spread that message. So look at it from a marketing perspective: what kind of company do you want to be? Would you want to go through your own hiring process? How would you want to be treated? 

Have a great hiring process--be systematic, methodical, and courteous. You don't have to be everyone's best friend, but kindness and courtesy are free and well worth it. 

And that's a good reminder for myself. Thanks Carl. 

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