EMPLOYERS AND COURTESY
All the job search experts advise that job hunters exhibit the utmost courtesy in dealing with employers and hiring managers. There are detailed articles about how to be respectful, courteous, and honest in your dealings with employers. Yet the same advice does not seem to apply to employers. Unfortunately, another victim of this recession is professionalism in the hiring process.
Perhaps the lack of courtesy and respect hiring managers show to job candidates can be attributed to their ability to cherry pick candidates. They feel they can belittle your experience during interviews and conduct Army-style interrogations to see who stands up the best. Because they can get top talent for less money, they are empowered with a supercilious attitude during conversations with potential employees.
I’ll give one example. Last year I emailed an ad agency about a public relations job that required management skills. I received an immediate response back from the hiring manager complementing me on my “impressive resume” but with stipulations about the maximum salary. “Are you still interested in possible further conversation at this salary level?”
I emailed her back that the salary range was not an issue for me, as I was more concerned with job satisfaction and joining her outstanding organization. She emailed me back saying: “Great. I’ll likely make decisions next week about interviews. I appreciate your honesty and directness. Stay tuned. –Susan.”
A couple weeks went by and I heard nothing, so I emailed her again: “Hopefully you haven’t made a final decision on this position yet. I wanted you to know I am still very interested in helping LKM grow and attract new clients in addition to servicing its existing customers. Salary is not an important consideration for me, as I am more concerned with returning to a creative role where I am managing accounts rather than employees. Please let me know if you need writing samples or a list of references.”
She replied: “I appreciate your message. We’ve had some interesting hours at the agency today. Are you available for a phone chat tomorrow? Let me know what time after 10 a.m.”
I replied with times I was available for a real conversation. No phone call came.
Struggling with what to do, a friend suggested I contact her: “I will tell you if it was me, I’d definitely get back to her. She essentially left you hanging and I think you have every right to tactfully respond and say “just wanted to stay on your radar… and I hope we can chat soon.”
So I emailed her with this note: “Sorry we missed each other last week…just dropping a note to let you know I am still interested in LKM and joining its dynamic creative team!”
Again, silence –for three months. This time, Susan’s email was much less personal:
“Greetings! Thank you so much for your interest in the LKM Public Relations Manager position. We have filled this position at this time. The job changed its focus a few times along the way, and I appreciate your patience as the hiring process took much longer than we imagined. You were a viable candidate and offered a strong resume. I would like to keep your resume on file for possible future positions, so please let me know if your contact information changes. We believe the public relations group at LKM will continue to grow, and we are seeing signs that this economy is strengthening, albeit slowly. Thank you for the professionalism you showed in your approach to LKM.”
Unfortunately, I cannot say the same about her professionalism.