August 23, 2010

Readers’ Forum: HR’s #1 job: Poisoning the well?

Filed under: Readers' Forum, Recruiting, Stuff I worry about, Stupid HR Tricks

In the August 24, 2010 Ask The Headhunter Newslettera 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.

“Thank you,
[HR Manager]”

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.

.

 

50 Comments on “Readers’ Forum: HR’s #1 job: Poisoning the well?”
By Kristen
August 23, 2010 at 8:56 pm

I think this is a sad, but unfortunately very common practice among HR and hiring managers alike. What has happened to common courtesy? I like your idea of HR reporting to PR for awhile… could quite possibly wake some people up!

By Mike
August 24, 2010 at 2:09 am

Not officially making an adverse decision is common, it must be that the employer thinks this practice will immunize them from lawsuits. Variation #1: You call them every so often and 3 months later they are still “making a decision.” Variation #2: You get an email that the job requisition has been canceled.

By Mayor Bongo
August 24, 2010 at 6:09 am

#2: the job requisition has been cancelled” is sometimes a sign that the hiring manager got fed up with a process that didn’t deliver a candidate with the skills he/she wanted for the job. Why do hiring managers think they are powerless to pursue engagement with HR and to hold that function accountable for results?

By JaneA
August 24, 2010 at 6:22 am

I don’t understand the kind of thinking that has candidates and customers living in parallel universes and never talking to one another. And I wonder if the possibility that a candidate might also be a (potential) customer even occurs to some of these people.

By John Zabrenski
August 24, 2010 at 7:51 am

This is a good example of why companies should out source their HR! A contractor whose income depended on treating applicants with some degree of courtesy would most likely do a much better job. In house HR staff often get lost in their own buracracy and forget what their primary job is. Too often, they view dealing with applicants as nuisance work. They would much rather be working on projects that annoy the regular employees such as concocting longer and more useless performance reviews.

By Mayor Bongo
August 24, 2010 at 8:34 am

It has been suggested that HR be held accountable by top management, outsoured or not, to treat candidates like customers.

The problem with this paradigm in principle is that if you are a bottom feeder cable TV or cell phone company, you’ll get exactly the employees you deserve. This self-reinforcing loop probably isn’t what Nick had in mind when he wrote the column!

If you are a high performing computer company, yiou cannot afford to drive your candidates crazy in the hiring process. They can and will vote with their feet. So, to some degree, the quality of the hiring experience relates to the quality of the candidates and the value produced by the position, or does it?

I agree with Nick that companies that ignore this formula do so at their peril.

By George Lehmann
August 24, 2010 at 8:49 am

For a while? Why not permanently?

Everyone, all the way to the chairman of the board of directors, in a well-run business, should held accountable to someone else. Why in the world should HR be any different? Held accountable means being measured for actions and results.

If a company’s #1 asset is REALLY their employees, then wouldn’t investor relations be interested in reporting to their investors what the company is doing to make and keep their company a great place work and to attract talent, instead of being like the other 98% of organizations out their that are like a scene out of the Dilbert cartoon strip?

So make HR accountable to investor relations – not for while but permanently.

The other issue in this story is the manager simply forwarding the candidate’s email to HR. WRONG move – it’s telling the candidate they aren’t important and it’s a strong signal the hiring manager is a WIMP who won’t be straight in their communications. In today’s electronic age any manager should be concerned about their OWN reputation, even if/when they leave their current company. The solution? Hiring managers should take the initiative in recruiting by asking their own network and other employees in the company for referrals.

By Nick Corcodilos
August 24, 2010 at 8:57 am

HR is an easy target in this mess. But the real culprit is the board of directors, which permits and sanctions the kinds of structural problems that lead to lousy behavior that in turn ruins corporate reputations.

I wonder how many boards recognize that HR’s behavior undermines a board’s own agenda?

While HR itself is a problem, board level executives need to start fighting the insane regulatory policies that turn HR departments into havens of bureaucracy. How many HR people behave the way they do because they are told they must always “follow the rules?”

In the end, no board is going to lead a charge to change all this. The HR profession must lead the charge. “We hire people who think out of the box” is possible only if the HR profession starts thinking out of the box…

By DLS
August 24, 2010 at 9:08 am

I have been treated poorly by companies where I interviewed for positions. I had one HR person who started to interview me for the wrong position and then realized a few minutes into process that I had applied for a different position. I was then told to call back the following day to schedule an interview. I called several times and even e-mailed the HR person but never received a reply until 5 weeks later. Needless to say, I decided to not work for that company.

Unfortunately, I have encountered dismissive behavior by HR departments more times than I care to remember. It makes me wonder where the good companies are to work for. If they treat perspective employees this way, how do they treat their current employees.

By Chris Walker
August 24, 2010 at 9:14 am

One of the most important tasks a candidate has at the end of the interview process is to determine as exactly as possible what the next steps are, what the time frame is and what follow up is acceptable, asking questions like ‘If I haven’t heard from you by such and such date, how would you like me to follow up? Do you prefer phone or email?’ I have seen candidates put out of the running because they were harassing the company with daily calls and emails from the moment they submitted a resume. I suspect this behavior is encouraged by candidate frustration with HR’s ‘Don’t call us, and we won’t call you.’ attitude.

By Mayor Bongo
August 24, 2010 at 9:16 am

Let’s try this as a scenario. You are an EVP at a large high tech firm. The CEO asks you to “fix” HR because it is “broken.” He says employee surveys tell him the office is populated by hobgoblins consumed by regulatory compliance. Employees feel contact with the office can only hurt them. Top candidates walk away from the firm’s offers.

What do you do? If you are like most EVPs, you book a flight on the next plane out to the company’s biggest customer and make an extended sales call hoping the CEO will forget about it.

In this scenario HR is seens as a tar ball that no EVP with their eye on the brass ring thinks will advance their career if they get involved in solving its problems.

The CEO has to make HR accountability a performance measure for direct reports or they will avoid dealing with it at all costs.

By Chris
August 24, 2010 at 9:22 am

The one thing that really gets me about the way candidates are treated is that no one will you why you weren’t selected.

I work in sales, and we do our best to get feedback when we lose bids. Obviously, we’re trying to improve so we do a better job next time. This helps us win more business, and it helps customers get more competitive bids from suppliers. We take this so seriously that we will refuse to bid on new projects unless told why we lost previous ones. Why waste our time?

Yet only a small fraction of companies will give a candidate a concrete reason for not selecting him/her. I know they’re worried about getting sued, but guess what? If you’ve followed the law and truly evaluated candidates based on how they’d do the job, you have nothing to fear. (And really, how does the current way of doing things really decrease the chance of a lawsuit? Somebody with an axe to grind will cause problems anyway.)

If I turn down an offer, I have the responsibility and obligation to let the employer know why. They deserve no less since they’ve invested time and money in evaluating me. And who knows, maybe they’ll come back with something new that’d make me seriously consider things.

If more and more companies would do this, they’d probably find that a few candidates would be able to address a concern or perceived negative. The one or two gems you’d find in this process would be well worth the cost.

By Public Relations
August 24, 2010 at 9:55 am

After you have the interview, you can forget about the job, because the company has forgotten about you.

NO company responds to candidates post-interview.

Except for Nabisco, which responds to every unsolicited resume.

Why? Because everyone buys cookies.

By Suzanne
August 24, 2010 at 10:08 am

I once had an HR representative take time out of her busy schedule to call me and scold me for applying to a job I was “clearly not suited” for. I told her I wasn’t aware that we had ever met.

By Nick Corcodilos
August 24, 2010 at 10:23 am

@Mayor Bongo: You’ve hit on a key point. No one wants to deal with HR.

HR has become either a sacred cow (due to compliance issues or to the perception that change is actually an agenda to promote discriminatory personnel practices), or a nightmarish bureaucracy that no one believes can be tamed.

I think both perceptions are accurate. Top-level management has to stop saying, “Ick!” and get on with managing HR. Someone has to get their hands into the muck.

I still think this would be a huge win for the HR profession itself if its more progressive members were to dive in and fix it.

There are some great HR success stories. Honest. I just wish I could think of one of them off the top of my head. I can’t.

By Nick Corcodilos
August 24, 2010 at 10:29 am

@Chris Walker: You’ve flipped the coin onto its other side. How many job candidates turn on the Fatal Attraction switch and, convinced they are the right, the perfect, the only, the best candidate for the job — start to harrass the hell out of the employer? It’s usually out of desperation — they really, really want this job. But the outcome is never good. Even savvy candidates sometimes take this too far and hurt themselves. In the end, they often get very angry and wind up doing something stupid that sinks them further.

The worst of this is, such behavior gets communicated from one HR rep to others at other companies. Please be careful. Get p.o.’d, but remember that your behavior will follow you around.

I like your idea of trying to nail the employer down to a schedule and to agreeable “next steps.” The problem is, most of the time the interviewer will never honor any commitments made in the interview.

So we’re back to square one — but it’s still worth trying.

By Erika
August 24, 2010 at 10:35 am

Nick,

Once again you hit the nail on the head! EVERY company in America with an HR Dept needs to make this mandatory reading, from HR employees, to hiring managers, right up to the CEO and Board of Directors.

I am a scientist who worked hard to put myself through school to get an education. Not only have I been alternately abused or ignored during the hiring process, I have been low-balled with insulting offers and terms. On the job itself, I was not valued for my individual abilities or treated with common courtesy by certain individuals including bad managers and co-workers. (Naturally there were some really good managers and co-workers too.)

In one situation, there was a mutiny on the bounty, and a whole manager’s unit rose up to loudly complain about the bad manager to the CEO down to HR. The bad boss won and the approx 12 employees were laid off. They invested too much time and money into him and believed that he had too much potential and energy to lose. The bad boss f@cked them in the end. Surprise, surprise!

I now work for myself and make more money than I did working for them and I don’t have the aggravation. I decide my life! They offered me a measly $700 in “hush” money in exchange for a separation agreement. I let them keep their chump change, never agreed to anything, and I tell everyone I can about my awful experience.

I recommend others go to http://www.glassdoor.com and do the same. I certainly tell my fellow scientists as well.

Public Relations, I love it! Nabisco gets it, apparently. Hopefully these other companies will too, someday.

Don’t poison your own well because you are drinking out of it. Enjoy!

By Nick Corcodilos
August 24, 2010 at 10:35 am

@Chris: Now we’re back to compliance and to bureaucracy. There are indeed “rules” that companies invoke when they decline to explain why you were rejected. As you point out, they don’t want you to sue them, so they keep quiet.

But this is a relatively minor issue. People and companies bend rules all the time. They use their judgment. Not in HR. I think the problem lies with the handful of big “HR Consultancies” and “Associations” that sell advice and white papers to big HR departments. Bureaucratic personnel jockeys do as they’re told, and raise the flag: “We followed the rules! You can’t get us!”

Meanwhile, having refused to man the bucket brigade because a “Consultant” told them it’s illegal to transport water by hand, the barn burns down.

Follow the money. HR spends tons of it on consultants who drive the profession into the ground — and the consultants then stand back and say, “Who? Us? We’re just consultants! Our clients make their own decisions!”

By Steve Amoia
August 24, 2010 at 10:39 am

The hiring process is always structured as “You against them.” Confrontational, impersonal, offensive and illogical.

“You” are supposed to jump through hoops, sacrifice your dignity and compete with a process whose sole function is to eliminate you from consideration.

“They” punish the very traits we are told are desired: creativity, follow-through, integrity and common sense.

JaneA hit the nail on the head among many excellent comments: “And I wonder if the possibility that a candidate might also be a (potential) customer even occurs to some of these people.”

It would be interesting to learn how the HR/interview/recruitment process works in other parts of the world.

By Chris Walker
August 24, 2010 at 10:46 am

@Chris–They won’t tell you why because they regard the situation as a conversation that is over with nothing to be gained from restarting it. Their concern is that if they tell you that you were a little short on experience with XYZ, you’ll respond ‘to address a concern or perceived negative’and the conversation has started again.

Do you really ‘have the responsibility and obligation to let the employer know why’ you turned down an offer? Are you going to tell them ‘The department manager is an idiot; call me when he’s been canned or you have something in another department’? I don’t think so.

By John Zabrenski
August 24, 2010 at 12:35 pm

@Nick
In my previous company, HR largely consisted of employees who were specialists in the business or technical communities but were sent to HR as a punishment. These folks were usually long term employees who just wanted to serve out their sentences until they could retire and collect their pensions. The common reaction on hearing that someone you knew was transferred in HR was “I wonder what he did?”
Given this situation, there was very little incentive for them to stand up and try to reform HR and risk missing the rule of 55.

By Geraldo
August 24, 2010 at 1:01 pm

The irony is that HR is woefully inadequate for participating in hiring process. It’s major tasks are providing compliance with federal and local rules and regulations and keeping the company from being sued. HR involvement during the hiring process should be limited to handling the paperwork, doing background checks, verifying compliance with the laws and regulations, etc. It definitely shouldn’t be the public face of the company even if that exposure is limited to communicating with potential candidates.

By Nick Corcodilos
August 24, 2010 at 1:57 pm

@Steve Amoia: You reminded me of a short piece of advice I offered to managers a long time ago: Open the door.

http://www.asktheheadhunter.com/crocs6opendoor.htm

By Matt Krause
August 24, 2010 at 3:19 pm

Steve Amoia asks, “It would be interesting to learn how the HR/interview/recruitment process works in other parts of the world.”

For what it’s worth, I lived in Turkey for 6 years, and I think the process sucks in all these ways pretty much anywhere they’ve imported the HR concept (meaning anywhere companies allow HR to manage the hiring process). It’s unfortunate that someone at some point decided HR should take on the culture it has, because that culture is now part-and-parcel with HR wherever it goes.

By Omar the Leper
August 24, 2010 at 6:32 pm

OMG, I AM NOT ALONE! This kind of despicable behavior has been occurring for at least twenty years. When I told an “old timer” (a member of the prior generation) about this phenomenon, he was genuinely bewildered. “But that’s their job,” he said.

February, 1991, with a company in Danbury, CT — I am the “round peg” for the “round hole” that they are trying to fill. I know that I am not getting an offer because two managers and one HR person adamantly refuse (!) to speak with me after the interview. Fast forward nine years and at least two spins of the company’s “revolving door”: after 3-1/2 tries (I was put on the payroll as a temp), my very personable boss apologized for being unable to act sooner and told me to expect an offer. But it was too late.

December, 1996, with a company in Coopersburg, PA — At a job fair, an HR person says, “We’re not looking for people with work experience [?], but I’ll take your résumé.” Since then, temp recruiters periodically tap me to do some work for this company. I have learned to tell these temp recruiters to not waste time with this company because these people adamantly refuse (!) to speak with me. Two years ago, a temp recruiter said, “Come on, what do you have to lose?” At the time, I had been working for three years with little downtime. The employment gap immediately prior to this period was used as the excuse for not speaking with me. Needless to say, on multiple occasions during the aforementioned employment gap, these people adamantly refused (!) to speak with me. The temp recruiter who tapped me for this company this month did not bother to argue with me.

By John Healy Adams
August 24, 2010 at 7:27 pm

I am currently interviewing with a banking corporation for, of all things, an HR position! After altering my travel plans (at some great expense) to attend 6 interviews, I have been dressed down by the senior HR person for not demonstrating more understanding of the HR process when I inquire as to the status of the position after 3 months of dead silence to my voice messages and e-mails!! By the way, I am ALSO a customer of this bank, to the point of this article! And the killer is that all 6 interviewers (Bank Chairman, Bank President, SVP of HR, EVP of Admin, the incumbent in the job and his assistant) made a point to tell me how important treating their employees and customers with dignity and respect was to their selection decision. How about walking the talk?!!!!!!!

By Steve Amoia
August 24, 2010 at 8:03 pm

@Matt: Thank you.

@Nick: Perhaps the problem is that managers need a locksmith to re-key the door lock? ;-)

@John H. Adams:

It was intriguing that you said “currently interviewing” when this bank wouldn’t return a call from Ben Bernanke. ;-)

I believe that you should act like a valued customer/client with this bank. Send each one of your interviewers an invoice for your travel expenses and the time to complete six interviews. Use an hourly rate and call it a “Prospective Employer Consultation Fee.”

Then please quote one of your namesake’s pearls of wisdom:

“In my many years I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm, and three or more is a congress.”

— John Adams

By Chris
August 24, 2010 at 9:38 pm

@Chris Walker:

The company has an out if they don’t want to restart a conversation. They can answer the question and end the conversation, particularly if the position has already been filled. When a guy asks a girl, “Why did you turn down my offer for a date?” and she responds with, “You smell bad, and I’m now engaged to Chet,” she’s under no obligation to further discuss the issue.

I deal with this all the time. I ask for feedback on lost bids. If I start to act like a jerk and refuse to take no for an answer when the project has already been awarded, they’ll just refuse to answer my calls or emails and blacklist me for the next bid. Obviously, I don’t act this way so as to not damage my chances. Good candidates will behave professionally; bad candidates will just prove they’re jerks who shouldn’t be hired in any circumstance. And it’s my firm opinion that jerks will behave this way no matter what you do.

Also, keep in mind that this should not happen at the very end of the process. At they whittle down candidates, companies should notify them immediately at each stage. NFL teams don’t keep everybody around until the day the roster has to be 53.

As for providing an answer for turning down a job offer, if more people did this, maybe companies would start to realize something. One does not have to be crass about it. “I just don’t feel my working style would mesh well with your current culture/manager,” is a perfectly polite way of saying the manager is a goober. A smart hiring manager (well, hiring manager’s boss) can read between the lines.

When enough people start to say this, maybe the goober’s boss will start to put 2 and 2 together. Otherwise, he/she will just have to put up with high turnover and low performance. In this day and age of flat hierarchies, 360 reviews, and all that good stuff, I’m sure senior management would like to know if a particular manager is preventing good people from even setting foot in the door.

By George Lehmann
August 25, 2010 at 12:18 am

You know all the additions on this blog have been very entertaining.

1) I wonder what out-of-work HR ‘professionals’ do? I saw one posting lamenting they deal with the same lack of professionalism.

2) I wonder if a tag line would attract lots of really good talent at the expense of firms less enlightened: “Ace Widgets – an HR-free Firm”

By Marcelo Coicev
August 25, 2010 at 9:15 am

The days will go on and on… and someday in the future, the candidate will become a well succedded executive, which will come and buy the company who rejected him…

And will fire the HR manager and the VP.

This is a small world…

By Laurie
August 25, 2010 at 3:08 pm

There was a posting (a while back) on another recruiting blog where an HR person complained about candidates who called to follow up on interviews when, in the author’s opinion, they should have figured out that they weren’t being considered. He also said that he wasn’t a “social worker” who had to take the time to hold a job seeker’s hand while he tells them they wouldn’t be hired. I see that behavior as arrogance. HR people have become arrogant and uncaring. Why? Because they have the proverbial upper hand over candidates and feel there is no need to give courtesy to someone who has taken the time to do a phone interview then go in for an interview (maybe two) and have some degree of hope that they may land the job.

I do have a story which pertains to this and it’s a DOOZY..

My friend was told by the HR person in a company that she had “no reason” to be in for the interview other than the fact that she had been a referral by an employee and it was company policy to interview referrals. (Friend was very qualified for the job, btw) What stupid arrogant HR person didn’t know was that the referring person was her sister (different last names) and their father was a principle for the Series A and B Venture Funding. Instead of getting a job because of her father, my friend had decided to be like everyone else and interview for the job and try to get it based on her own merit. In the end my friend’s father hand wrote a letter to the HR person. In it he “complimented” her on being a perfect example of callousness and that she bore an exquisite personality that featured the poorest possible lack of judgement and rudeness. He then wrote that he would, in kind, like to receive a letter from her giving him 25 reasons why he should consider another round of funding for the company. The letter was copied and cc’d to the Board of Directors, President, VPs and managers.

I love that story and a perfect one to show that you never know what’s around the corner.

By JaneA
August 26, 2010 at 5:29 pm

What about the guy (apparently not in HR) who requires his applicants to grovel when submitting a job application?

The only thing I can say in favour of this is that at least you can see what you’d be getting into without having to waste any more of your time.

By Nick Corcodilos
August 26, 2010 at 6:29 pm

@JaneA: I dunno… seems the guy is just dumpster diving for resumes and looking exclusively for grovelers. Your comment gave me an idea: Toilet paper resumes: More feels better?.

By JaneA
August 26, 2010 at 7:47 pm

I’d say that someone who does this is assuming that he/she already knows everything and employees have nothing to offer.

Haven’t a few companies got themselves into trouble recently with that philosophy?

By Patricia A, Frame
August 28, 2010 at 11:16 am

I have worked much of my career in Human Resources. I find your advice generally terrific and regularly recommend you to job seekers.

I would agree that too often HR is a part of the problem — but if HR serves as the ‘police’ that is because the CEO et al want that role played by HR. And if they do not act as strong business partners, the top management is responsible – they have to hire the right people and demand the right services/attitudes/performance from HR. Was the letter and transaction you recently described a great summary of all the wrong things HR could do — yes it was.

And frankly far too often managers do not want to deal with hiring in a positive sense, they just want a miracle worker to magically appear and be instantly productive. Yeah, that’s likely. They hide behind HR during the hiring process.

And frankly if, as an applicant, you ever hear anyone who might hire you say that they want to do something or make something happen but HR won’t let them, RUN. You do not want to work for such a person. They won’t accept responsibility for their actions in hiring — and they won’t when you work for them either.

keep up the great work.

By Martha
September 1, 2010 at 6:22 pm

Over the past 6 months of looking for a job, I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve encountered bad HR manners—which are rampant—but this one experience takes the cake. I’ve known about this job since Feb. and gradually made it through the 1st interview, a personality test and 2nd interview where I spent an hour with the president of the co. Finally, I was invited to a 3rd interview with 2 other finalists. They gave me 2 weeks notice and told to block out the whole day. I wondered what we would be doing. Arm wrestling for the job? They sent me an itinerary – no arm wrestling but 4 more panel interviews with various vice presidents, etc. The day before, I called my headhunter for last-minute advice. She told me she had some “not-so-great news” for me. I was uninvited. They didn’t want to see me anymore. I was stunned. And I asked her what would’ve happened if I hadn’t called her. She said she was “working up the nerve” to call and would’ve called at some point before I left for the interview. P.S. The vice president I was to have reported to was fired the next day and I don’t know what happened to the 2 other finalists. Guess the company has some problems to figure out.

By Nick Corcodilos
September 1, 2010 at 10:10 pm

@Martha: Nerve indeed. I hope you “fired” the headhunter. It’s lucky this company’s problems aren’t YOURS to figure out. What chills me is the amount of your time they wasted.

By Omar the Leper
September 2, 2010 at 11:51 am

Welcome to the real world of job hunting, everyone.

By Norrin
September 11, 2010 at 3:26 am

surprise surprise.

Most i have chatted with recently state that it’s common not to hear anything.

I personally don’t mind not hearing anything about an interview. I just assume no call = no interview.

I recently had an interview for a dream job and did the thank you emails etc. On my way out of the door the hr person said they would let me know something 2 week out due to their vacation that next week. The interview was on a a Friday.

it’s been about a month now. 2 sets of emails and I have called on 3 different days asking for any kind of recognition. I don’t mind hearing a no it’s the silence that has been killing me.

I checked the site today and the listing is gone.

I haven’t heard ANYTHING from the lead engineers who interviewed me nor from the hr.

Some of the comments are right on. Please tell me what I did wrong so I can improve. What in the h*ll did I destroy that caused the silence? I dressed right. Clean cut. look younger than I actually am. was fully prepared. they were selling the position to me verbally. tell them my past manager would write a letter of rec.

I hear NOTHING and I have to find out it’s gone by checking the listings.

I stated it was a dream job. I even lost sleep thinking about it. I guess it’s not the dream company. A simple rejection would have been fine.

now that I think about it…do people NOT get fired if they just don’t show up to work with no notice? Another HUGE problem is the fact that 95% of employees out there are simply there to have a paycheck and are inept in their career. This includes HR.

By Nick Corcodilos
September 11, 2010 at 1:11 pm

@Norrin: Check here for some ruminations about why HR ignores applicants once it’s done with them: http://corcodilos.com/blog/2142/reject-how-hr-engineered-its-own-funeral

By Omar the Leper
September 11, 2010 at 3:21 pm

Norrin,

Have you seen my first post on this thread? Common courtesy disappeared a generation ago, more or less.

By Still Befuddled
September 12, 2010 at 7:55 pm

It has become increasingly common over the last 30 years to receive no feedback at all after an interview, even after becoming a finalist that completed the entire cycle. Even when given permission to follow up.

More often than not, when I solicit feedback (after a suitable delay), can’t get a simple definitive yes or no. Or whether the position was filled. Makes no difference talking directly to the hiring manager. The result is treated like a state secret.

Of course, enough passage of time eventually indicates a no. But why leave candidates hanging? Why is it so hard to get a direct answer?

By Norrin
September 15, 2010 at 6:21 pm

Nick Corcodilos,

I was fully qualified for the position with an exception of 6 year exp. I have 5.Other then that they were telling me that a phd in engineering would need training for the position so me being a rookie there wouldn’t be a problem. Like I said, they were practically selling me on it.

I have no idea what went wrong.

I think the job was slated for someone else and they did the typical BS fake interviews for legalities. i KNOW for a fact this practice happens. My questions at the end of a interview is…How did the position get opened?

according to them they were/are expanding and people spread out leaving open positions.

I have never seen something soo perfect for me at a point in my life than that position.

Bah, i’m rambling now…

Another aspect is the interview is “selling” oneself. In my views if people wanted to be in sales they would be in sales. An engineer shouldn’t have to be in engineering and sales.

By Norrin
September 15, 2010 at 6:29 pm

Omar the Leper,

yup, I read it. Read every post under this thread.

you stated 30 years ago. I just turned 35. got out of the military at 22. 13 years officially in the job market.

I do worry about society and the kids today. There are a LOT of dumb asses who think they are from the hood and I wonder if I will hear “bro” and some other wanna-be street lingual in the future.

it is weird though. the hr folk and the people interviewing me are older and they lack the basic common courtesy. Whatever happened to honesty and integrity? Being a man? Being a “stand up guy”?

yes, I hold traditional values. I love the Asian culture with their values and respect. The US could certainly learn a thing or two.

By Norrin
September 15, 2010 at 6:34 pm

Nick Corcodilos,

Forgot to mention. The particular company I am referring to have no careers listed on their site.

I found it through a job board and sent my resume directly. I found out that they also go through a temp agency.

By George
September 15, 2010 at 6:44 pm

Great reading from all the real-life examples.

Why not turn the tables? Be proactive at the end of the interview:

“Thank you very much, Mr./Ms. potential manager. I appreciate meeting with you – this was certainly worth the time on my part and I hope you gained something from it as well. So I should hear from you by [2 weeks from now], correct? OK thank you…”

Then 2 weeks from now by regular mail…

“… [cordial stuff] … I haven’t received a reply one way or the other. As I indicated I’m looking to be part of an organization where decisions can be made in a reasonable time, so please remove me from your list of candidates for this position.

Good luck in your search.”

By Norrin
September 15, 2010 at 6:53 pm

George,

I have considered that. Doing something like that i fear would be childish. In my opinion, it’s best to let it go.

also…They may reject now but what if the person was second on the list and could be slated for the next opening?

then again it goes back to them not even communication to begin with.

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By Jessica Mendez
June 18, 2014 at 3:27 pm

When I was looking for work I found the same exact issue. I had no idea what I was going to do when I had interviewed with about 3 companies and wasted hours on long interviews. When I had finally gotten a call back I had already found a job through another company that was actually able to help me on my job search. Granted.com was the company that proved to be the most useful. I was so upset after getting a call back a month after I had already gotten my job with granted. Granted was helpful from the very beginning and I was able to find a job within 2 weeks of signing up with them. I couldn’t believe how terrible HR employees were with other companies.

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