I realize I should be charitable when writing this and I am going to try. Perhaps the hiring employers were so busy, that they didn’t understand how rude they were being. Perhaps quotas have to be met or else. Maybe, they’re overworked due to a double workload due to layoffs. Or, just plainly, they didn’t think through what they were doing. I’m not sure the reasons, but after the email I received yesterday, I feel the need to rant. So here are my top 5 things that hiring employers should NOT do.
1. Not mention to the candidate that you have dogs in the office.
Lucky for me I love dogs and I’m not allergic, but if you have dogs in the office, you should at least let the candidate know that before the interview. I went to an interview and was surprised to see dogs roaming the halls. When the hiring manager asked me to come into her office, one of her dogs followed us in. She closed the door and then asked, “Oh, by the way, are you allergic to dogs?” I replied, “No, not at all”, but I thought to myself too late if I was. It seems that her dogs do not like closed doors and the whole time I was there, at least one was scratching at the office door to get in or scratching the door to get out. I think the hiring manager sat maybe a minute, at the most, before she was getting up to open the door for one of her dogs. The hiring manager would ask me a question and before I got out 3 words, she was getting up to open the door for one of the dogs. I don’t think she heard most of what I said.
2. Long periods of interviews with no intention of hiring anyone.
This one is understandable, I guess. I mean, companies change direction all the time. I interviewed with a company that wanted me to drop everything to interview last minute so that they could hire for the position right away. I started interviewing mid-November with the understanding (from them) that they wanted the position filled by the first week of December. It is now March and they are still not sure of the direction they want to go. I went through 2 phone interviews, 2 in-person interviews, two tests and then finally a couple of weeks ago they called me back for a third interview. Be honest with the candidates you are interviewing. If you don’t intend on hiring for a while, let them know that. Yes, you may lose that candidate but you will lose that candidate anyway if you leave them dangling for an unspecific long period of time. It is not like you are buying an appliance and waiting for reviews and/or a sale, you are hiring a human being.
3. Not hiring a candidate and then asking for money from them.
I have been trying to move into a career working for a non-profit. I want to work for an organization that champions the causes I am very passionate about. So far I haven’t had much luck in the non-profit sector. I’ve had a few interviews but all ended with a rejection letter. Either they hired within or they hired one of their volunteers. I was sad about the rejection letters but understand; sometimes it is not what you know but who you know. The problem I have is that within a couple weeks of my rejection letter, I received letters asking for donations. So just to make things clear, they don’t want to hire me but they want money from me. If I didn’t need money, I wouldn’t be looking for a job, I would just volunteer. The donation request letters I received said that they are in need (of money). I felt like sending them their letter back with a post it note saying “Me too!” I understand that non-profits depend on donations but I depend on work to be able to give donations. Perhaps they thought that I was so fantastic that I would have already landed a new job and was able to donate to their cause.
4. Telling everyone but the candidate that he/she didn’t get the positon.
I have been a volunteer for an organization for nearly 5 years now. I love the organization and the people I work with. I do not volunteer at their headquarters and therefore I don’t know the hiring manager well at all. In fact, each time I have met with her in the past, I reintroduce myself. It is hard to remember someone you met for 30 seconds a year later. Anyway, there was a positon that came up that I thought I would be perfect for and so I applied. The women I volunteer for sent recommendation letters for me and I was asked to come in for an interview. During the interview I found out that there were volunteers from the main office also applying. These volunteers have worked side-by-side with the hiring manager and already have a relationship with her. The interview went well, but I felt when it was over that I didn’t have the position. It makes sense that she would hire someone that she already had a relationship with. I understand this and it is not what upset me, although I would have been great in this particular position. What upset me is that I found out I didn’t get the job via a forwarded email. The email announced the person that did receive the position. The email was forwarded a few times before I received it. It seems most everyone knew I didn’t have the position before I did. Granted, I thought that I didn’t have the position but they should have told me officially before the announcement was sent out. Best practices should be to notify the rejected candidates before announcing the accepted candidate. This is most important if the rejected candidate already works for you whether it is on a full-time, part-time or volunteer basis.
5. Asking a rejected candidate to like you on Facebook
Ok, so this is the one that started my whole rant. I received an email rejection letter yesterday. It started off like any other rejection letter – Thank you for considering us blah, blah, blah; You have an awesome background blah, blah, blah; After careful consideration blah, blah, blah; We went with another candidate blah, blah, blah. Then, after telling me that I didn’t get the job, the next paragraph asks me to go to Facebook and like their page. Really! What marketing genius (sarcasm) came up with this one? Basically I read it as saying, we don’t like you but you need to like us and you need to proclaim this like for us on social media.
The media tells us that the unemployment rate is only 5.5%. That is a lie. There are jobs out there if you can afford to work part-time or for minimum wage. Hiring managers should realize this and also that someday they may find themselves unemployed. I don’t expect hiring managers to hire people they don’t feel are qualified, but I do expect them to treat candidates like they would like to be treated, with dignity and respect.