Friday, 16 March 2012

Hiring Etiquette - ' you didn't get the job' via email

This has been an interesting and difficult time for some people I know and care about. Individuals who have spent a great deal of time preparing for and participating in the interview and hiring process. Perhaps I am an old dog in the field of hiring (and yes firing) people, but I believe it takes care and a very thoughtful process when selecting the proper candidate. Applying for a job is a difficult and emotional process. It doesn't have be more difficult than it is, but people continue to make terrific mistakes that affect people deeply. It also reflects poorly on the business or organization that is conducting the hiring process when bad planning and poor follow through happens.

Although they are not known to each other, and they applied to completely different organzations each person was treated similarily in the notification process. That is why I felt prompted to write about their experiences.

Invitations to apply for the positions were extended and they were encouraged to 'throw their hat in', so to speak, by someone on the hiring committee. Presumably because they had something of value to offer the position. Each candidate researched the position and the organization as thoroughly as possible, and even went as far as researching the individuals who were conducting the interview if they were privy to that information. One person gave up much of their Christmas season to focus on the upcoming interview process as it was an exciting opportunity as well as much needed income. In each case the candidate invested themselves in the process - already an indication of someone who would be willing to invest themselves in the position should they be successful. This is where it begins to break down.

Why would a business or an organization go to great lengths to create a position, market and advertise it - invest time and resources in it and then drop the ball at the final moment?

These candidates did the work, participated in a competitive interview process, made it to the final interview, and then were notified via email >>>> EMAIL!!! that they were not the successful candidate. Sure there were nice accolades, 'you were great', you did your research', you knew more than we did' etc. but the notification process was poorly done. When someone goes to such efforts, is rewarded with an interview process and is told via email, it is a terrible blow. It clearly says - ' I am a coward, I can't face you' and ' I don't respect you enough to tell you personally'.

Sadly there is usually no malice intended, just poorly prepared or inexperienced people doing the best they can. However it gives not- for- profits a bad name and reflects poorly on the organization. I am not sure I would want to work for an organization that would disrespect someone in this fashion.

If you are in the position of being fortunate enough to hire someone, get some training, and do it right. Be professional, but be kind, one is not exclusive of the other.

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