Usually we hear stories of interviews gone bad from the employer’s point of view. This summer has been one story after another of people relating the boorish behavior of employers. Not good when you are competing for talent every day. Unless you just don’t care who you hire. Or how you treat people. But, things have a tendency to come back around in business and life.
When there is no established internal process for hiring, and no one “watching the store” all sorts of stumbles can occur. And they all reflect poorly on your recruitment brand and your company. It hurts business and you may not even know it’s occurring.
Recent examples from our travels through the employment landscape.
Candidate A goes to a web marketing/SEO agency that is growing rapidly. He has just left a web agency that was somewhat adrift. With a background in client and business management from both the agency and the client-side, he is highly qualified and has a strong Rolodex. He interviews with the agency principal and VP of business development.
During the interview, the VP of business development remains completely unengaged, sends text messages and e-mails, and when he does insert himself in the conversation, he is unclear as to what role this person was interviewing for. The agency principal does his best to keep the meeting on-track but the disconnect is clearly present. Result: no hire.
Now, the agency is thinking, well that was not the right fit for us. Fair enough. But, the individual had such a bad experience that he relates the story to others in his network. Result: people have a bad impression of the agency and the way they treat people. If one of these people in his network (one that maybe the agency does want to hire) hears his story, their initial impression of the agency is negative.
Oh, and by the way, Candidate A never heard back from the agency letting him know he was not offered the job. Naturally.
Large PR agency seeks account director. Former corporate/consumer brand manager and PR manager, candidate B, seeks new opportunity. Excellent candidate, respected agency. Candidate lives out of state….actually across the country. Agency recruiter schedules phone interviews that go extremely well. Wants the candidate to come in for a face-to-face interview with members of the executive team. Provides options on days/times. Candidate B begins to investigate flight/travel options. Waits for confirmation. Waits. Sends messages that flight needs to be booked soon to make the window of days the recruiter gave. Radio silence. Another message. Radio silence. Finally, candidate just needs to book flight and lands in town. Still radio silence from the agency’s recruiter on confirming the interview. The candidate extends the trip to ensure they will still be in town if the recruiter finally calls.
Finally, the recruiter calls about scheduling the interview. They completely ignore all of the messages sent by the candidate and has scheduled the interview for the week after the candidate was in town, and even though she stays an extra week, it is scheduled on the one day the candidate has said they absolutely could not meet.
The agency not only looks unorganized and the recruiter has damaged their credibility. If put in a position of hiring negotiation, the candidate knows the recruiter has little internal influence. The recruiter has no respect for the candidate, but apparently is not respected in their own organization enough to get answers and scheduled interviews locked down.
The candidate may still be offered the position. And the executives in the agency have no idea of the poor treatment this person has received. Candidate B certainly cannot say anything about it. A candidate for employment is in no position to be a tattle tale.
Candidate B is left with an extremely negative opinion of the agency. If offered the job, she doubts she will accept. Worse yet, she is interviewing for corporate client side roles where one of her responsibilities will be hiring a PR agency.
Do you think she will call this agency?
No, don’t think so.
Companies….get a process, stick to it, communicate it to your staff and start building a recruitment brand. Or flounder in the war for talent and treat people like crap.