I have been reading a lot of criticism aimed at recruitment processes lately. And from what I hear from my clients, it is largely true and deserved. Today I heard from a client who decided to push back, and she suggested the topic may make a good blog. I absolutely agree!
Here's her story. (Be sure to read the post script too!)
A skilled sales, marketing and operational leader, with experience in exactly the industry to which she applied, she received a call to an interview. She arrived several minutes early, as is proper, and found three people staffing the reception desk. This was in the location of a business where most of the people who walk through the door are potential business-building, revenue-generating customers. Not one looked up to acknowledge her. Mistake number one.
After ten minutes or so (she read two magazines), one of the three greeted her and asked her to have a seat, and told her that the interviewer would be with her shortly. The interviewer was one of the three on the phone, and continued to ignore her. No smile, no notice taken. Mistake number two.
Once off the phone, she asked my client if she could help her. Mistake number three. She didn't recall the interview nor did she recall or even ask my client's name. Mistakes, what? Four and five?
She asked my client to continue waiting while she went to "dig out her resume." (Unorganized, perhaps?) My client watched her through a window as she made another call, went and gave instructions to staff, and disappeared ... to dig I imagine.
My client continued waiting. By this time, put off by being ignored, given the impression her interview was of little interest or consequence, and concerned by the serious lack of customer service, she elected to leave as she knew she wouldn't interview well and wouldn't like working for a person who doesn't lead by example. Here is the rest in her words, taken from the email she sent to the head office after leaving (I was given permission to share):
I made this decision [to leave] because I felt I had 2 options. #1 was stay, wait, and proceed to not interview as well as I normally would because of my growing frustration at the customer service I received. (I do believe I have a lot to offer the right employer. I consistently raise sales & build long lasting relationships), or #2 do something a bit ballsy and leave with some self respect, hopefully giving the interviewer something to think about in the way that she treats the next person who comes in for an interview.
I am writing this because maybe there's a possibility that you are losing the opportunity to bring good, qualified, solid team players to your service because of this kind of treatment. I must say, after this experience I would be hesitant to not only join, but even recommend this location to anyone.
Thank you for taking the time to read & consider this, and I hope it helps bring positive change to anything that may need it.
When job hunters are treated with less than stellar behaviour at job interviews (where supposedly everyone is on best behaviour, including the hiring company), how will they be treated after the hire? And what are employers thinking? Those who study the job market are warning employers that as "baby boomers" begin retiring en masse in the next few years the fight for skilled employees will intensify! Why are they not proactively recruiting and holding onto the best employees right now?
It makes little business sense. I'd love to hear your recruitment story ... send me an email if you need to vent!
P.S. Shortly after sending her email, my client received a phone call from the Regional Manager. To the manager's credit she thanked my client sincerely for the feedback, offered her an apology and asked to come to an interview next week, all of which my client accepted. When a suggestion/complaint/concern is offered with good intent, rather than fall on deaf ears it may be heard. I'll let you know what comes of this!
P.P.S. My client has been offered the position. Who knew that speaking out could lead to employment? Might be another idea to add to your job search toolbox!