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Get a clue, HR

Anger

Posted 7th October 2013 1712

Are human resources people lazy, incompetent or don’t they care about the people they allegedly recruit?

Okay, that may be an unfair question, but it does bring up a growing issue — fumbling attempts at making connections with potential employees. The reason I bring this up is from a recent experience. I had connected with a company and had a telephone interview. Whether I did very well at it isn’t of importance, as I really hadn’t expected anything to come out of it.

What I did expect was to be contacted, after being told that there were approximately 6-8 phone interviews being done that week, with a couple finalists being chosen from that pool, AND that I would find out within a week whether or not I was a finalist.

Note the wording there: whether or not. Those were not my words; they were the HR person’s words. What happened? Nothing. Nada. Zip. Silence. For several weeks.

Now, I know in many companies that HR people can be very busy, with lots of jobs to fill. However, if you’ve gotten down to a list of very, very few, that’s the time that you want to follow up aggressively with those who didn’t make the final cut. You don’t want to leave people hanging.

Why not? Because those who didn’t make the cut were good enough to get that far (and those decisions were made by you), and you may want to keep them on the short list for future hires. But if you treat them like a disposable asset such as, say, staplers, they’re not going to be too fond of your company in the future, and they’ll likely spread that news around.

“Oh, XYZ Company? That place is bad news. They can’t even figure out how to send an e-mail on time. No way would I recommend applying to those clowns.”

So you’ve not only alienated a potentially awesome hire, you’ve alienated their friends and friends of friends who may consider you a bunch of screw-ups who just push paper around. Worse, you’re seen as not being able to think and operate strategically, which is not where you want your career to go.

Times have changed. You have online application systems, and it doesn’t take a lot of effort to install functionality that would allow you to send a message quickly and easily to those people who didn’t make that very last step, and keep them from being ambassadors of anger in regards to your company. And if the process is taking a bit longer than expected, perhaps a message that evaluations are still underway can be considered.

This may come off as unduly harsh, and I know what a lot of the reaction will be (“Doesn’t this guy know how busy we are, how many applications we get every day?!?”). Yes and yes. But the rest of us are busy as well and there are computer systems that you can learn to help ease the burden. And if you aren’t able to take a bit of feedback on continuing with antiquated business practices and processes, perhaps you’re in the wrong industry.

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