Recruiters Or Hr Managers Should Not Leave Candidates Hanging, They Should Grant Them Closure
I try as much as possible not to be very public with my life about what I do. It is a personal choice, anyway. By the way, I'm a reserved but NOT a shy person.
However, let me share a bitter experience I passed through where I was mistreated and think that this is the best platform to voice it out. All I hope is that the mentally traumatic part of this experience is implied.
In 2015, I came across a job opening in one of Nigerian national dailies that resonated with me a great deal. While a lot of people may not agree with the fact that getting a job in Nigeria is through a 'long leg', this is a sad reality that applies to a majority of the Nigerian workforce.
In Nigeria, it is only through 'man-know-man' that can land you an interview, not sending out your resume. This means the youth isn’t the problem (if you ask me), hiring processes are!
Through a streak of sheer luck, I got a lead for open positions at an organization that was hiring exactly my skill set. After email exchanges, I submitted my documents beforehand via email and then was to show up to an interview (in a renowned company in Abuja) a week later. I should mention here that I paid for my flight ticket on my own, which was almost 20% of my current salary.
The interview went from 10am to 5pm (you can learn a lot about a company's values simply from observing your hiring process).
I was to write a 100 minute test and if I scored over 65%, I could proceed to the next 2 rounds. Alas, I did! Out of 25 people who wrote the test, I was one of the 5 who got above 65%.
I was interviewed first by the team, second by the team’s manager and then had to sit with an HR representative to finalize the rest of the offer details. (I am not mentioning wait times between the interviews).
The HR representative told me that I should wait for 2-3 weeks to hear about my offer letter.
After three weeks elapsed, I tried emailing to no response. When I tried calling, I was hung up on (after I said I was calling to inquire about my interview status) or told to send an email to the same, dead email address.
Few days later, I decided to email my lead (which was my last resort, since the person isn’t in the HR team) asking about the status; he however said I should exercise patience.
With this unpleasant experience, there are multiple questions that crossed my mind:
If I never fulfilled the criteria anyway, this would have been evident on my resume which I submitted weeks before my interview. Why was I made to attend the interview then – isn’t that giving someone false hope? This means my money, time and effort was wasted for something that was never going to materialize.
If I did so well at the interviews and the team wanted me, does that count for nothing?
If a company’s policies are going to be so rigid that they avoid it from hiring talent it needs, it proves they are hiring resumes and not people.
Why does it take a month to say this to a candidate? That too, after my following up.
Does an ‘I’m sorry’ absolve a person of the damage done, and mental trauma someone had to undergo?
I am still not sure whether to disclose the company name, because it is so large and powerful that my writing this article will do them absolutely no harm.
I thought HR policies were made to make hiring easier. Not impossible. After all, constitutions of countries are amended to this date. A rule book is not set in stone. Or else how would euthanasia be legal in some places.
To say the least, it is sickening to note that some HR policies don't seem to evolve, and nobody wants to change them either.
If you are a job seeker, you can learn a lot about a company's values by observing your hiring process.
Companies that prioritize an employee's overall life will be thoughtful about candidate experience.
Hence, ask yourself, was your interview schedule an exhausting all-day ordeal without food or breaks like mine? This is a warning that employee experience may not be a top priority.
Also, try to know how many people are making the hiring decision and how long it take. This will provide an insight into how their business decisions get made, which is especially important if your role will be spearheading new initiatives or trying to bring about organizational change. Consider if they might be prone to acting rashly or moving too slow.
And more importantly, make sure you understand when and how they will get back to you. Pay attention not just to the timing they give but the manner in which they communicate with you as a candidate. Are they being thoughtful about the time you have already invested and how hard it is to wait for a decision? Do they care about how you might be feeling? Or are they using their power to make the process as easy and non-committal for them as possible? I tell you, these seemly small actions can point to larger disconnects between their values and kind of company you want to work for.
Recruiters and hiring managers should please put the ‘human’ back in Human Resources.
Respect is a two-way street. Candidate invest so much time and effort and even finances into preparing. For crying out loud, candidates give of their time to be interviewed, hence they deserve feedback.
It is your responsibility as a recruiter or HR manager not to leave candidate hanging, grant them closure, please!
I still remember vividly all the people that have helped me get jobs. Honestly, I will never forget in a hurry what they did and I hope I can have the same impact on others.
Early in my career, a school owner once told me she doesn't need me.
But then, the God-fearing woman got in touch with another school owner and recommended me there. I did got the job! I tell you, I can never forget the woman who helped me to secure the job. I still remember her name after many years and the name of the school. It is so easy to make a difference in someone's life. Be someone who people can remember you for good. It costs nothing to be nice.