So my last post was about how tough the hard knock stories are to manage some days. Today it’s more about why so many recruiters/HR/managers don't effectively communicate with their candidates - especially when declining them.
This has come up recently as I have been helping a couple of really good friends search for work. I have been attempting to help navigate them through the sometimes painful process of looking for work. First steps were of course to revamp their resumes. One has been working for himself for more than a decade - that was a tough one as I know a lot of recruiters that will pass these people by with comments like, yeah, working for himself, more like couldn't get a job. The other has mixed experience in IT and logistics from his time in the Army spent mostly in Iraq and Afghanistan.
So we moved them along and both have been through a couple of interviews with different companies. The first had an excellent experience. He didn't get the job but the recruiter communicated regularly, responded to his follow up emails and then when he didn't get the job, she declined him personally. Yah! I have faith. Not for long.
The next one from the army gets an interview with a gaming company based in California. He does the first phone interview directly with the hiring manager. He is excited that he doesn't have to go through the HR side. Not for long though as he waits and waits and waits for follow up. I encourage him to send an email follow up which he does. And waits. Finally a month later he gets a response letting him know that they will be moving to second interviews and he will be given the details in a week or two. So now he waits.
The other equally sad part is they both have applied for about 100 jobs between the two of them over the past 2 months. They have received ZERO declines. Now I know we can't respond to everyone all the time, but we do have ATS's that allow up to decline the applicant pool pretty easily. It can be impersonal, but I asked them what they would prefer, an impersonal decline or nothing at all. Both said impersonal, at least they know where things stand!
So now the self-employed one has been through a new round of interviews and is now on week 3 of waiting for a response. He sent a thank you and then sent a follow up about a week later. Nothing.
Now personally, I am not perfect at doing this. Declining people is not fun. And sometimes as we know, our managers delay on responding to our requests for feedback, but I then at least try to tell the folks that there has been a delay. Or respond to their requests for more information. I even pick up my phone when these candidates call. Which I have come to learn is a new experience for many of these people.
Declining isn't fun. But we talk about the candidate experience, and although we are giving them bad news, bad news is the case of recruitment is still better than no news. Don't you agree?