It has been an interesting year in the recruiting world. This has been the case not only with my practice, but also with being part of a great group of top-notch recruiters that are experiencing the same thing. I am not sure what to make of it, so your comments are definitely welcome! My first thought is that there is an epidemic of lack of manners.
I listen to podcasts when I run. It sort of feels like I have a running buddy to talk to because there’s a voice in my ear. Today I listened to Rick Warren. One thing he said during the podcast was that “Manners makes the man.” Obviously, we can also say that “Manners makes the woman,” but since he was referring to himself, we’ll go with his vernacular.
I have experienced some very interesting things in recruiting this year. Not only has it become commonplace for client company contacts to not return phone calls and emails in a timely manner, but I also have some examples that take it a step further.
As an example, I actually had a client call a candidate one evening and extend a verbal offer of employment. When I called the client the next morning to confirm the offer, the client denied ever extending an offer. I then smoothed over the situation with the candidate.
For the next 24 hours, this client went back and forth between wanting to hire the person and not wanting to hire them. Finally at 9:30 one evening, they sent me a text message saying, “Let’s just hire him direct.” The next morning, I sent three options for hiring and paying the fee. I have not heard from the client since. I have texted, emailed, and called. I have not received a response.
It’s still a candidate’s market out there, especially in the technology space in which I work. Client companies must remember that if you have a great experience with someone, you tell two people. However, if you have a bad experience, you tell seven people. Sites like Glassdoor are real and very relevant, and people feel very empowered when they have the opportunity to provide feedback.
It is very important that client companies (and recruiting firms) get back to the basics of recruiting. You are still selling your company and opportunity. Not providing feedback for days (and even weeks) after interviews or worse—completely disappearing after extending a job offer to someone—should NOT become the norm.
If our companies are going to grow and be competitive on a global scale, then we must get back to the basics. In my mind, the basics are common courtesy and manners.