October 6, 2014 by jeliwobble
Him Indoors is on the job search again as his one year contract is very nearly up. It’s been a good experience, all told. Certainly, adding another project to the CV/résumé, outside of the ones in his previous place of work, has been priceless. Now all he needs is to finish his PMP, which he could probably take within a few weeks of being settled in a new job, and he will be eminently employable from here on in.
And therein lies the rub. Coming from his previous place of work, with no other experience, he was a relatively cheap punt. The industry knows that his previous employer pays at the bottom end of the market, so they knew they could get him for virtual peanuts. Working in his current place of work has built on his good reputation, which is wonderful, but it means he’s a more expensive proposition.
So, he has been applying for pretty much anything and everything that looks even vaguely in his ballpark. He has been landing a reasonable string of interviews, each one followed by tumbleweed…
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, I went through the interview process in two job markets; ad sales executive and teacher. For the ad sales, you generally went through a recruiter or the Human Resources department of the publishing company. If you were not lucky enough to land an interview, you either got a phone call from your recruiter saying you didn’t get invited to interview, or a letter from the HR dept. The same went if you interviewed and were not successful, phone call or letter.
In teaching, it was even easier; you were always invited to interview (I was never turned down for an interview!) and they invariably offered you the job on the spot if you had got it, or obviously told you that you hadn’t by offering it to someone else in the room!
Not only that but employers in both markets would feed back to you. This was completely invaluable to changing the way that I interviewed for ad sales, pointing out where I could shine in a group interview situation and what I should and shouldn’t say in a face to face one. It also helped polish my interview skills for teaching and helpfully point out schools where I really fit well and where I didn’t fit at all.
Therefore, it is not my experience that you just hear *nothing*, but that is exactly what is happening to Him Indoors. Not a ‘thank you but no thanks’ note nor call, not even a *free* email to say the same in the application round. A brief ‘We’ve looked at your résumé and we can see you haven’t got the skills we need’ or ‘We don’t think
your face will fit you will fit the culture here’ would be nice.
The same goes for when he’s actually been through the interview process. Trying to get a yay or nay out of the HR depts is like getting blood out of a stone. You absolutely know that they are keeping you hanging on a bit of string because they’ve offered it to another person and are worried that they might have already got a job. That said, it’s utterly rude to stay silent even when that other person has accepted the job.
Then there is the waste of time trying to get some kind of feedback. Most times he has already realised he hasn’t got the job, all he wants to know is what was at issue with his skill set and how he can improve for next time. It doesn’t even matter if he gets a ‘the other guy had handled a similar project before’, because at least that means that it really wasn’t his fault and he can close that avenue safe in that knowledge. But they don’t even take his calls or answer his emails. When you have gone to the bother of going through the interview process, surely it’s common courtesy to reach the conclusion, whether it is a yay or a nay?
This is probably one of the most frustrating, soul-destroying experiences he has ever had. It doesn’t need to be. It only needs people to be respectful and polite! It doesn’t even have to cost anything; a simple standard ‘Thanks but no thanks’ email would suffice, but a more comprehensive feedback email would be best.
The recruiters have been, to be fair, marginally better than the HR depts in his current job search, because it’s in their interests to keep him sweet and find him a job. However, even they can take days, even a week or so, to get back to him.
It doesn’t have to be like this. A little courtesy goes a helluva long way.