The Golden Rule of Recruiting Effectively
Treat Candidates Just As You Would Want To Be Treated Yourself
By Mark Swartz
Canadian Workplace Specialist
The way I see it, there’s an awful lot of sadists among employers and HR professionals. There has to be if you look at how they too often treat job seekers during the hiring process.
It starts with not bothering to accurately describe the job that’s being advertised. You can see shivers of delight as the person involved in hiring rubs their hands gleefully and cackles. Oh, how good it feels to deceive job seekers with inflated position postings that make a $35,000 a year Administrative Assistant’s role sound like Vice President of The World.
Then there’s the practice of not acknowledging receipt of a job seeker’s application, leaving applicants feeling uncertain. It’s a cheap way to get your jollies if you’re into that sort of thing.
Being unprepared when the candidate arrives for an interview is always good for a laugh or two. Don’t bother to review their resume before you start the interview. That way you get to ask bothersome or irrelevant questions that make an applicant squirm faster than you can say “Send in the next one, please!”
How To Disengage A Potential Hire
If you haven’t shaken loose the job seeker at this point, there are plenty of ways to further inflict your cruelty. Keep the applicant waiting as long as possible after an interview to let them know if they’ve made the cut. If you can draw this out to a period of several weeks, while never once getting back to the interested applicant, imagine how much pleasure you’ll derive from this.
Put them through a battery of tests and personality inventories that you rely on instead of becoming a more thorough interviewer. You’ll light up when the applicant struggles with questions like “If you caught a co-worker stealing from your employer, would you turn them in?” (nothing like hiring a snitch to boost morale), or “Have you ever sexually harassed anyone at work?” (For those who are stupid enough to answer yes to this question, you get to grill them till they slink out of your office, totally humiliated. Whoopee!)
You might also consider lowballing the compensation when making an offer of employment. Or bringing the job seeker back in repeatedly for unnecessary interviews. Be creative, invent your own tortures to impose.
Live By The Golden Rule of Recruiting Instead
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. So it is with candidates and your recruiting process. Make it easy for the kinds of job seekers you’re hoping to attract to feel engaged with you from first contact to accepting the job offer.
Here are some tried and true ways to help applicants feel welcomed from the get go:
• Post your job ad where the right candidates will see it. Use a broad-based job bank like Monster.ca that attracts millions of job seekers each month.
• Give a detailed, accurate explanation of what the job involves. Try not to hide things like “requires a great deal of travel” or “weekend and evening hours necessary.”
• Acknowledge the job seeker at each stage of your recruiting process. You don’t have to get fancy or go overboard, just send an e-mail saying that their resume has been received, or that it is taking an extra week to schedule interviews.
• Add a section on your website that gives a good indication of what it’s like to work for your firm. Include descriptions from current employees of what their job is like. Describe your organizational culture. Brag about any extra perks you provide.
• Provide a salary range for the job in the ad itself so that candidates aren’t left guessing (this also tends to reduce “junk applications” from candidates far outside the stated range).
• Be fair about compensation and benefits when it comes to making the initial job offer. Why make the candidate beg and scrape for something reasonable?
A Job Seeker May Also Be Your Customer
Even if you’re the Marquis De Sade in disguise, you can’t forget that today’s job applicant may be tomorrow’s customer or client. The way you treat them as job seekers will impact their regard for you when they go to make purchases or recommend you to their friends. That alone should have you putting away your whips and chains at hiring time.
It doesn’t take extraordinary effort to engage job seekers throughout the hiring process. Just follow the golden rule. Unless, of course, you truly are a masochist, which means you actually enjoy being treated shabbily. If this is the case, please consider the alternative golden rule: do unto others respectfully, not uncaringly, when recruiting.