They didn’t call. Is it me?
It’s no coincidence that speed-dating looks a lot like a job interview. In many ways it is. You sit across from your prospective partner and the two of you bombard each other with questions designed to discern compatibility. If you feel that the man or woman across the table from you is not right for the position you move on to someone else.
Thank you for coming in. We’ll let you know once we’ve made our decision. Good luck with your future endeavors.
Ugh. That’s the professional equivalent of “I just want to be friends” or “I just don’t have time for a relationship right now.”
But what’s worse is when the first date, er, uh, interview seems to go well, and you don’t even bother to call.
Most job descriptions end with something along the lines of “We thank all applicants for their interest, however only qualified candidates will be contacted.” In other words, don’t call us, we’ll call you. The idea is to discourage applicants from making the requisite follow-up call that might nudge a foot a bit further into the door. It’s not an invalid tactic; you don’t want mobs of applicants nudging your door open, jamming your receptionist’s phone lines, or filling the HR inbox with emails.
But what are applicants supposed to do between the time they apply to work with you, and the time that you call to either hire them or to reject them? The hiring process, these days, is streamlined. But you cannot forget that there is a human being at the other end, a person who has a mortgage to pay off, and mouths to feed. Don’t string them along.
As a recruiter, I’m stuck in the middle. I have an employer looking for a candidate on one side, and a candidate looking for a job on the other. I play matchmaker, bringing you together in what I hope is a mutually-beneficial relationship. But you have to do your part.
If you like a particular candidate, if they appear to be the full package, then what’s the problem? Sometimes you keep an otherwise perfect candidate waiting in the wings because, who knows? There might be someone better out there.
I’ve seen clients go through two or three interviews over a period of weeks, flying out of town, without so much as a thank you note from the employer. What’s the hold-up? You want them to meet your partner? Great. Your partner’s out of town? That’s not fair. You want to look at five candidates before making a final decision? Or the hiring committee has to approve the engagement, and it’s hard to get to all 7 committee members in a timely fashion? How long with that take?
I’ve had one client wait 8 weeks from the time of the first interview until the employer got back to him with a salary offer… which he rejected, after all that.
As soon as you know whether you will hire a candidate or not, get back to them. Don’t make them wait. You like them, but you’re not sure if they’re perfect? No one is. Go with your intuition. The longer you take, the higher the risk that you will lose a good candidate who might have other, more tempting offers. Are you sure you’re willing lose them because of your unwieldy hiring process?
Put yourself in the candidate’s shoes. This person needs to work, and they want to work with you, share their expertise and their knowledge with you. They want to join your team and help take your business to the next level. But they also want to put food on the table. Do you want to hire them or not? Then you should tell them.