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Don’t call us (we won’t call you): job-hunting etiquette tips for employers
Don’t call us (we won’t call you): job-hunting etiquette tips for employers

by Jean Bernard Talon

Job-hunting can be a most gruelling if not taxing affair.

If not waiting for the telephone to ring, should you call? Or when you are asked for a second meeting, and it’s a lunch — is there a hidden meaning? Now, it’s been over a week and nothing from them so you call and email to follow up…and then…you get dumped via text message (oh yes, you heard correctly), which hauntingly feels much like the notorious ‘dumped by Post-it note’ episode in Sex and The City.

Searching for employment is a quite bit like dating, I have observed.  And much like the modern dating world can be brutal, so can the employment world (or unemployment) - an adventure I have recently had to face - , which can be equally as uncivil. There are the online announcements, the courtships (sometimes more than one at a time), sometimes there are even relationships that form first names, small jokes, and the wanting…usually the applicant wanting and needing a little more than the employer.

There have been a multitude of articles from the perspective of employment seekers, those Do’s and Don’ts that range from salary negotiation to chewing gum; however, there is not much mention of correct behavior for the employer during the application and interviewing process, which deserves a gentle nudge to improve the reputation and ultimately the brand of a business when hiring.

So, forgive me if  this small list of Do’s and Don’ts for bad bosses or human resource personnel sounds a wee bit like it could be for all the bad dates some of us may have experienced, but these are budget cutting times and just like the supermarkets, I am offering a 2-for-1 special, for a limited time only…

BAD BOSSES or BAD DATES - a few social graces to remember:

DO When receiving interest from a potential candidate, respond to those who may be qualified with an immediate response, thanking them for them for their interest. After the final decision is made after the courting period, a general email should be sent informing all applicants that they are thanked and the position has been filled (even just a blanket email as a courtesy).

DON’T Break a date — if a meeting has been scheduled - whether at an office or a restaurant - there is simply no excuse.  When appointments are agreed to, they are adhered to. Unless there is a true emergency, a direct telephone call is the only manner of conveying an apology.

DO Promptly proceed with the interview process — candidates don’t want to be dragged along ‘dating’ only to find out they were not quite as good as date number 3 after all, and they can’t always afford to wait for months to find out if there will indeed be a proposal.

DO Take the time acquaint yourself with your date, even if the person’s CV is not ideal; there is a reason for your initial interest and out of  respect for the candidate’s effort, a polite half an hour is all it takes.

DON’T End the process coldly, after weeks, sometimes months of e-mails, calls, and texts. Let the person down nicely either with an appointment or a sympathetic phone call. One should remember to protect their reputation, their image, or brand, one wouldn’t want their name sullied.

It’s a brave new world out there and the employment market isn’t as plentiful as it once was, but then the realm of dating hasn’t gotten any easier either; it’s just about showing a little respect and remembering the courtesies that make everything in life a little kinder and easier.

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