Advice regarding the hiring process is typically geared toward the applicants applying for the position. After all, they're the ones looking to impress a certain company or team. So we hurdle loads of pointers at them in the hopes they'll successfully appear professional and land their dream jobs.
But what about the people employing them? Do we demand the same level of professionalism from those looking to hire these candidates? Not always.
And look, we understand. Employers are busy, especially when they're trying to manage an understaffed team and find new members for that team. We get it.
But basic decency isn't often time consuming. From the candidate's perspective, we simply ask that you remember that we're human beings, placing our hopes and dreams at your feet. We ask that you extend the same respect to us that we're taught to give to you.
So hiring managers, please keep some of the following points in mind.
1. Be flexible when scheduling interviews.
It's rough running a team or department with an unmanned position, and we totally understand that you want to fill any openings as quickly as possible. But I'd hazard a guess that most of your applicants already have a part-time or full-time commitment. So when you demand that we drop everything to meet with you tomorrow, it's difficult to manage that.
In a perfect world, the possibility of getting this position would be our number one priority. I mean, that shows how much we want it, right?
But we live in an imperfect world. You very well may go forward with another candidate. And if you do, we need to ensure that we can still pay our rent and feed ourselves. So we really do appreciate you working with our schedules.
2. Make an effort to be punctual.
Most interviewers take a few minutes to come out and introduce themselves. That's normal. No decent job applicant would complain if you're a couple minutes late.
But if you're showing up an hour late, it's polite to give us notice. You wouldn't tolerate that type of disrespect from us, so why should we allow that coming from you?
By being significantly late and not even reaching out to us, you're demonstrating how little you value our time. And most of us have jumped through hoops to work this interview around our current work schedules. So please, just try to be punctual.
3. Do your homework.
Job hunters spend a lot of time designing cover letters and resumes, especially if they're personalizing them for each position they apply to. What's the point, if you aren't even going to glance at them before meeting with us?
I've had employers ask if I'm OK traveling an hour to work, despite the fact that I'd already been doing so for five years. I've known people whose interviewers asked them if they'd ever worked in a certain field, when the information was blatantly written all over their resume.
It's one thing if you want us to reiterate what's on our resumes. But when you obviously haven't even read our applications, it's kind of a turn off. We did our part, so do yours.
4. Don't speak over us for an hour, then complain that we barely talked.
Have you ever gone into a conversation with prepared discussion points and answers, only to realize that the person leading the discussion has absolutely no interest in what you have to say? That's unnerving in any situation, but on an interview, it's downright bizarre.
An interview should be a back and forth between employer and applicant. You're here to explain the details of the role, and we're here to explain why our qualifications make us the best fit for it. But we can't exactly do that when we can't get a word in edgewise.
5. Be upfront about the salary range you're offering.
There's nothing quite as disappointing as wasting hours of your life chasing a position, only to be low-balled at the last minute and forced to decline. It's an uncomfortable position for the employer and the candidate, and it's one that can very well be avoided.
Modern society stigmatizes discussions surrounding money, but that's why we're here. Why avoid it? You need to make money for your company, and I'm trying to offer my time for money.
Conducting multiple interviews is a waste of time for both parties if the salary is far below a candidate's desired range. It's easier to just present the salary in advance, and it'll save both parties time and energy.
6. Give us a heads up when you're calling our references.
Every boss I've ever had has adhered to an insanely busy schedule. Whether they were running their own business or simply managing someone else's, each of them had a lot on their plates.
And hardly any of them ever answered random numbers or blocked calls.
It's always awkward when a hiring employer says that they've reached out to references and couldn't reach them. But it also fails to be surprising - why would they take the time to answer a call from some random number?
Let your applicants know when you're planning to call their references. Then we can give them a heads up, and they won't ignore you like they would a telemarketer. Everybody wins.
7. Let us know when you've made a decision - even if it isn't us.
We know there are a ton of candidates applying for any position in today's world. It would be impossible to reach out to every applicant once the role is filled, and we don't expect that from you.
But if we've sat through multiple interviews, and even made it to the final round, we assume you're going to notify us once you make a decision. If we've put a certain amount of time and effort into pursuing this position, a generated rejection e-mail isn't much to ask for. A phone call would be even more professional.
No one enjoys pacing endlessly by their phone. Really, it's just common courtesy to let us know you've chosen someone else. Then we can all move on with our lives in peace.
8. Don't demand we give less than two weeks notice to our current employer.
This is one of those things I'll never understand. Why would you even consider hiring someone willing to dump their current employer immediately, without even giving the company time to replace them? That person could turn around and do the same thing to you.
And you wouldn't enjoy that in the slightest.
So hire a professional, someone with the manners to give their managers appropriate notice before picking up and leaving. That will benefit you more in the long run.
9. Don't offer an unpaid internship when we've applied for a paid position.
If someone applies for a salaried position with your company, don't insult them by asking if they'd like to work for free instead. This applies doubly if said applicant has a degree and previous internship experience.
Not all of us can afford to continue interning after graduating or moving out. If an applicant is searching for entry-level openings, it's safe to assume that they're trying to make a living. So no, they don't want your silly internship.
10. Avoid giving us advice, unless we've asked for it.
If you reject a candidate and they ask you for reasons, share your thoughts with them. You're probably right in assuming that constructive criticism will aid them in their future endeavors.
But don't presume that every person you've interviewed wants to hear your opinion of them. Some candidates won't be compatible with your company values. That doesn't mean you should instruct them to dye their hair or fix their wardrobe in the same breath you reject them.
And don't ever suggest that an applicant try searching in a different field. Who are you to make that call?
Frankly, that comes off as pretty darned insulting.
11. Show an ounce of empathy, please and thank you.
We want this job. Whether we're running from the unhappiness of current circumstances or looking to begin a career in something we're passionate about, we really freaking want this. Naturally, we're nervous.
So intimidate us with tough questions.
But don't try to scare us away with your personality. Let us see that you're a human being with interests and a sense of humor, just like us. It'll bring out the best side of us, and that's the side we're trying to bring to the table!
Plus, it's always nice to know you won't be working for a terrifying automaton.