The Work Coach Cafe community is very active with a great number of comments on the WorkCoachCafe.com blog (over 8,000, so far!). And many are from job seekers who are – or who feel they are – being ignored and/or mistreated by potential employers.
Yes, too frequently, job seekers are ignored and treated rudely. Particularly after an interview, when some sort of face-to-face, or at least voice-to-voice, connection has presumably been made, an acknowledgement of the event and the job seeker’s standing in the process should be made but might not happen.
This can be enormously discouraging and disheartening for job seekers. And, some run out of patience with the whole situation. One WorkCoachCafe.com reader, obviously at the end of her rope, described in a comment how she really dumped on the hiring manager when she finally got the hiring manager on the phone.
“I may regret it later but I feel good now. I stood up to an unprofessional hiring manager who gave me a waste-of-time interview. I gave her a piece of my mind… I just hung up. I feel good though! I struck a blow for all frustrated job seekers.”
Yes! We can all understand that feeling, and cheer this job seeker who was able to do some much-deserved venting.
In general, however, assuming that someone is incompetent, stupid, and/or evil is not productive. Believe me, plenty of job seekers seem incompetent, stupid, and/or evil when you are observing their behavior from the employer’s side of the process.
I’m sure it was satisfying, at least for a while, for the job seeker to have told off that hiring manager. And although those feelings are VERY understandable, it was not a good idea.
What could possibly be the consequences of telling off that hiring manager?
1.) This bridge is burned.
Unless this employer was extremely large, this job seeker would probably not want to risk running into that hiring manager again. Even if her dream job materializes with this employer, applying for it – and interviewing for it – would likely be very stressful (when will that dissed hiring manager appear?). And, if everything went very well through the whole interview dance process, an offer could get shot down at the last moment by this hiring manager.
2.) This hiring manager may be even less interested in interacting with job seekers in the future.
Perhaps the next job seeker will be treated more professionally, which was this job seeker’s hope, but I doubt it. Because the hiring manager may be trying to avoid similar unpleasant conversations, job seekers in the future may receive less feedback and attention than this job seeker received.
What would have been a better reaction?
1.) Be patient.
Naturally, the job seeker had visibility on only one side of the process - her side. The hiring manager who” misbehaved” was a senior executive in this company, most likely someone with a great deal of work and other issues to handle. And, while the hiring process is naturally THE most important task to the job seeker, it is often not as critical for the people who are involved in the hiring process. They are being paid to do their jobs, and their bosses (or customers, etc.) expect that work to be completed. So, in addition to hiring someone, the people involved in the hiring also have their regular work to do, and may even have more work to do until the job is filled with someone competent.
It’s also possible that the hiring manager may have been dealing with a business crisis, busy working with less than a complete team, on business travel, out sick, handling a personal problem (e.g., death in the family), etc. She may also have been new in her job and just plain swamped. We have no idea what else was going on.
Guessing at motivation is difficult or impossible even inside families. So, it’s a mistake to assume that you “know” what is going on with a group of strangers.
2.) Keep looking.
It is so tempting to stop job search efforts when the perfect opportunity appears. Resist that temptation with all your energy. If you keep looking, you know you have other opportunities “in the pipeline” so you are less likely to obsess over one that isn’t happening quickly enough. And, hopefully, you’ll be too busy to worry about any one of them. The more good leads you have, the less important any one of them is to you.
3.) Write down all your gripes, and see what you can learn.
“Dump your bucket” as my Mother used to say. Write it down – get it all out: the anger, the frustration, the hurt feelings, everything negative about the situation and the people involved. The process may take days. Resist the temptation to send it to the alleged evil-doer.
After a few days, read your list of complaints and gripes again. Is there anything you can do differently in the future to avoid or short-cut a problem? Turning a negative into a positive can help you feel more in control of the whole process, too, which is good for your confidence and attitude – and your job search, of course.
When you have a job, make sure that you never allow job seekers to be ignored or abused.
Let the bad treatment of job seekers stop now! When you land your new job (you will!), and when you become part of the group that interviews and hires new employees, be sure to remember how painful and endless the wait is for those job seekers. And, don’t let them be badly treated, too!