The challenge of recruiting new team members for your workplace

In my job, I am always recruiting. Trying to find the right person(s) to join my team(s) can be an arduous task, and in a world where I receive 400+ applications for each position I advertise, it’s safe to say that I put a lot of time into finding those great people that I want to come and work with me.

I sift through hundreds of applications, and find the few that truly appeal to me. The others will almost always receive a rejection letter, given how easy it is to do that now with the online recruiting websites. Good experience is the key to getting an interview, and then the interview is often an opportunity for me to just meet them in person, and get a feel for their personality and how that would fit into my already existing team. I often say, if you’ve been invited to an interview with me, that means I’d likely hire you based on your CV. The interview is the personality test which, in my line of work, is possibly the most important part of the entire recruitment process.

I’ll often send out interview requests, asking people to confirm they can attended. Only 30% will do so, whilst another 20% will just show up at the scheduled time even though I’m not expecting them, and the final 50% remain either clueless to the fact a job opportunity sits in their email spam folder, or have chosen not to attend the interview but not had the courtesy to say as such.

Now, in the case of the latter, I don’t know why anyone would not keep checking their junk emails when they are applying for jobs. Maybe I’m only speaking from my own experiences, but such job interview requests can often be filtered out of your email inbox, so it’s good to always keep an eye on that. Maybe these people just haven’t had that experience to know to check?

For the 20% who will show up for the interview without confirming their attendance, they immediately have already shown me that they can’t follow simple instruction. Don’t get me wrong, I have hired people from this 20% previously, sometimes with great success, but I’d be lying if when I sat down with them it wasn’t playing on my mind that these people had clearly seen my interview request but had not read it properly. How would they react to instruction and requests on a day-to-day basis?

For the 30% who confirm, they are wonderful people. They’ve read my emails correctly and they’ve checked in to say that yes, they will be there to meet with me. These are the people who give me great hope ahead of a day of interviews.

Why then, is it this same wonderful group who let me down the most?

Over the last 12 months, I could not tell you how many of those 30% who confirmed their attendance actually attended. Honestly, it could be as low as 5%. How many of those made contact to inform me that they now could not attend? I could probably count them on one hand. This has always been a problem in the recruiting process, but it’s certainly more prevalent now than it was previously.

The result of this is wasted time, and I genuinely cannot tell you how many hours I have wasted sat in coffee shops waiting for applicants to attend interviews who never came. Even this week, it’s happened to me across two days.

If you can’t make it, that’s absolutely fine, but go to the effort of telling me. It’s called respect, and perhaps if you really wanted the job, I could reschedule to a better time for you. After all, I contacted you because I wanted to meet you, and that wouldn’t change just because a date or time suddenly became unsuitable for you. Not making any contact at all is absolutely unacceptable though, and it’s this lack of contact that is the most frustrating.

The argument is that it is better to find out they are unreliable now, than after successfully hiring them, and I agree with that to a certain degree. But when you put so much time and resources into finding these people, and planning to meet with them, nothing can easily erase the disappointment and feeling of disrespect that comes when they no-show without any communication.

Am I unreasonable? Am I too sensitive?

Maybe. I don’t think I am, though.

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