Stop Letting Employers Bully You
Stop Letting Employers Bully You
It is no secret that the hiring process is broken. Badly broken. Considering the financial impact hiring has to a company’s bottom line, it is astounding that many, if not most, employers don’t take it seriously. From forcing applicants to comply with non-intuitive ATS programs, to failing to follow up with candidates, it would seem that many employers do not actually want to hire anyone at all!

As I am fond of saying, the employees are the profit makers of any business. Without employees, a business would be unable to do anything. It would be unable to make products, deliver services, send invoices, or recognize revenue. Why then, do so many employers bully potential employees? I really can’t answer that, but I suspect it’s something along the lines of “because they can.” Some of the ways employers mistreat candidates include:
  • Disrespect of the candidate’s time. They make last minute scheduling changes and cancelations. They demand that the candidate come in when it suits their schedule, rather than working with the candidate’s availability. The candidate’s time is just as important as the interviewer’s.
  • Misrepresentation of the position. They make the role seem glamorous and exciting, a great next step in the candidate’s career, and downplay the drudgery the candidate might encounter. The hiring process is most efficient when it is executed with transparency.
  • Refusal to share the details of the compensation package. They won’t tell you what the budgeted range is for the position, or worse, they lie and tell you that they haven’t yet decided. They will demand the details of your previous compensation plan without reciprocating. Again, transparency.
  • They don’t follow up. This is the one that candidates find most irritating. In far too many instances, candidates who have invested significant time into the interview process are hung out to dry by recruiters and hiring managers who can’t be bothered to send a quick “thanks, but no thanks” email. It’s incorrigible behavior.
So, what can you do about it? As you probably already know, ignoring boorish, bullying behavior does not change anything. What you can do is to refuse to be a party to it. You are not a job beggar. You are an experienced professional who brings value to an organization. Employers who do not show you respect, and who do not actively try to impress you, are not worth your time. My best advice is that when (not “if”) you encounter a prospective employer that mistreats you and shows you disrespect; you politely decline to continue with their process. Why would you want to continue with people who do not show professional courtesy, who act as if they hold all the cards, anyway? If this is what they do during the recruiting process, how much worse will it be when you’re hired?

Good managers know that recruiting is a personal, professional experience that makes the interviewee feel like a welcomed guest. They know that every interview they conduct affects their reputation, as well as the reputation and brand of their company. It is my hope that as unemployment rates continue to drop, and as hiring picks up, the good managers will outweigh the bad.