Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Adventures In Recruiting: I'll Tell Off The Company

I save funny, amusing and strange letters.  I do it just for fun.  The following email exchange was sent to me by a client.

I always tell candidates that if you want a job you have to go after it.  But some job seekers feel that the company owes it to them to be in constant contact.  This is one such letter.  Incidentally, the candidate did not send a thank you note after interviewing. 

            Dear (All the principals of the agency):

            As you may recall, I came into the office on [about a month prior]for an interview
            For the…account position.  I had not heard anything for over five weeks,
            so I emailed Nancy today to ask for an update on the status of my
            application.  Nancy informed me that I was not chosen for the job, and the
            position has been filled.

            I completely understand that often times there is a candidate who is a
            Better fit for the position – this is the nature of the job hunt.  But when
            Someone takes the time to send in a cover letter and résumé for the
            Position, and then arranges their schedule and takes the time to come
            Into the office for an in-person interview, you should at least extend the
            courtesy of informing that person that you are going in another direction,
            And that the position has been filled.

            My interview was over five weeks ago, and the only reason I know the
            position has been filled is because I asked Nancy about it this morning.
            No one bothered to contact me, and I don’t know if they ever would have. 
            I wasn’t even extended the courtesy of a generic form rejection, let alone
            A personal email.  Not informing candidates of the decision after they
            Have come in for an interview is very unprofessional behavior, and it
            reflects very poorly on the firm.
            To be honest, if this is the level of professionalism I can expect from
            [company], I am happy I was not offered the position.

I thought the response that the company emailed this candidate was a subtle but nice putdown:

            I am totally sorry this has been an unpleasant process for you.  To
            be clear, we only hired someone for the position that you interviewed
            for last  week.  For your own benefit, after an interview, it’s really
            incumbent on you to follow up with the person who interviewed you.  We
            had several candidates for the position do this and we were happy to
            give them an update whenever they contacted us.

Now, I have always preached that companies should at least email people who interview with them to thank them for the interview, but it rarely happens; so it is incumbent on candidates to follow up.  It is rare that any company informs a candidate that they were not chosen.   

And telling off the company is not a good way to win friends and influence people in a small industry.


  1. As a serial bridge-burner, I learned relatively late in my career, it's never smart to burn bridges.

  2. I love that this candidate didn't bother to write a 'thank you' note after the interview. Courtesy/professionalism goes both ways.

    1. You are totally right. But even if he did, it is really up to the candidate to follow up as much as I wish that companies did so.

  3. I firmly believe in always following up after an interview, almost to the point of being a pain.

  4. @Anon: Good for you. You should be a pain when it comes to saying thank you. I honestly believe that showing interest is a huge percentage of the battle.


I would welcome your comments, suggestions or anything you would like to share with me or my readers.

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