Talent Management

Does Your Hiring Process Resemble A Rodney Dangerfield Comedy Skit?

We all know the comedian’s most famous line : “I get no respect.”


I came across this great post on candidate respect on the About.com  Human Resources site. The primary point that the blog author, Susan Heathfield,  makes in  her post, is that candidates deserve a response and they deserve the  right to know where they stand in your hiring process. They especially  deserve the right to know on a timely basis if you reject them.

She claims — and I agree 100% — that the candidates you reject  deserve the same courtesy of notification as the candidates to whom you  are offering the job. Communication should be respectful, courteous,  empathetic, and responsive.

In thousands of conversations with candidates, we have discovered a  general level of dismay, anger, and frustration with most human resource  departments and hiring managers. Susan sums it up best by stating: “Among job searching candidates currently, their biggest  complaint is the disrespect with which they are treated by HR offices.  Unfortunately, no communication appears to be the norm.”

This issue of candidates NOT getting enough respect from a company  during the hiring process piqued my interest so strongly that I’m going  to run a survey of how candidates are either respected/NOT respected  during the hiring process. I’ll run the survey through our LinkedIn Discussion Job Search Discussion Group.


1.  Do you have a procedure or policy to ensure that candidates are  treated with respect in your hiring process – even those whom you  reject?

2. Has every one of your hiring managers and human resource  professionals been trained in how to legally and respectfully reject a  candidate?

3. Do you have a guideline or checklist of steps in how to treat  candidates at various decision points in your hiring process?

4. Do you solicit feedback from candidates about how they felt they were  treated in your hiring process?

5. Do you monitor the dialogue of candidates on Twitter, Facebook,  LinkedIn, and other social media/networking sites as they post on-line  about their experiences with your company through your hiring process?

6. Are you creating a positive vibe about your company and brand through  your treatment of candidates in the hiring process – OR – are you  damaging your company’s reputation and brand image due to negative  experiences.


In over a 1000 searches stretching over the last quarter of a  century, and in the research preparation to write our popular book on  hiring, You’re NOT the Person I Hired, we found that companies  can significantly improve their local image as a desired employer or  they can damage their reputation to the point that everyone knows to  stay away.

Providing a timely and respectful communication to candidates you  reject in the hiring process is one small element of an overall approach  to NOT mistreating candidates. Respecting candidates include:

– How you greet them when they arrive for the interview

– Offering a glass of water/cup of coffee

– Not subjecting them to an inquisition or interrogation during the  interview

– Explaining the interview process and steps

Ending the interview on a upbeat note by sharing a positive factual  comment (no matter how deep you have to go to find one). VERY IMPORTANT  step! Not ending the interview by saying something positive will lead  the candidate to leave the interview and justify why they don’t want to  work at your company (by the way – they’ll be sure to tell everyone they  know why your company is NOT a good place to work).

What are you going to do to ensure your hiring process does NOT  mistreat candidates?

Category: Talent Management


About the Author: Barry Deutsch

Barry Deutsch has been a popular Vistage Speaker for over a decade in the areas of hiring and retention. In recognition of the value of his presentations, Vistage has given him the prestigious IMPACT Speaker of the Year Award. He is a co-aut…

Learn More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *