Looking for a job can be stressful. As job seekers triple check their resumes for typos and edit their cover letters, it seems like employers sit back and relax with all the power—especially in today’s job market.
Although companies do have the power to hire or not, they should still show candidates respect throughout the hiring process.
A recent Washington Post article, “Are you hiring? Show Courtesy to Applicants” listed what companies can do to ensure they are displaying professional courtesy with applicants.
Here are some highlights.
Acknowledge all applicants. I applied for many internships last summer and was shocked that about half of the companies never even responded to my inquiry. Not even an automated, generic “we received this” email. Yes, I understand that companies have more important things to do, but a little courtesy goes a long way. Companies should recognize an application, if only to let the applicant know it was received.
Inform applicants about the results of the process. In most cases, a ‘no’ is a lot better than playing the waiting game. I’ve heard countless stories of applicants going in for an interview and not hearing back afterwards. It’s not fair to make the applicant wait around if you have no intention of letting them know your decision.
Don’t abuse applicants time and talents. Unpaid internships are commonly used as a way for job seekers to get experience with a company. But companies need to be careful and not exploit these interns. Sometimes unpaid internships do turn into a job, but don’t lead applicants on. If you have no intention of hiring them make sure they know this before you offer them an unpaid position.
The job seeker/employer relationship is a complex one and in the end, communication is key. Employers need to be open and honest with applicants and show them the common courtesy and respect they deserve. Companies should know that how they treat applicants is how applicants will view their brand from then on.
Do you have a hiring horror story?
Article by Dana Schwartz
Dana Schwartz is a senior studying public relations and management at Syracuse University. She has previous internship experience with a small New York City public relations firm, as a communications intern for the Special Olympics in London, and in healthcare marketing. She is looking forward to starting a career in public relations upon her graduation in May.