Provoking thought

Dear Recruiter

Dear recruiter, dear potential employer, dear future self,

I’m reaching out to you during likely one of the more stressful periods of my life. I may be casually interviewing to “see what else is out there,” or may recently have been laid off, with no money in the bank, and a family to feed. Whatever the context of me reaching out to you, for sure I am vulnerable. I am opening myself up to a lot of judgment based on limited information, and likely a lot of rejection. Good times, as they say.

There is are two things I would like to request as we start this journey: treat me with respect and communicate. Please tell me: what will our interview process look like? How many steps are there? Who will I be talking to? What will the purpose of each conversation be? If there are delays in e.g. scheduling a next step, let me know. Telling me there is no new information is also information. Realize that I will be anxiously refreshing my inbox all day, every day to get a hint of what my future may look like.

And please, please don’t ghost me. If you think I’m not a fit, that is ok. Just tell me. Obviously, this would be a painful misjudgment on your part, but we all make mistakes.

Beside not being a jerk, there are other, long-term strategic reasons to practice transparency and empathy during this process. Even if you do not end up hiring me.

The recruitment process is an extremely visible part of employer branding. My experience going through your process will define how I feel about your company, either as a potential employee, or (future) customer, for a very, very long time to come. I have been rejected by companies, but happily recommended my friends applying there when my recruitment experience was good. Conversely, I have rejected offers because of the recruitment process. I see the recruitment process as a predictor of what a company values, and how it operates.

Absolutely, we are entering a employer market. You are the ones in charge this time around. There is a ton of talent on the street, eager for a new opportunity. You can raise the bar, and you will have to deal with more volume. But please, don’t let that be a reason to treat applicants poorly. Ultimately, this is a small world, and reputation matters. There may be a time; no, there will be a time, when the tables turn once more, and you may find it hard to get people to interview with you when you made a bad impression when they were the ones desperately reaching out to you. Even purely out of self interest, keep this in mind.

That is all.

I’m looking forward to start my conversations with you.


Your Applicant