Where’s The Etiquette in Recruiting?

I left my job at Google over 4 years ago, have been consulting independently since. I’ve never looked back. I love consulting and have learned more in the past 4 years than I ever did at any one job. The variety of my clients’ industries, teams, leadership and cultures makes each project an exciting challenge.

Even though consulting keeps me busy, I ocassionally interview for full-time jobs. On a fairly regular basis head hunters or recruiters will reach out to me directly about an opportunity. Sometimes I’ll see an opening at a company I admire and apply directly. I’m a VP/Senior director level, with 20 years of experience and an MBA from a top school.

Over the past 4 years, I’ve interviewed for eight full-time jobs. And when I say “interviewed” I mean I’ve made it past the initial phone screen, done a lot of research on the company in preparation for in-person interviews, took time away from my current project/client and even dusted off my interview attire. All of these interviews went fairly well, during four of them I even got to a final round where the recruiter was telling me to line up my references and talking to me about start dates. Here’s where the etiquette piece comes in….. Only ONE of these eight potential employers had the courtesy to write me back to thank me for my time and let me know that I did not get the job.

Of the four employers where I got to a final round and was being asked for references, all of them dropped of the map without even a courtesy email or call to let me know that they’d decided on another candidate. It was like going out on a few great dates, sleeping with the other person on the third date and then never hearing from them again. No response to emails, no quick phone call to let me know they decided to move forward with another candidate — nothing. Radio silence. How fucking rude is that?!? I put a lot of time into preparing for these interviews, took time out of my busy schedule to come interview (one of them had me do 3 rounds — obnoxious) and one even had me do a full-blown plan on how I’d grow the business (I’m going to write a post on what kind of bullshit that is shortly). And the recruiter can’t take 3 minutes and send me an email thanking me for my time and letting me know I didn’t get the job?!

I understand that to a recruiter candidates are a commodity but we’re human too so have the fucking courtesy to thank ALL of your candidates for their time and let ALL of them know either way if they got the job. You do a disservice to your personal reputation as a recruiter and to your company’s brand if you don’t.

That’s it. Peace out.


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