Sunday, November 23, 2008

Hiring decisions

My employer is still hiring, and hiring for good jobs. Being a Michigan employer, competition for these jobs is fierce and we can easily receive several hundred applications. When I notify applicants of the selection status, I will receive a number of phone calls asking for feedback on individual application materials, reasons for non selection, what else applicants can do to help their case. I have been asked to reconsider the hiring decision, been advised that I am wrong and in a few cases, have been thanked for the notification. Most employers don't notify candidates of hiring decisions.

I have a couple of routine responses for applicants and thought it might be helpful to share them with you.

1. Much of our hiring is done by committee. There are a number of people in the selection and hiring process, not just Human Resources. If you are selected to interview, make sure you know who the decision makers are. Emailing me or calling me after the selection has been made is a waste of your time. Know as much about the process as possible up front.

2. If you decide to follow up with the hiring department or manager, it is not a good idea to show up in person. Really. Nor is it a good idea to preface your conversation with, "I am not stalking you, really."

3. Please don't email Human Resources with a request to justify our hiring decision. Please don't say, 'my friends/colleagues/parents told me that I would be a perfect fit for the position.' They aren't doing the hiring. We are.

If you are not selected, here are few items to check.

1. Please make sure that your documents are correct. Make sure that your resume is relevant and in perfect shape. No typos, no funny fonts, no pictures.

2. Review your cover letter. Again, I can see a canned letter a mile away - make sure to write a cover letter for each position. I can't tell you how many people want to work at my 'business' (we are a college) and what a position in a particular field (not even closely related to education) or resumes submitted with no cover letter at all.

3. If you make it to an interview, practice as much as possible, write thank you notes and keep looking. Don't hinge your bets on one position.

Keep in mind that potential employers are not your coaches or advisors. You need to show initiative and professionalism. Keep at it!


Sharlyn Lauby said...

Excellent common sense advice. There's something to be said about that old cliche "you never get a second chance to make a first impression." Candidates should take a few extra moments to review their resume before hitting the send button.

Anonymous said...

With all this being said, I'm sorry.. but I think it's rude of the employer not to notify candidates once the choice has been made. We get all dressed up, take time off work or from whatever, get all stressed out and hold onto hope that maybe the decision has not been made yet. I just think a well written email with thanks for our interest would really help.

Deirdre said...


You are right! We notify all candidates by email of the hiring decision. Everyone deserves closure.