Seems so simple but very few companies seem willing to act on one of the leading causes of why good candidates do not want to work for their company: incompetent and unprofessional managers. Believe me word gets around and when it does it sure makes a recruiter and human resource’s task more difficult.
I cannot tell you how many times I have received calls or emails from great potential candidates about the terrible experiences they have had during an interview. Managers endlessly e-mailing or texting while the candidate answers a question the manager was supposedly interested in hearing about, taking phone calls or leaving to attend to something supposedly important. Imagine what these clods would be like during a regular work day if the candidate actually took the job. And even if the candidate is a poor fit, it’s still necessary to continue to be professional and courteous to all candidates. You are representing your company and it has a major impact on it’s reputation.
Recently I received a call from a top candidate I had presented to a retail company. I had met the Vice President of Apparel prior to the candidates’ interview but not the individual hiring manager under her as he was supposedly to busy to meet that day. The candidate, a professional young woman told me that the hiring manager kept staring at her inappropriately throughout the whole interview, even though he could tell she was very uncomfortable. The candidate finally excused herself from the interview and called me. I called the Vice President to discuss the incident and although she was concerned about the managers actions she told me she would rather not approach the manager directly as he was sensitive to criticism and he was a top performer. Can you imagine! Needless to say, after a few more incidents during this search with the same manager we decided not to pursue doing business with this company and recruited from them instead.
To eliminate or at least minimize bad interview behaviour an organization, must provide interview training for their hiring managers. Let them know what’s appropriate and what’s not. Train them on what are considered proper and inappropriate questions, comments or actions. As much as possible sit in on all of your manager interviews, especially the first ones they do. Coach them as appropriate. Report continued poor behavior to their superiors or higher up the line as necessary. And then if at all possible take continued offenders out of hiring and management roles.
If they are good producers for your company or are key to your company’s success allow them to contribute in a non-managerial capacity. Candidates and employees will thank you. If they are marginal producers and I would argue even good producers show them the door quickly before your company develops a “do not work there” stigma. It’s amazing that even when a company develops this stigma that you hear their executives telling their HR teams “Why can’t you find me good candidates?” or “If only we had better recruiters”.
Sharpen your axe and start chopping these losers if you want your company to start getting a “work here” vibe.