It was a dark and stormy night…
Actually that’s not true: it was a beautiful sunny morning but I’ve always wanted to start a post like that!
The phone rang and although I didn’t recognize it I answered anyway as it was a local call and I hoped I hadn’t fallen into the trap of a spammy telemarketer. Good news! It was Anne, the recruiter at one of my favorite tech companies! We’d been talking about a role for a few weeks and had moved forward in the process. Would I be getting called up to the Majors for an in-person interview? Would I have to shave? Would I – shudder – have to put on long pants and shoes?!
Ah, but rest easy. My fears (as is often the case) were for naught. Anne was calling to politely tell me they were “going in a different direction.” I would not have to shave or put on long pants after all. Not today.
But it’s still good news. Why? Let me explain.
Anne works for one of those companies that actually believes in the candidate experience as a measure of their culture. She kept me warm throughout the process, ensured I knew that to expect in the first few rounds, and followed up with email and phone calls. She did the full life cycle recruiting including updating candidates. A lot of companies – maybe most – don’t.
We talk in HR about engagement and encouragement and people finding joy in work. We trill about making ourselves employee-friendly if not employee-centric. We drone on about the difference between ourselves and all the other companies who look like us. But we seldom think about the little things, the 1,000 items that must be executed day in and day out to make a culture truly great. It’s trusting the process like Nick Saban, or, do your job like Bill Belichick. Doing the things that great companies do every day.
Like you, I’ll spend a few minutes with anyone who calls about an opportunity. I’ve made lots of contacts and friends in doing so even if they couldn’t entice me to leave my employer. And, just like you, I’ve interviewed for more jobs than I’ve been offered. So rejection is something you learn from and accept. Sadly, due to the over-bearing legalistic bent in US employment many companies plead the fifth when it comes to explaining why they “went another direction.” They won’t even acknowledge you’re no longer an active candidate.
I’m not happy about missing this opportunity, yet Anne handled the notification personally and professionally and I think more of her – and her employer – for doing so. Will I ever work there? Who knows. Will I ever tell others to consider them? Absolutely.
Its good news.