Doing the Right Thing

The difficult thing about having your own blog is that you have to come up with something to write every week. Good bloggers can do it daily or even hourly. I am not one of those people. The good thing about having a blog is that you get to write whatever you want and put it out there where anybody can read it. In my case, I don’t care if the reader agrees with what I write. I only care that someone is reading it, and maybe, if they are in a job search, they stop and think a little differently about the process and maybe about themselves.

Well, this blog isn’t about that. Although it might be, depending on which side of the desk you currently find yourself.

I believe we are experiencing an unprecedented lack of professional courtesy in the job search market place. I’m not referring to the “we can’t possibly get back to everyone who applies” excuse. I don’t have a problem with that. If you are in transition and all you do is blanket the countryside with your resume, then you deserve what you get.

I am referring to those situations where a conversation has occurred, and the company representative commits to following up within a certain date and then disappears. I’ve asked a number of people, including a number HR professionals, why this continues to happen. The immediate response is either, “we don’t do that”, or “we are being asked to do more and more with less people. There just isn’t enough time.” Horse Hockey!

Not enough time to be courteous? This is happening at all organizational levels from the corner office on down. It is especially prevalent in, wait for it, third party recruiting firms. What does it cost to be fair and equitable in communicating with potential candidates? What does it say about your company as a place to work? How would you define courtesy if you were the person waiting for the phone to ring? Knowing is better than not knowing regardless of the answer. I guess people can’t wait to deliver the good news but can always wait to deliver the bad.

I have a long standing relationship with Jesse Owens, the principal at Merle Owens & Associates, a retained search executive firm in the DFW area. Jesse is a good business man and an honorable professional. He gets it. He does what he says he is going to do and has done what he says he has done. If he tells you he will call you by a certain day and time, then he will. Whether he has good news, no news or, yes, bad news, Jesse will follow up. He knows that doing the right thing is more important than doing something right.

Today, it appears, that this is a rare quality.

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