I’ve heard job seekers — and even career professionals — say you should judge a company by the job hiring process. Did the company answer your emails? Were you kept informed along the way? Did you feel valued every step of the process?
Well … here’s my take on it. You just can’t tell for sure if the hiring process you’re experiencing actually reflects the company. Or the specific department you’d be joining. Even if you interviewed with the department and haven’t heard back — that may have nothing to do with how they treat employees. Or feel about you.
“Well they can at least answer my emails!”
Truth is they can’t always answer. They may have internal policy reasons not to. Or they’re juggling way too many balls at once to even think about anything but getting people interviewed — which is why they need you in the first place.
And as much as we want the job hiring process to feel more human-centered, many companies are simply not aware of what career experts consider proper job hiring process etiquette. Or they are aware to some degree, but time feels different to a company actively engaged in doing day-to-day business.
Is all that fair to you? Not really. But that doesn’t mean the job will treat you that way once you’re hired. And I know that to be true from much personal experience. Also … jobs that treat you like royalty all the way through may not live up to that initial impression.
But, you should certainly take all this into account when deciding if you want the job. Are people basically nice but you’re not getting enough feedback or responses from them after the interview? Or is there a feeling of general rudeness and lack of any human-centered consideration throughout the job hiring process?
Reasons companies don’t keep you informed
To sum things up, while it would be easy to judge a company by their job hiring process, here’s why you shouldn’t. Or at least why you should look deeper for information about who they are. And how they treat employees. Sites like Glassdoor, Indeed, LinkedIn and some good old googling can help you build a better picture.
Now for some of those reasons:
- Legal Dept. sets rules that forbid “unofficial” communication, even if the department wants to respond.
- Human Resources controls all communication, and they follow a strict process.
- Folks involved in interviewing are already multi-tasking and not thinking about the job hiring process in-between interviews. Job seekers, of course, are thinking about it every minute.
- They don’t know what career experts say on the Internet. They’re just doing their jobs and hoping for a great new hire to help.
- Many companies, especially smaller ones. select people with little or no hiring experience to conduct the process. Even big companies don’t always train every person involved.
- Hiring is often seen as an extra function and not critical to the company — although it is.
Again, if the company or if people in your future department truly treat you badly, take that seriously. But remember what else might be going on to put how you feel in perspective.
And also remember, when a job search goes on longer than you wish, you may already feel beaten up. So small slights can feel a lot bigger — even if they are not in any way indicative of working there.
Want to judge the company? Do your research
While you still should factor in your ongoing interactions with the company — or lack of it — also try to look beyond. Good jobs are hard to come by. So if they are already interested in you, take the time and effort to give yourself a better picture of the whole.
While snappy internet advice is easy to give, the advice you read isn’t always nuanced by the reality of the job hiring process. And feeling the anger rise when you hear only silence can feel righteous, but your actions should take into account what is best for you.
They say don’t judge a book by its cover. And the job hiring process — often not in the control of people you’d actually be working with — is in many cases just the cover. So do your research. And use your best observation skills along the way to help paint a more complete picture
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