Why can’t job applicants be treated better?

Someday, we hope, employers are going to be back where they were in the ’90s: desperate for people to hire. And when that day comes, there’s going to be a reckoning with the people many treated so poorly during the century so far.

It’s a buyer’s market, of course, but why should simple courtesies be ignored?

Writing on his blog “Ask the Headhunter” today, Nick Corcodilos suggests a letter like this:


Dear [name]:

My time for our first interview was free, as it was an exploratory meeting. You requested more time for the second round of meetings, which I provided at no cost, contingent on your company fulfilling its commitment to respond with a decision by the date you chose, April 1. You ignored my calls, emails, and your own deadline, without the courtesy of a notice.

I am thus billing you for the eight hours of my professional time spent in the second round of meetings with your team. As a professional, I would never dream of being irresponsible with the time of my clients, my vendors, or my employer. Time is money. I live by the deadlines I commit to, and I expect others to do the same. Anything less would be irresponsible to our industry and to our profession. None of us could operate with integrity if we ignored our commitments. This is not a joke. I expect payment within 10 days.

Yours truly,

Please let the day of reckoning come soon.

  • Mark Gisleson

    I’m a former union guy who went on to write a lot of resumes for people. Only white collar types think this way. Everyone else knows job interviews are free auditions because he/she who has the job makes the rules. It’s always been that way.

    When I read things like this, I smile because here is someone from the culture of white collar entitlement who is offended because he has been treated like a lowly blue/pink collar worker.

  • cori w

    This is oh so true. I have had this happen to me a number of times, get called in for a second/third interview THAT DAY, have drop everything and head right in (luckily having a flexible daycare center who had the room in their schedule so I could drop my child off at a moment’s notice), be one of two left standing for the job. Then, crickets… Nothing. No email, phone call, smoke signal, nada. And repeat. Unacceptable.

  • jon

    If companies treat job applicants like they are people now, they might expect it when they are employees… Probably easier to nip this kinda thing in the bud.

  • Kevin Watterson

    Having hired people and now being in the position of trying to get hired, I could go on and on.

  • Jackie

    What these prospective employers often forget is that the interviewees may some day be in the position to buy their product. Given the poor response that my spouse got from many employers during the last job search, I would not be inclined to buy any of the products that they sell.

    Really – is it so hard to send even a generic e-mail to say thanks, but no thanks?