You read a lot about employers making the job search process painful, to the point I’ve given up applying for job postings. Most employers have made this process inhumane and demoralizing for applicant, however, not all companies are cruel.
Today, I want to tell you a story about a company that got it RIGHT!
After I was laid off from my last position for reasons I learned from, I applied for a Digital Marketing position at Pacific Customs Brokers, via Indeed.
The First Interview
Michel, their inhouse HR recruiter, contacted me excited by my application, which made feel good and boosted my confidence. When someone is excited to talk to you, it inspires you to get excited about talking to them.
Michel and I had an interesting conversation over the phone and this lead to scheduling an interview with their president, Greg, within a couple of days. During the first face to face interview, Greg was tough to impress and I was sweating bullets, however, he gave me valuable feedback to help me prepare for the second interview with the company.
I left knowing I’d come up short, but with the opportunity of a second chance to get it right. I have never had this happen before and I doubt I ever will again. Most hiring managers and decision makers make a snap judgement within minutes of meeting you and give you no feedback, let alone a second chance.
The Second Interview
Second interview was with four people and myself. Greg was tough & clear about what they were looking for. Something about this man makes a person very nervous, still he was clear and I felt he was rooting for me to get it right.
I left this interview feeling well done and a bit charred from the grilling and not completely confident in my performance. I went and had a few drinks and gave myself a pep talk. I knew I’d answered a few of the technical questions wrong and hadn’t explained what I meant clear enough. In the end, I let all expectations go and moved on to other opportunities, some of which I am still in the middle of their hiring process.
From beginning to end, it took over six weeks. During this time, Michel would contact me to let me know what was happening and what the next step was. I never felt in the dark or disrespected as just a number, commodity, or faceless applicant.
They finally made their decision, and I was not offered the position, however, this is where Michel did the company proud. He called me, explained that they found someone with Custom Brokerage experience and wished me luck in my job search.
I came away from the process with a clear understanding that my competition had something I didn’t and it wasn’t personal. The decision was based on experience, not whether I was ‘likable,’ it didn’t feel like a popularity or personality decision. I had a useful fact, which I was able to understand, to help me rationalize not getting the offer.
I felt respected and valued even though I didn’t get the position. If this is how they treat candidates, imagine how well employees must be treated.
This positive experience is rare, at least for me. Most times when a person interviews for a position, they are given no reason why they were not given an offer and after months of silent rejections, this can mess with a person’s confidence and motivation. Add to it the placating comments people make that invalidate what you are feeling, an extended period of time, and some abject failures, it can drive a person to the edge. Some days I swear I stepped off the edge a few miles back.
If managers were open, empathetic, and compassionate enough to communicate honestly with applicants about what they actually are looking for, what they truly want, and why a candidate came up short in regards to their competition, the job process would not be so painful.
At the same time, applicants have to take responsibility for not selling themselves, not communicating clearly, and be realistic about their ability to meet the employers needs.