Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Companies should give rejected job applicants some constructive feedback

A publication named “Business Management” offers companies some advice on what to tell applicants whom they did not hire. 

The canned “your qualifications don’t match our needs at this time” (note the last three words, everybody has used them ever since I started out in the job market in 1969) may not stand up as reliably to discrimination complaints as it sounds, and may not stop possible harassment.

The article says to give some unbiased constructive “criticism”, in the link here

I can recall having an interview in Bloomington MN, arranged by a headhunter, on Sept. 11, 2002 (I didn’t want to do it that day, but “they” insisted), for a mainframe job at Express Scripts.  A woman interviewed me in the lobby of a gorgeous suburban office part building, palatial surroundings near the Mall of America.  I had some Murach textbooks on DB2 and CICS programming with me to make the point that I knew my technical stuff.  There was one other candidate, probably aiming for a lower rate.

I got the feedback through the headhunter – I remember the call on a old, very unsmart USWest cell phone, that I had “tried too hard”.  Apparently the other candidate also got the same feedback.  The headhunter had told her, really, people are trying hard because the post 9/11 economy was tough and people needed jobs and the post Y2K old style in-house mainframe market was imploding. 

Later, it turned out, according to an email that was forwarded to me by the headhunter, that she never had complete authorization to hire anyone, and was going to meet her needs “in house”.  I have no way to judge what really happened except based on what I was told.

Carrie Krueger on "Job Fully" talks about rejections:

I have been told only once, in a rejection letter, that a company (United Airlines, back in 1969) had "other candidates" who were better.  In another case (ARCO, Dallas, 1983), I was told that the decision among three interviewers was "not unanimous".  And from JC Penny Life Insurance, in 1981 in Dallas (the interview was on a Saturday morning), I was told that I was almost "too logical" and could create conflict among the manager's other subordinates by acting critical of them.  That's interesting!

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