Lack of courtesy to job applicants


I have been watching my wife apply for jobs that past couple of years and I see that things have changed since I left college and sought employment.

It used to be a “first party” thing, in that you appeared in front of the person at the gateway, the front desk or sometimes even the actual person who did the hiring and you presented your carefully prepared resume and other important information. You dressed for that event like we did for church in the old days.  Suit and tie for men or a tasteful dress or business suit for the ladies.

After a reasonable time you heard from them one way or the other.  I have a file full of letters telling me another person was selected. And as I was gainfully employed for many years in my profession, sometimes I got the job.

Today however, we have converted to the internet.  You find the company and the job on the internet, apply for it there and get the results there also — sometimes.

I have no problem with people who feel their best interests for hiring new employees is served sight unseen and based solely upon an email or resume.  What I find appalling is that so many potential employers do not respond at all, if they did not select you.

I know when the internet replaced traditional hiring. What I do not know is when it replaced common courtesy. If a person takes the time to educate themselves, often at a high personal cost, then searches out your firm and prepares a package for your enlightenment and sends it to you for your consideration, would it not be nice for you to at the very least acknowledge that person in some way? How much of your time will it take to acknowledge their efforts? Is it polite to let them wonder if you even received their information?  Would it break your company financially to mention what they could do to make themselves a better candidate? If that is the case, they are lucky you ignored them.

In the case of some people like my wife; people who are not desperate for immediate employment or those who do not have to accept substandard pay and treatment to be employed at all, you might be ignored in turn with future employment  offers.  Is that profitable for you in the long term when the best people ignore you and your firm?  I know people right now who will not respond in any way to offers from certain firms that have made for themselves a reputation of being rude or just a tough place to be employed.

Once again, is that really in your long-term interests?   Some things from the old days still remain in force.  One is that courtesy goes a long way.