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Hey HR Pros! Stay Classy When You Have Jobs and Nobody Else Does...

If you're lucky enough to be working for a company that has jobs to fill and candidates to source during this downer of an economy, take a deep breath - a lot of your peers aren't in that position.  It's a great (make that the preferred) position to be in, and chances are you're going to see more candidates than usual, although I've written in the past that I still believe the true passive candidate is hunkering down where they are, rather than looking for a new gig in this economy.  After all, if their company hasn't had layoffs, why would they take the risk on a company they really know nothing about?

But back to the point.  <Bad economy> + <you with jobs> (when most don't have them to offer) = <youStay classy and your company in a position of power over candidates>.  That's the good news.  But don't get cocky - candidates will still judge how they're treated by your company when the economy sucks, and if you rough them up during the process just because you can, they're going to stick it to the man when the next gold rush begins.

In other words, like Ron Burgundy said, "stay classy San Diego".  More on that topic from a past Business Week post:

"Advice to companies tempted to play hard ball with job applicants as unemployment rates rise: Think again. Employees who say they were mistreated during hiring feel less committed—for years. Researchers at Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management surveyed roughly 100 MBA graduates about how they were hired by their employers. Those who felt they had been treated unfairly were twice as likely to be looking for opportunities outside their company, says Vanderbilt management professor Ray Friedman, “even after five years.”

On his list of common “interactional injustices” during hiring are slow responses from employers, offers that are withdrawn if not accepted immediately, and “a company whose attitude is, ‘You need us.’” The lesson for businesses positioning themselves to succeed in the economic recovery: “Don’t abuse the momentary power you have as an employer. It’ll come back to bite you.”

On that list, slow responses are a chronic problem, so I'll pass on that.  The real power for people like you with jobs to offer in a bad economy is money and respect.  Don't lowball someone because you can, treat the candidate like you want them to be around for a long time. 

The take it or leave it attitude?  I suspect that's laziness on our part, not selling as hard as we can, because we don't have to in recession.  Keep selling why they should be a part of the team, even if you're not competing against anyone else.

As for the vanishing offer where you can't give the candidate a few days to ponder their future?  If you do that, you're a pig.  And you get what you deserve when the candidate (now an employee) emails you their resignation letter and doesn't work out a notice two years from now. 



Eric Winegardner talked about this at Onrec, or rather, how we label candidates and job seekers. Here was my takeaway: with unemployment at 10.2% and roughly six applicants per job, the way we treat candidates speaks *volumes* about our morals & values. Be careful how you label candidates as a recruiter, and remember that the unemployed person looking for a job could easily be you.

Rachel Simpson

Yes this is something very interesting for the people working in HR post or jobs.


I agree with Laurie that how you treat candidates (in good times and bad) speaks volumes about your company and its values.

A company that is quick to take advantage of a weak labor market and treat candidates poorly will also treat existing employees poorly when they get the chance.

And since a company is nothing more than a group of people, I challenge HR pros to look in the mirror. If you catch yourself behaving this way ask is it you or is it the company. If it is not you, but the company, why are you working there?

social media application developers

Nice post, great detail. I would have liked to see the costs that are associated to it so I could add to my business case justifi cations to use the technology. Keep up the good work! Great Job!!! Informative and attention keeping!

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