Thursday, May 13, 2010

Good Gatekeeper, Bad Gatekeeper (Part 2)

There's a hole I keep digging myself into. I promise a job seeker that I'll respond to them by a certain date, and then I forget to follow up. Grrr. I do it less that I used to, but it still happens.

When I talk to you on the phone and you're a fit for a position, I want to keep you interested. What I tell you is something like "You'll hear from me by end of day on Friday", but Friday passes by and you're wondering what the heck happened. What's also obnoxious is knowing I said I'd follow up, but forgetting who I told that to :P If you haven't heard from me, the thing to do is follow up.

Companies and recruiters don't have a short term incentive to follow up. After all, it does take a lot of time and energy to do reach out to 99% of the people you don't hire and tell them "Hey, you didn't get the job". Still, I've decided to make it a priority convey news to job seekers, good or bad, 100% of the time.

Something I find interesting is that no piece of recruiting software that I've seen requires companies to follow up with job seekers, not even an automated email to indicate a job has been filled. That tells me that recruiting software vendors don't know how to meaningfully engage job seekers.

For now I just do the best I can to follow up. In case any one is curious why I've forgotten to follow up, here's a list of non-excusable reasons why it didn't happen:

  • I lost track of your applicantion. Even the most powerful applicant tracking systems I've used such as Taleo, Jobvite, and MaxHire don't make this easy for me. I'm sure they'd argue differently, but I respectfully disagree.

  • My feedback to you was contingent on getting feedback from someone else that never came. I should follow up with that person, too, but again current software systems don't make this an automatic function and I'm still learning to be more proactive.

  • Recruiting was put on hold, but it might start back up again. It can be hard to balance giving you too much or too little information.

  • Sometimes I think you're both qualified and not the strongest applicant. When you're in the maybe pile, that's pretty much like being in limbo.

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