Girl hiding from her responsibilities behind a tree

Sort it out, kids!

I’m going to sound like a grumpy old man here, but because I think I am a grumpy old man in some ways, I don’t care.  Here’s my question:


Specifically: why don’t you seem to know basic good manners?  Since Christmas we’ve had a much higher than usual number of no-shows.  This is where we’ve arranged an interview, or set someone up to take a test, or even offered them a job, and they have simply disappeared off the face of the earth.

Not only do they fail to attend the interview, sit the test, or start work, but they also fail to let us know that they are doing this.  We chase, of course.  We call, we text, we email.  Sometimes we write a letter.  Once we even paid a visit in person, to recover some property that belonged to the client, after the candidate walked out of the job.

We also check the local news to see if they have been in a terrible accident.  But they never have.

We’re not idiots.  It’s a very simple formula: the keener the candidate, the better the lines of communication.  So it’s usually clear that the Scarlet Pimpernel of the moment has lost interest in the role we were discussing.  But still we chase, because sometimes there is a good reason for it, and we owe it to our client to cover all bases.  But once someone starts avoiding contact, it’s pretty much a certainty that we won’t hear from them again.

It’s unprofessional and it’s cowardly.  These days there are many ways to communicate while hiding behind the digital sofa.  Email, text, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn.  You name it.

And I’m sorry to say that it’s usually people younger than me who behave like this (I’m 44).  Not all, by any means, but some.*

And what’s the end result of burying your head in the sand?  You don’t have to go to the interview.  But it wasn’t compulsory in the first place!  We might be disappointed, but we understand that circumstances can change.  And you’re usually not the only candidate we’re considering, so we don’t lose out in the end.  We won’t shout at you, if that’s what you’re worried about.

The more permanent result is that we remember how you behaved on this occasion, and we will be cautious about working with you again.  And if you’ve done this with us, you’ve probably done it to other recruiters.  And perhaps you behave like this in your professional life too.

Listen to the wisdom of this grumpy old man, and think about mending your ways.  Face up to difficult situations and you’ll be a better person for it.

It’s absolutely fair enough to change your mind about a job.  Just let us know!



*Disclaimer: the majority of candidates – of all ages – do act in a professional way.  They are let down by a few.

Rant over.