Will You (We) Ever Change? – #myjobhunt week 3

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I’ve not had the opportunity to write too much about #myjobhunt over the last couple of weeks – to be honest I haven’t had much inclination.

Last year I was on gardening leave and not required to get up a prescribed time. Nor did I have anything other than job hunting to do each day. I did seem to get a ridiculous number of chores that seemed to spring up from nowhere. The sun was even shining then. This year I have a job to do, a job that I enjoy so my priority is to that job. I also have to admit part of me has been in denial over the last month, hoping and to a certain extent certain I would get a reprieve and get a last minute extension to my contract. Alas this was a bit foolish on my part. The reality of the situation is that my boss on the first day had told me that it was unlikely to last more than a year. I knew the parameters and in September 2010 I was prepared for that.

What I wasn’t prepared for was the scope and scale of the job ahead of me and how much needed to be done. Nor was I prepared for the team in which I would work. I was soon thinking of myself in terms of a long term employee and lost sight of the end point. Wishfully thinking that I would be made a permanent employee.

So when informed at the end of June that it was almost certainly coming to an end I was more than a little disappointed; even that’s an understatement. Yet the day came when we had to tell everyone. It made it very real at that point.

In the last post regarding #myjobhunt 2011 I mentioned that I had already started interviewing and at that time I was quite advanced with one company. There were a few other opportunities that I had started but only the one that had moved. This one job is very interesting to me on so many fronts. It ticks many boxes for me. You can therefore imagine how I felt with a limited pipeline of opportunities and a job I was excited about after 4 interviews, to be told that they were not going to be making a decision for another couple of weeks because they had two other people to interview.

Or maybe you can’t.

I had to admit that since the last interview on the previous Friday I’d felt that I didn’t perform well in the interviews, there were plenty of gaps or things I should done better or differently, maybe. As such my initial reaction was one of rejection. I clearly hadn’t done enough to give them a reason not to interview others. But thinking about it over the weekend and putting myself in the position of Hiring Manager I had to admit that interviewing all of the potentially suitable candidates makes perfect sense. So whilst still disappointed I started this last week not feeling rejected.

However this delay, as well as the fact that everyone now knows I will be leaving at the end of Sept spurred me into action.

I had a few calls with agencies and search companies with very predictable results. “oh sorry that job has gone” or “we’ll call you back” or “you don’t have enough experience” – One or two of which WILL be mentioned in a blog post once I have secured a job, so if you work for an agency and I have spoken with you this last 2 weeks and you think you may have been a touch misleading or up your own arse, you have a little while to make amends before I name and shame you.

Two weeks ago I’d received a referral from a friend in The FIRM which I followed up immediately. I further followed it up this week and have been rewarded with an interview soon. I also applied directly for another role last week, followed it up this and also now have an interview. Both of these interviews are with the companies directly, which is pleasing. Progress.

One disappointment however is a role applied for two weeks ago via a company’s career site. The job was posted by a member of The FIRM and therefore I expected a bit of either professionalism or courtesy. Sadly no response has been received to date. This week I also connected with her on LinkedIn and sent her a direct email. Still no response. Again I will be blogging about it and them once I have a job.

You (We) must do better. Recruiters or agency staff are constantly getting criticised for poor responses and lack of engagement which they all seem to want to defend. Yet my experience tells me that you (we ) don’t have a leg to stand on. WE have got to do better. One thing that it seems I need to scream loudly is that if I apply to you for a job don’t ignore me. Not only am I applying for a job that if successful could see me as your boss, but it is rude. I am not a serial applicant and every job I apply for is relevant and appropriate to me and my experience and competencies.

Rant over. I feel more positive now because I am making a real effort. I have clearly stated that I am interested in one particular job, however a delay, as any, gives me the opportunity to have my head turned by others. I am ignoring the doubts, or at least trying to and getting on with giving myself that “choice” I wrote about last year. If fortune favours me and the other candidates don’t impress or fall short and they want me, then I will have to decide at that time. Right now however I don’t have a choice and need to surge forward.

Tomorrow is another day, thankfully the last day of the week before a weekend and a recharge.

As with last year I have received the most amazing amount of support and help from my friends online and offline, some of whom are in the same position as me and possibly looking at the same jobs – I am still happy to share with them too, unless of course I am in an advanced situation with a prospective employer. Good luck to everyone and please let me know if I can be of help.

  1. I generally think it’s a good thing when recruiters sometimes have to experience the harsh realities of job-hunting – the theory obviously being that hopefully it will inform how they deal with candidates once they’re back in work.

    Hope you find something soon.

    • Couldn’t agree more Mitch – learned loads last year, spoke about it, blogged about it and frustrated that 12 months on not much has changed. Certainly it gave me a new perspetive on things last year that have benefited me.

      it made me see things differently and made me even more empathetic towards what people have to deal with as they go through a recruitment/job hunting life cylce.

      I’ve been better for it

  2. Gary,

    Great post and totally on the money.

    As you know, many a time it’s line managers and decision makers who create the lack of communication and radio silence (which, by the way, is no excuse for recruitment team to keep candidates engaged as updated) – but interestingly I’ve met lots of senior leaders who’ve been job searching in last couple of years and finding it tough when the boot is on other foot (ie no feedback or communication regarding applications or leads followed up). All vow to make sure they change when they go back into roles and, as you say, just show some common courtesy and professionalism in Getty g back to people who have taken to contact them / apply.

    So , maybe many of these people will learn lesson and change things. Especially when ‘names and shamed’ online.

    Anyway, wish you well with the search and will keep ear to the ground if I hear of anything relevant.

    Lots of senior leaders who have been through job search over last couple of years now

  3. (sorry for typos above…….I shouldn’t post comments from my fat fingered iPhone!)

    • Hi Sital, thanks for reading and for taking the time to comment. It is very very frustrating. I certainly learned loads last year and have plenty of empathy for the people in all seats within the process. Courtesy doesnt cost anything does it?

  4. Good post Gary and good luck with your search. My guess is that you’ll land a super new role through your network rather than some of the time wasters you’ve had to deal with so far in the process. It would also be good to hear (from the outside looking in) how you manage to drive this up the agenda with the FIRM. I think this goes to show that the widely held view that it’s just agency Recruiters that are the sharks and could not care less is not a sector / channel specific issue. More than the recruitment industry as a whole continues to attract more than it’s fair share of undesirables and we need to find more barriers to entry.

    There in lies another big debate on it’s own which no doubt has been endlessly talked about somewhere else already. In the meantime, all the best with the search.


  5. Hi Andy – dependable as ever. I will certainly be bringing it up and to the attention of members and see if there is any way that we can collectively work to improve this. We cannot speak to everyone who applies for a job, stats tell us most of them are a waste of time. But those applicants that are genuine must be treated with respect.

    I will agree that only the agency or search space has the sharks and I don’t think it is whether the people in the general recruiting space are undesirable or not, it all comes down to how they are trained and managed as well as the disciplines in place and enforced.

    What I will agree with is that whilst there are plenty of excuses for recruiters not responding to an application, they are easily addressed if taken seriously by HR management. Sadly they don’t generally seem to be. I want to do something about this.

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