After reading this post on job seeker etiquette, I thought I would make a list of etiquette tips for recruiters who are hiring milennials. Please add yours in the comments section.

1. Respond quickly to each applicant with a description of the hiring process and a timeline.

If I don’t hear from you for a month or three, I tend to think I didn’t get the job. So when you e-mail me three months after I applied, I’m probably doing something else, or I’m no longer interested. If you can’t get back to me quickly, it tells me that you don’t have your stuff together. The excitement about getting an interview isn’t the same after such a long lag between applying and getting a call back.

2. Don’t rely on e-mail as your sole form of communication.

A phone call goes a long way. It’s personal. It’s friendly. Most of all, it shows that you are interested in the applicant.

3. It’s none of your business whom else I am interviewing with.

Maybe I’ll tell you when you make an offer, but what does it matter to you? I wouldn’t be talking to you if I wasn’t serious about your position. This is a can’t win question. If you answer that you’re interviewing with many other companies, the recruiter will think you’re not serious about the position; if you say that this is the only job you’re interviewing for, they won’t think you’re serious about looking for a job. Don’t create awkwardness by asking this question during the first interview, wait until later in the process when the answer to this question actually matters.

4. If you’re going to delay your decision, or the process has changed, let the applicant know.

It’s not hard to keep people up to date. You’re much less likely to alienate those who are in the middle of the hiring process by being up front with them.

5. Be polite to the people you turn down.

If you aren’t nice about it, you’ll never get another shot at this person again. Even if the person was clearly unqualified for the job, you don’t want someone telling their friends and blogging about how rude the recruiter from such and such company was. Moreover, the person you turned down could be a customer. Don’t turn people off to your company and its products because of your attitude – it’s not just about your employment brand. Lastly, give some constructive feedback with your rejection if you can – it’s just a nice thing to do.

6. Call when you say you’re going to call. E-mail when you say you’re going to e-mail.

When the applicant scheduled a 9:00 AM phone interview with you, he woke up early (yes that’s early for a college student, don’t look down on him for that), ate breakfast, looked over the research he did on your company, and found a quiet place to sit down and talk to you for a half an hour. I think you can be sure to take the 2 minutes to call when you said you would. And don’t ever say you’ll call on Friday, but not call until Monday – that is atrocious and makes you and your company look really bad. Even if you’re telling the person they didn’t get the job, don’t put it off at the cost of the applicant’s anxiousness and nervousness.

7. Don’t look down on an applicant for having a life or being unique.

Applicants have Facebook and MySpace profiles with inside jokes that you won’t understand. There are embarrassing pictures. Just because they look bad, doesn’t mean they are. Maybe they are bad, but can you say that nobody in your company behaves in the same way? We all have quirks, if you start picking on people for being different, you are going to end up with a pretty small pool of talent. Don’t write people off because of what you find while you’re snooping. It’s the people whom you can’t find any dirt on that you should worry about anyways, they might have made the conscious effort to hide things from you.

8. Realize that sometimes you wake us up when you call.

College students can’t really transition into the working world until they’ve actually started a job. Until then, they are living the college life, which they should be. Don’t expect all of your applicants to act like professionals yet, they’re not.

Anybody have any additions? Do any recruiters disagree with these? Why?

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2 responses to “Etiquette”

  1. aeg1011 says:

    Lots of great insight here. I would add a 9th etiquette tip – Don’t ask a prospective hire what his or her biggest shortcoming is. I have gotten this question numerous times during interviews, and I am hard-pressed to find good reason behind it. An interview is a time to showcase strengths, not to highlight weaknesses – besides, most interviewees will probably respond with a lie.

  2. Hen says:

    OMG, I am one hundred percent agree to all of your comments about the recruiters. I have had so many same responds from the recruiter such as the one above. I have had a few of the recruiters saying that they are going to call me by tomorrow, but afterwards they never did, and when I called them back for about 10+ times, they act busy and just leave me hanging with their answering machine.

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