HR Hartley

HR needs to improve its wooing skills

It seems that HR has a truckload of work to do on interviewing techniques,
if Reed’s jobseeker survey is anything to go by (News, 23 March).

We’re all battling to recruit the right people and unemployment is at an all
time low, yet we’re failing to take the interview process seriously. Two out of
three candidates are turning down jobs because they are unimpressed at best,
and cheesed off at worst, by the interview they’ve had.

Part of the problem of course is those damned line managers, who are doing
daft things such as swearing during interviews, flirting with candidates and
taking phone calls at inappropriate moments.

HR needs to be pushing more basic training for interview skills. And we’ve
got to sharpen our act and lead by example. We need to remember, for instance,
to do the little things – such as reading a person’s CV before interviewing

Let’s push the cause for common courtesy. Insisting that all job applicants
are replied to within a certain time frame, whether they’re suitable for an
interview or not, is a good start.

Last week, Personnel Today asked readers to write in and tell us about their
worst interview experience with a prospective employer. Here’s just a taste of
some of the replies:

– ‘I was left in an office for 40 minutes waiting for a manager to meet me.
They finally turned up totally unprepared.’

– ‘I was interviewed by a deputy manager while the senior manager read a

– ‘The interview I had seemed to be for a different job than the one I had
applied for.’

– ‘An area manager stated halfway through my interview: "So you’re a
lesbian, then".’

HR – we have a problem…

Hartley is an HR director at large

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