Why oh why do HR departments not practise what they preach when they’re recruiting?
Last year, I applied to join a large financial institution. I was told they wanted a quick process, but the nine interviews they arranged – six with the senior HR team, three with the heads of operations I would be supporting – took nearly five months. I eventually withdrew from the process.
On average, for an HR manager role, I am asked to attend at least four interviews. Then they are shocked when I ask to meet my potential customers and direct reports before accepting any offer. I had an offer withdrawn after making this request.
The horrors don’t end there. In the past year, I have been stood up by a potential employer when his diary suddenly filled up – and who did not seem to grasp the fact that I had made a three-hour journey to meet him. I have also been asked outright if I was “thinking of having kids any time soon, as the biological clock must be ticking away at my age”.
I was asked by another prospective employer if I’d ever had an affair with a boss or co-worker. I even shocked one interviewer when she saw I was a woman, as I have a unisex name.
Another interviewer apologised after repeatedly burping loudly during my interview, stating that he’d been on the lash the night before and was hungover.
Employers, please appreciate that most candidates are already in employment and yours will not be the only role they are considering when scheduling endless rounds of interviews. So don’t waste my time or yours.