Service of the Humbling Job Hunt That Doesn’t Have to Be

July 22nd, 2019

Categories: Compassion, Human Resources, Job Hunt

I remember an interview at a major PR firm years ago. I left walking on a cloud even though there were no jobs for me. The HR manager was spectacular–he made me feel great about my career and my prospects and we laughed a lot.

Encouraging job-seekers is the gold standard and should be the mission of anyone responsible for adding staff or is in even the smallest part of the process. Unfortunately, it’s not the case as often as it should be. A positive approach and refusal also goes for decision-makers inviting vendors to bid on a project.

I’ve covered the tribulations of job hunting before, most recently last December in “Service of Employee Behavior” where I protested how important a simple follow up to a scrubbed candidate is, especially after the person has prepared for and gone through an interview process. If for no other reason, it frees the conscientious candidate from making repeated follow-ups to no avail. It is respectful and reflects well on the company.

There are exceptions: when the reply is a putdown the recipient would have been better off with silence. An example was the arrogant response to a friend’s outreach to a communications company which inspired this post. He was told he “wasn’t a fit.” [Actually, he was.] The reaction of a colleague, to whom I shared this incident, was “at least he got a reply. Most people don’t.”

Another friend arranges her calendar around the many telephone interviews that are essential to her job hunt. She waited for one scheduled call, rang the person when the phone stayed mute for minutes after the appointed time. Eventually she called him and left a  him a voicemail message.  She never again heard from this person. Outrageous.

A top editor told me, after she was laid off and had become a freelance writer, how sorry she was that she’d been so abrupt with or unresponsive to writers who’d approached her with story ideas after she’d experienced how it felt to be on the other side of the ask.

Is self-importance the rule or the exception for those in the hiring business whether for a job or a project? Have you come across exemplary people in these roles or outstandingly nasty ones?

4 Responses to “Service of the Humbling Job Hunt That Doesn’t Have to Be”

  1. Vicki Hidalgo Said:

    Vicki wrote on Facebook: Personally I am seeing major companies rely on websites and the internet eliminating a Human Resource person. An HR person is critical to nurturing and recognizing talent for companies to grow and prosper.

  2. Jeanne Byington Said:


    I don’t think HR talent is eliminated–it just takes a long while before a job hunter sees a person and the same with recruiters seeing candidates. In a previous post, “Service of Recommendations That Make it Easy on Recruiters,”, I wrote about the electronic forms I’ve been asked to fill out for recommendations that hardly gave enough info to HR and supposedly saved staff time. Useless. A shame when people don’t know when and when not to rely on technology to streamline their tasks.

  3. Lucrezia Said:

    There are good and bad examples of both job seekers and HR people. I suspect all of us could comment on examples up and down the scale. We’re humans, and not everyone occupies the proper job slot!

  4. Jeanne Byington Said:


    That’s for sure….but the good ones are great and can inspire and uplift. That’s the “it doesn’t have to be” part of the title of my post. I also suspect that like the editor I wrote about, any of the HR people who find themselves knocking on doors for a job will be kinder to candidates in their next position.

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