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Job hunting harder, more stressful when employer’s human decency is lacking

Job hunting is stressful — more stressful than it needs to be when some simple human decency is missing.

First, though, a couple of reminders. As a job hunter, keep telling yourself that your timetable isn’t the same as employers’ timetables. And remember that employers care about what you can do for them, more than what they can do for you.

Keeping that perspective helps a tad when the lack-of-decency experiences hit.

A job candidate I learned about was one of two finalists for a top nonprofit job. She learned the other candidate was hired through the community grapevine, not because anyone on the nonprofit board had the courtesy to call and thank her for her time and interest in the job.

Another job candidate had face-to-face job interviews with seven different organizations. Some of the organizations conducted more than one interview with the job hunter. Of the seven, only two got back with the candidate to say they’d selected someone else. The rest fell into some kind of communication black hole.

Then there are the misleading job postings that aren’t for real, immediately available jobs. The postings look like specific job openings, but they’re really just ways for recruiting companies to find candidates to add to their files.

I heard from someone who worked for a recruiting company who became distressed at raising job hunters’ hopes.

“I don’t think it’s fair or honest,” she said. “The sad thing is, the candidates who apply and are lucky enough to get invited in for an interview have no idea that the position they are applying for does not exist.”

I want to be sympathetic to understaffed human resource departments that have a lot on their plates. But I can’t understand why organizations don’t take the time and decency to let serious job candidates know that the job search ended with the selection of someone else.

The only possible positive to come out of such inconsiderate treatment is that disappointed job candidates may comfort themselves, knowing they won’t be working for a company that’s blind to what unhappy people tell others.

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