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Are You Behaving like an Adult in Your Job Search?

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by Mark Smith

almost 3 years ago

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‘Behave like an adult!’ 

We have all heard it or used it. It's a throwaway line we request of our children…and sometimes others, behaviours that are 'the norm' socially and reflect expected actions of a reasonable person. It's not asking for anything exceptional, just the behaviours we all would expect. So why am I mentioning this now? When anyone engages personal services, such as an accountant, doctor, dentist or, indeed, a recruiter, you have the expectation of receiving a professional, personal service with integrity. At people2people, this clearly comes through on our candidate feedback surveys. 

What I am constantly surprised by is the fact that these expected service and behaviour levels are not reciprocated. What I mean here is that the consumer does not behave in the way that they expect the service provider to behave. In recruitment, our service to job seekers is free. Our service levels are important in maintaining a community of available talent for our clients, so, although the job seeker does not incur a fee, it’s profoundly important we maintain service levels to job seekers. The reputation of recruiters is not highly regarded in this area, and, although many firms purport to provide 'candidate care', few succeed.

My post today is about the behaviour of job seekers who expect an adult service but, in many instances, behave like children!

During the course of this week, we had a job seeker register with people2people for temporary and contract work. Our temporary teams are busy and secured work for him quickly. This was a new client for people2people and with a company we have been endeavouring to work with for some time. The client was delighted that we had managed to secure such a high quality candidate very quickly. After accepting the role, people2people confirmed the assignment in writing with the job seeker, with the role to commence the following day. At 8:30 pm the night before the role was due to start, the people2people consultant received an email from the job seeker stating that they had just accepted another role and would not be going to work tomorrow, and, if necessary, we could call him to discuss the situation the following morning. 

Is this the behaviour of an adult? Is this the behaviour you would want from your accountant, doctor or dentist? It simply reflects the fact that the job seeker was playing two hands at the same time, i.e. endeavouring to secure the best deal without informing everyone and then not having the intestinal fortitude to inform people2people he had secured another role. My advice for job seekers is simple: treat your recruiter with the respect that you would expect for yourself. If you have a variety of prospective roles, inform the recruiter. If you are keen on another role, inform the recruiter. If you accept another position, pick up the phone and inform the recruiter. It's what you would expect if you were unsuccessful when applying for a job, so please do the same. 

That's it. I have had my rant, and tomorrow I will go back to admonishing my nieces and nephews to 'behave like adults', knowing full well they will ignore me. As my nephew said to me the other day, 'But Uncle Mark, I am not an adult!'

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