Labor-Management Poster

August 5, 2015

R-E-S-P-E-C-T… Just A Little Bit! The Recruiting Bill Of Rights

by Patricia Palleschi, Ph.D., President of The Executive Agency

Appropriating the words of Aretha Franklin — and the sentiments of many of you — all we need is a bit more RESPECT to make the recruiting process a lot more effective.

  1. Applicants have the freedom NOT to disclose some information during the hiring process. For instance, last salary may not be relevant to hiring. (What if the applicant is open to a lower salary? Or had been underpaid?)
  2. Applicants have the right to LEAVE OFF SOME INFORMATION from the universally dreaded Applicant Tracking System and still complete their application. Come on… all it takes is a little programming.
  3. Applicants have the freedom not to talk about a specific gap in their work history without having negative consequences. I consider spaces in work history which involve childcare, health, or other aspects of private life to be… private. And to be respected. Isn’t the real question, can the applicant perform the job, NOW?
  4. Applicants have the right not to be judged on age, sex, religion, ethnicity, etc. On the other hand, HR and the hiring manager have the right not to GUESS at answers around these issues.
  5. Applicants have the right to apply for positions in companies where they are not an obvious fit, and be seriously considered for the job. HR and Hiring Managers have the freedom to hire great people who may disrupt their culture for the better. As Freddy Nager of Atomic Tango commented, would Apple TODAY have hired the young Steven Jobs?
  6. Applicants have the right to know when a company has received their application for a position. Applicants have the right to know when a position has been eliminated. And it is a form of cruel and unusual punishment not to let an applicant have this information in a speedy manner.
  7. Applicants have the right to control when a company speaks to references. Preferably the company would refrain talking to references until the last step, or candidates run into causing “reference fatigue.”
  8. HR has the right to refuse to pacify those who may request that HR “call around” to find out about prospects for the sound reason that hiring decisions based on gossip are likely to be faulty!
  9. Unpaid interns (now that we have them again!) have the rights of personhood. You know, the same respect that others in your company get — like being called by name or being given regular hours.
  10. Recruiters have the right to recommend someone to the hiring manager who is making less than (or more than) the target salary… because in the real world we’ve agreed that hiring decisions are based on complex factors that tie into “total rewards” and ROI of performance.

As for Applicants and salary? NO ONE I know believes that Salary = Happiness in the 21st Century, but many live their lives believing that great work, a great boss, and a fair salary bring satisfaction.

There may be more rights… your comments are welcomed!
All I really want to do is get a little RESPECT into the hiring system.

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The Founder and President of The Executive Agency, Patricia consults organizations, teams, and individuals who want to improve performance. She previously held executive positions at Bank of America and Disney, and taught at Loyola Marymount University and Antioch University Los Angeles. Pat received her Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

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