Advice to Employers Searching for Excellent Employees


I have not whined about this to y'all very much, but I am in my fifth month of job hunting. I graduated in December full of expectations which were not beyond the scope of reality.

I live in one of the THREE MOST poverty-stricken counties (but we call them parishes) in the whole United States of America. Therefore, I realized that my employment opportunites were very limited. There is no option to move. I have never in my life had such a problem finding a job. My first job fell in my lap as did my last job (not counting my grant writing business). Katrina devastated the available monetary resources of most parishes in Louisiana leaving very little for extraneous expenditures such as hiring a grant writer.

I know! They can't afford not to hire a grant writer. But sometimes the forest obscures the trees.

I cannot move because I am the caregiver for my Mom who is almost completely blind.

Therefore, I have been out in the forest hunting a career. I'm wearing orange to stick out from the surrounding trees. I do not have camo on, nor am I carrying a lethal weapon. But, it seems there is a dense fog because I hear the sounds of interested companies, yet no returning shouts of recognition.

It is like throwing in the hook with fresh bait. The bobber dips, I snatch to set the hook, but there is nothing there and the bait is still dangling from the hook.

I interviewed with the Parish Public Library, but they hired someone with more experience than me. That's okay, I can understand that.

I interviewed with a company from Baton Rouge. High interest. The day of decision has come and gone... no answer to 2 emails and the phone message is unanswered. I interviewed with the CEO, head honcho... so there's no hems, haws or coaxings to wade through or wait for. Decision maker has disappeared off the radar.

I interviewed briefly through email with a company from Washington, D.C. Then dead silence. No answer to emails or phone call.

I'll stop with these two examples. If I were reading that book "He's Not That Into You", I'd say they aren't that into me or they have found another sweetie to woo. But, surely the etiquette in Job Market hasn't changed that much in two years?

First: Rejection is crushing. Call the applicant to set up an interview. Letters indicate rejection before they are even opened. Never send a letter to set up an interview.

Second: Return emails. Resist the temptation to prolong suspense. This is only good in excellent novels and is not appreciated by the applicant. Don't keep us wiggling on the hook. Either throw us back or put us in the keeper pile.

Third: If you want a phone interview, then set a time and follow through. Why ask for a phone interview and then never respond after that?

Fourth: Before you toss your hook in the water, make sure you know what kind of fish...er, applicant you need and don't be afraid to be specific. That saves a lot of wasted time and energy for both of us.

Fifth: If your "opportunity" is MLM (Multi-Level Marketing), for goodness sakes say so. Offer all the particulars up front and quit the hems, haws and coaxings. It wastes too much time. (I know this because I was a Director for an MLM). No one wants to spend 30 minutes on a long-distance phone call if they don't know what the product is.

Sixth: I love the "if you are still interested" response. It kicks! Tell me what you are looking for, how much it pays, your precise expectations and then tell me, "If you are still interested _________." That is the best time saver ever.

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