My recruitment business is small, specialist and independent. We all pitch in, work as a team, share the washing up and answer the phone.
This week a particular candidate called in and asked for one of my colleagues. When I told them he was unavailable they clicked their tongue, sighed heavily and changed their tone completely.
I asked if I could help in any way or take a message but they cut me off completely refusing to leave their details. I asked if they had left any previous messages for the consultant, they answered no and said they would call back before hanging up.
Later in the afternoon the same candidate called back, this time they were curt from the outset, unfortunately, again the consultant was on the phone (sales offices huh?) This time however the candidate declared the “…situation is ridiculous! I’ve left several messages already!” I asked who or where they had left the messages and they replied “With the other receptionist!” You guessed it, there was no other ‘receptionist’ that day.
Instead of challenging someone who was already aggressive, I again asked them for their name and nature of the call and offered to help. Once more they rang off. I took note of the number on caller id and spoke to the consultant.
When they did manage to connect to the Consultant later on they were polite, calm and amiable. The Consultant asked them about the earlier messages and the Candidate denied all knowledge of calling previously.
Now there are two points here:
- Simply treat people how you wish to be treated. People talk in an organisation whether big or small. CAREEREALISM-Approved Expert, Ilona Vanderwoude Post: “Are These Personal Patterns Sabotaging Your Job or Career Transition?” is a good read and highlights the point
“Do you get curt with service staff in restaurants and other places? When going on interviews; be mindful of how you treat receptionists and assistants at these companies as they are often asked about their impressions of the candidates! (And what were you thinking in the first place; show some respect for your fellow citizens; regardless of their socio-economic position!)”
- The little lies will get you. The likelihood is you’ll get found out. If you do the consequences can be great even if the lie small and white. In the past I have had a candidate nearly lose a position when after a very short period out of work, they told the interviewer they had been travelling abroad, when in fact they had remained in the UK. The problem was the position needed security clearance and any period abroad needed to be checked out. The fact that you lied in anyway places a question mark over your integrity for the future.
In a time when it seems we all have less patience and manners on the slide, (another good read: Job Interview Etiquette: Mind Your Ps and Qs from The Undercover Recruiter’s Blog ) it’s even more important to treat people with courtesy.
So in the words of Aretha …. RESPECT