HR Calls Candidate for Interview – Gets a Bollocking

Recently our contributor InsideJobber has been researching recruitment. As full-time IT contractors we get to do a lot of interviews, and as part-time professional writers it behooves us to share our experiences. The two opportunities that IJ has been persuing since Sept 1st, have opened up new vistas in the realm of dysfunctional recruitment, and our man has been in the thick of it.

We’ve kept good reporter’s notes and in due course we will be publishing a series of articles describing the entire saga in all its ludicrous, inefficient, and incompetent glory. Today, an end was bought to it. After a series of seven interviews – just for one company you understand – our man was told yesterday that there would be “just three more” interviews and then they could make a decision.

Here’s the dispatch we received from InsideJobber on the scene:

Dateline: Zürich, 4-Nov-2014
Bought an end to it. One can have too much.

Late on Monday they hastily arranged a 10:00 phone call for today’s “motivational interview” with HR, in spite of the fact that their client has said six weeks ago they’d like us on-board. Wednesday they want me back at the client site for a walkabout – even though I already worked in that building for a year. Right in the middle of the day of course. I’d lose four hours on it – just to spend an hour “familiarising” myself with somewhere I already know. These guys never hire anybody currently out of a job, so they knew that for today’s call I’d have to take a half-hour off work and book a meeting room, and will lose another five-hundred bucks on tomorrow’s exercise. Then a further call sometime later.

I get in early this morning, and decide I’ll skip lunch to recoup the time. I’m in the meeting room a few minutes early to get settled in and waited for them to call. Characteristically, they didn’t. I made myself available for 15 minutes then decided to call it off and went back to my desk to get on with something productive. Before starting that, I sent a quick email to the recruiter to complain that yet again their person has failed to call and that I am undecided if I wish to continue. I left her to ponder what my reaction is likely to be if they ever had the temerity to treat the promptness of salary payments with such disdain.

At 10:30 the call comes in. It’s the lady from HR. Thirty-minutes late for a thirty-minute meeting – stick that on her 360. We all have our opinions of HR – and as contractors our opinion is generally “avoid” – but this firm’s anti-professionalism, however, can no longer be tolerated.

So I’ve given it up as a bad job and given HR a well-deserved bollocking.

IJ: “You’re late. You were suppposed to call 30 minutes ago. I took time off work and booked a meeting room to take your call, but now I have lost time and money and am very busy. I have already communicated to your recruiter that I am not satisfied with this performance and I will decide for myself if I wish to continue”
HR: “She just called me about it and I just wanted to say to you that I had personal issues and couldn’t make it”
IJ: “I am sorry to hear that, and I do not hold you personally responsible. You are not the first to fail to meet an appointment in this process. There are clearly organizational issues in your company. This has happened several times already with you people and I am beginning to think that the only person capable of taking a decision in this process is myself.”
HR: “We would still like to go ahead and we can talk now if you prefer”
IJ: “I said I am very busy. I have work to do and I have just lost yet another thirty minutes due to you people being unable to meet your commitments. This is supposed to be a motivational session right? Well it’s over already, I’m demotivated. Why would I want to come and work for you people when you can’t even organise a meeting and do not have the courtesy to inform of your absences in advance?
HR: “I can hear in your voice that you are unhappy
IJ: “Indeed. Every time I do get to talk to any of your people I’m told there’s ‘just three more’ interviews to go. Will this process ever end? I am going to take some hours to give this some thought and I will communicate later today if I am willing to continue. Right now I am not”
HR: “We could arrange the interview for another day
IJ: “I will decide on that later, and I may have to set a condition that if I meet with your people again I will be billing you $100 per hour for my time.”
HR: “What would you like me to do?
IJ: “You’re HR aren’t you? You can start with the sackings. Then get some competent people on board who are capable of not only arranging meetings but actually turn up for them as well. Now if you will excuse me, I have work to do.”

Probably not what she was expecting, and if it ruined her day that was the whole point. It was a bollocking. When you get one, it’s meant to ruin your day. They seem to think that candidates should be subservient and submissive towards interviewers, even when the interviewer is disrespectful. She appears to be on a sinking ship, trying to get people on-board. Good luck to her.

That brings our job-seeking research project to a close for now. I have full notes – sorry not to have recorded the call, but would be unethical you understand. We can start the series and have accumulated about 20,000 words of notes to work with. Some good material in there. Pity we can’t name these people such that our colleagues and coworkers may be forewarned, but them are the breaks.

— InsideJobber

To say that our experience of current recruitment “practices” is that they are a farce is to put it lightly. We would like to note here and now, for the record, that all the bad and pointless timewasting we’ve seen has come entirely from alleged recruiters who have approached us from LinkedIn. The kind that think building a team is something you can do by searching for keywords on social media. We once described the denizens of Linkedin as “Low Hanging Fruit“, but the recruiters therein are rotten to the core. Couldn’t recruit a drunkard for a piss-up. It’s a site for scammers, spammers, timewasters, and dysfunctional recruitment with nothing better to do.

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