Since it’s Halloween, I wanted to wrap up our series on interviewing with a true horror story:
Many moons ago, I set up a candidate to interview with a client.
They spoke on the phone, and it was great: an instant bro-mance.
Candidate said the position was right up his alley. He had the experience and knowledge to help the employer solve their problems. He felt there was good chemistry with Hiring Manager, and that they’d work really well together.
I was thrilled, but didn’t want to get too excited until I heard from Hiring Manager.
Fortunately, Hiring Manager said the same thing. He thought Candidate had the right experience and knowledge to help them fix their problem areas, and the right personality to work well with his crew.
Both sides were eager to move to the next step, so I set up the plant visit for the next week.
As expected, it went really well. The rest of Hiring Manager’s team loved Candidate, and thought he’d be a great fit. The Candidate heard and saw what he needed: good housekeeping, an organized maintenance department, and safety protocols actively being followed.
After the plant visit, both sides felt really good about the other side, and had their questions answered.
Candidate said if Hiring Manager could get the compensation number they discussed approved, he’d be there two weeks. The number was just $3,000 outside of the range set by the company, so Hiring Manager went to corporate to get the offer approved.
Everything was going swimmingly, and it was as close to a perfect match as possible! Now, it was just time to wait for the offer.
One day passed. Then two. Then a week. Then two weeks.
A month later, I’m still trying to reach Hiring Manager with no luck.
With no warning, this has gone from “both sides are incredibly excited to get started” to Hiring Manager doing what my daughters call “ghosting” to Candidate and me. (A term that seems even more fitting on Halloween.)
No explanation, just a sudden stop to communication in what was the beginning of good relationship.
So, Candidate eventually moved on. He was disappointed and frustrated at this turn of events, but he had to take care of his family. So, he accepted another position that paid similarly, but wasn’t as good a personality fit.
Months later, I would find out that the position that Hiring Manager was trying to fill was still open. Hiring Manager had failed to get the offer approved through corporate, so he had given up without so much as a phone call to Candidate to let him know.
Could it have been saved if corporate didn’t want to play ball? Who knows! But, it certainly couldn’t be saved without communication to let us know what we were up against.
When I eventually talked to Hiring Manager, he asked if Candidate was still interested, and the answer was a pretty strong “no”. Candidate had a very bad taste in his mouth after the way he was treated, and had even shared with his friends not to consider the company because of it.
So, how did this bro-mance deteriorate so quickly?
Easy. Lack of communication has ended more professional, and personal, relationships than Freddy Kreuger, Michael Meyers, Slenderman, and Jason Voorhees combined.
A great fit that would have helped both Candidate and company reach new heights was killed because Hiring Manager didn’t pick up the phone.
So, whereas most horror stories end with lessons like “don’t split up” or “just call 911, you idiots!” this one ends with a similarly simple lesson: communicate.