I'm a happy shiny person in the morning. My day starts early, can't help the internal clock. I do like to check in on email and clean it out and then do some family time for a couple of hours.
Like most of you, I'm on email a lot. It's not unusual for me to send and receive hundreds of real deal emails (aka not spam) on a daily basis. The volume is daunting. Responding is even more challenging, because it does take a chunk of time. And I try so hard to be engaging. Yes, nice emails out. And I take the time to respond to candidates, even if they say “no”. I'm not a bot and while I haven't had to do a job search in ages, but I know one of the most important things to a candidate whether they're getting the job or not is to be acknowledged. Cool. I can do that. It's important to respect each other as people, and as professionals.
Today started as any other day. Except for Jim. Apparently Jim is irritated that I dare let him know about a Senior HR Opportunity. Because I'm human, I offer up a nice note, mentioning I didn't mean to offend him, I had his information from a search a year ago and I'd make note not to initiate contact via the e-mail channel I used. I started my note with a “Good Morning” ended it with a “Thank You”. I was polite. Hell, I was nice. And I acknowledged him.
And then he was an ass. See…you can give me a hard time. You may even be d
isrespectful. But you cannot insult my clients. Good grief, I work for do-gooders in most cases – non-profits trying to change the world. And you're going to smack talk them? Don't worry buddy, I got your number and you can be sure I'll respect your wish to not be contacted again.
Jim is 1% of the responses I get. Just 1%. I checked. My team thinks I have the thickest skin around because I read these emails and most of the time the comments roll like water off a duck's bag. But I've been in HR since 1992 and I'm a mom raising teenage girls, I better have a thick skin. As I went through this exchange with Jim, I realized this is really why I'm on the front lines. So many HR professionals don't want to give up their privacy (I've surrendered mine, I know it) and they don't want to deal with jerks. And we worry that we're going to upset people when we tell them no, you don't have the qualifications to move to an interview or no, you didn't get the job. We'll have a confrontation. Yuck. We try to engage by creating canned responses, by not owning when we make mistakes, by not appearing to be human.
But the 99%? They're delightful. Send me a no, or a no thank you…..better yet, send me a note saying you'd like to talk further. Makes my day to hear from you either way. Saves me some time, because if you do say “no”, I'm not going to bug you. I know there are recruiters that will, but that's not me. So those of you in that 99%, thank you for being decent.
So I'm going to hang in there and keep engaging and responding. And I'm sure I'll encounter many more Jim's along the way.