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“I’m Bringing Respect Back”

If you didn’t pick up on it initially, sing that title to the tune of Justin Timberlake’s “Sexy Back.” Now it is pretty cool isn’t it? Seriously though, when did a lack of respect for people leave our workplaces? Jay Kuhns wrote a great post on Monday that really struck a chord with me. Here is the link to it, but his point was simple. That is, he was trying to show how disconnected many of us are from our hiring and onboarding processes vs. reality. He further went on to make the point about how when we ask candidates for their feedback on how their hiring and onboarding went, we don’t really seem to listen to them.

Respect Sign PostTo me, and I think Jay was trying to make this point, was that it comes down to a matter of respect. Think of the front end (recruiting) side of things first and all the touch points we have with candidates. How many of us and/or our organizations are guilty, somewhere along the line, of doing at least one of these things to candidates:

  1. Interviewing a candidate and then never following up with them again (either way)
  2. Interviewing a candidate but sending them an email “regrets” note
  3. Experiencing delays in coordinating next step interviews but not keeping the candidate informed of the reason for the delays
  4. Not clearly spelling out the required pre-hire steps with the candidate and/or introducing surprise new steps without an explanation as to why. (i.e. 3rd, 4th, 5th interviews)
  5. Telling a candidate that you will follow up with them (perhaps with a decision) by a specific date and then you don’t follow up with them (for whatever reason).
  6. Offering a candidate a job 4 weeks after they last heard from you (similar to #3) and expecting them to still be available
  7. Inflexibility and refusing to accommodate/respect a candidate’s time when interviewing with you. i.e. “I have one time slot left for you to meet with the manager.”

The bottom line is that none of these things show respect towards a candidate and for them as a person. It gives the impression that you are doing them a favour by interviewing them and/or even considering them for your company. Similarly, I have seen equally deplorable behaviours on the onboarding side of things that show a similar lack of respect:

  1. Manager(s) not prepared for a new hires arrival
  2. Organizations inundating new hires with forms, policies and manuals to read on their first few days instead of taking the time to actually develop an onboarding plan that would integrate a new hire into the current team and culture. Nothing says “I don’t have time to deal with you” like throwing a manual at someone!
  3. Lack of computer and phone access on the 1st day
  4. The new hire is left to have lunch on their own on their first day.
  5. The manager checks in with their new employee only at the beginning of the day, most days, when they first start. Or better yet, the manager disappears for the day and the new hire is left trying to figure out where they went, if they should leave for the day, etc.

Unfortunately, this list could go on for a while. The bottom line is that we as HR Pros and all of us as leaders have to get better at this. We need to stop anything that we are doing on these lists. Let’s all vow to bring respect back to our workplaces. That starts with showing more respect for candidates and new hires. If we do that, we can start to bring respect back to all of our workplaces because we have made this part of our cultures and our brands. Now sing it with me, “I’m bringing respect back……” Come on, you know you want to. As always, I welcome your comments and feedback.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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