The RECRUITMENT Bill of Rights: RESPECT... just a little bit!


Aug 3, 2015

Appropriating the words of Aretha Franklin -- and the sentiments of many of you who commented on my previous posts -- all we need is a bit more RESPECT to make the recruiting process a lot more effective.


Sign the new RECRUITMENT bill of rights!   


1.  Applicants have the freedom NOT to disclose some information during the hiring process.  For instance, last salary may not be relevant to hiring. (What if the applicant is open to a lower salary? Or had been underpaid?).  

Applicants have the right to LEAVE  OFF SOME INFORMATION  from the universally dreaded Applicant Tracking System and still complete their application.  

Come on... all it takes is a little programming.

2.  Applicants have the freedom not to talk about a specific gap in their work history without having negative consequences.   

I consider spaces in work history which involve childcare,  health or other aspects of private life to be... private.  And to be respected.

Isn't the real question, can the applicant perform the job, NOW?

3.  Applicants have the right not to be judged on age, sex, religion, ethnicity, etc. 

On the other hand, HR and the hiring manager have the right not to GUESS at answers around these issues. 

4.  Applicants have the right to apply for positions in companies where they are not an obvious fit, and be seriously considered for the job.

 HR and Hiring Managers have the freedom to hire great people who may disrupt their culture for the better.  

As Freddy Nager of Atomic Tango commented, would Apple TODAY have hired the young Steven Jobs?  

6.  Applicants have the right to know when a Company has received their application for a position.   Applicants have the right to know when a position has been eliminated.

And it is a form of cruel and unusual punishment not to let an applicant have this information in a speedy manner. 

7.  Applicants have the right to control when a company speaks to references.  Preferably the company would refrain talking to references until the last step, or candidates run into causing "reference fatigue." 

8.  HR has the right to refuse to pacify those who may request that HR "call around" to find out about prospects for the sound reason that hiring decisions based on  gossip are likely to be faulty!

9.  Unpaid interns (now that we have them again!) have the rights of personhood.  You know, the same respect that others in your company get --like being called by name or being given regular hours.   

10.  Recruiters have the right to recommend someone to the hiring manager who is making less than (or more than) the target salary... because in the real world we've agreed that hiring decisions are based on complex factors that tie into "total rewards" and ROI of performance.  

As for Applicants and salary?  NO ONE I know believes that Salary = Happiness in the 21st Century, but many live their lives believing that great work, a great boss and a fair salary brings satisfaction.

 There may be more rights...your comments are welcomed! 

All I really want to do is get a little RESPECT into the hiring system. 




In this age of hundreds of applicants vying for a single position at a well-regarded company, the systems used to weed out individual prospects and the company who relies on outmoded approaches are the big losers.  

Start with Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)...

I coach applicants for all levels of positions. On average about 5% of my clients can "get past" the ATS in companies.  Applicants often tell me that using the ATS is like dropping their resumes into a black hole.  Why?  No feedback!  Applicants rarely even get notification that the resume has been received.  Candidates are often not told when the job is filled, leaving many of them disgusted with the process and the company.  

The ATS also hinders solid candidates by asking salary questions. The candidate who is used to dealing with a "total compensation" mentality comes to a grinding stop in front of the "So-20th-Century Requirement" for a dollar figure when it comes to rewards for a job.  And, guess what, often a hiring manager will accommodate a fairly-paid high performer's salary -- high performance may be worth it!

Who hasn't applied to a "ghost job"posting?  

It is no secret that there are job postings for jobs that don't exist or are not really open.  On occasion, a company will tell an internal or "special" applicant "Don't worry, you've got the job... we just have to post it to comply with human resources policy." This is a perversion of transparency in hiring policies and just plain rude to all the potential candidates who take the time to fill out the forms.

And the encyclopedic approach to job descriptions?

Have you seen job descriptions that list 3 pages of job requirements?  Two pages?  Well, if a company can't frame the job requirements in a crisp set of 10-15 sentences, I suspect that the company has no idea of what is really essential for high performance in the job.

Have you been the victim of weird questions or assessments?

One company that I worked for paid a good deal of money for a group of "interviewers" to interview and assess executives based on weird or even illegal questions ( e.g., "How did you feel about your children when you were working full time?").  This assessment process was supposedly based on interviewing CEO's for their insights.  Seems like CEO's may not be aware of legal constraints with questions like these. 

The torture of the haphazardly-formed panel interview?

If you've been subjected to interviews where the panelists may have just a glancing knowledge of the job (and no real skin in the game), you know that this kind of interview can be a unique torture for the candidate.  The applicant has to act as facilitator to a panel who does not seem to agree -- on much of anything!

Have you been a big loser as a result of hiring practices?   Tell me YOUR stories.

PS:  Harvard Business Review says "It's time to BLOW UP HR"!  Maybe we should start with some of these dysfunctional acquisition practices!   

Five Steps to a Joyful RETURN from Vacation

I just spent a month in a city that I love — Florence, Italy.  

And the best part of this "overseas residential vacation" was that my husband and I worked to use this vacation as a guide to integrate what we loved about Florence into our lives in Los Angeles.

Let me share a few things that you may use to integrate your vacation into your daily lives.


I took daily notes in a purple (!) Florentine Journal of what we loved about being in Florence.  It was FLORENCE, so it was easy.  And it provided a "punctuation" time at the end of every day for us to spend some time just discussing the highlights of the trip.

For instance, I love walking everywhere, the "accidental" culture of a major orchestral playing in the nearby Piazza, the opera singer "street musician" of professional quality, the spontaneous lifestyle as my husband and I did not have every moment planned, the friendly Florentines (who told me what "Caio" really means and pointed out the role my renaissance family played with the Medici Dynasty, the museum card that let me walk into museums just before they closed and AFTER the tourists left; my husband loved Fiesole (which merits its own blog on its joys), he loved the FOOD, and more.


I took daily notes about what I did not like about the vacation.  

We hated the crowds of tourists (some irony here, as we WERE tourists), we missed family and friends (and we were specific about which family and friends!), the turn of the century (1300 AD!) housing, not having easy access to a car, etc.  We hated using a car — when we had to — in the horrendous Florentine traffic.


We used "Change Management" practices to ease the vacation transitions as a month in a new place requires some  serious attention to  transitioning.

My business (and love)  is "Change Management," so, I took careful notes on how well we/I did with the transition into Florence.  I noted that I really have to take care that I don't reject an apartment (and moan and groan)  just because the toilets take 15 minutes of gurgling to flush, the rain pours into the atrium, and the floors have the original tiles (making walking treacherous) — or, I have to make finding a newer apartment (19th century?) a priority prior when planning the trip. 

In any case, my husband and I agreed that instead of just reacting, we needed to take time during the transitions into Florence and re-entry into LA to talk through our anxieties.  And that careful planning would be helpful for the future. 

4. Talking about planning?  My husband and I made a plan for how to implement some of what we loved about our vacation into our daily life.

We are walking more, spending more time on spontaneous enjoyment of sunsets (how hokey!), eating with friends, seeking out the specific cultural events that bring us joy, and imagining our life as "time bound" — which makes the need for gratification every day even more important.

5.  Integration...We are slowly integrating our plan into our lives.

This is a work in progress… I'll keep you informed about how well we do as the "glow" of the vacation wears off.

We are planning more "residential vacations" for the future.  

I hope you will also find some joy in this way of visiting another treasured location.