You’re doing it wrong: my rant to hiring managers Posted at 0:00, Thu, 14 April 2016 in Industry Insights

Burning Man is a rite of passage for most recruiters, right? It is in the circles I hang with, so bear with me.

“You’re doing it wrong” is a phrase heard often amongst my Burning Man community. I know what you’re thinking: that this phrase doesn’t really fit into the Burning Man ethos – and you’re right. Most of the time, when Burners say “you’re doing it wrong” it’s actually a subtle, loving jab meaning the inverse of “good job.” You’ll hear it said it in a fun and playful way, as an exaggeration of everyone’s neurotic moods and screaming while building camp. Basically, the intention is to remind everyone that we’re on THE PLAYA – the happiest place on earth – and not to take things so damn seriously!

I’m not the type to say “you’re doing it wrong”, but more and more I’m finding myself wanting to scream it to hiring managers! If you’re a hiring manager and you’re doing any of these things, then you’re doing it wrong (and you’re probably going to have a difficult time hiring)!

1. Taking longer than 24 hours to respond to your recruiter’s emails, texts, calendar invites, HipChat, Slack, G-chat, Facebook message, WhatsApp, Kik message, or any of the other tools people and organisations are using these days to be able to have faster and more efficient communication. Sure, so that list seems a little aggressive, but we all use them, and if you’re taking longer than a day to get back to us: you’re doing it wrong! There’s just no excuse for this with modern technology, I don’t care how busy you are. We’re trying to help build your career here, so why you don’t reply has me stumped.

2. Asking to change, rearrange, or cancel a scheduled interview/meeting at the last minute. I get it – stuff happens! There are times when we all have emergencies to deal with and metaphorical fires to put out. That’s life. But if this is happening regularly – you’re doing it wrong! And you’re especially doing it wrong if you always expect your recruiter to clean up your mess and figure out a new schedule at the last minute. Recruiters are not administrative assistants and are not here to help you manage your own schedule, although most of us are willing to help with these issues when we’re able to.

3. Interviewing with only a “buying” mentality. In today’s hiring climate, you better assume that any talented (INSERT: engineer, designer, product manager, project manager, etc) you’re interviewing has plenty of options when it comes to choosing where to work next – so you better be “selling” the opportunity at your company, at every step in the recruiting process. This is where candidate experience also becomes important – making sure the candidate has a great experience interviewing at your company will increase the likelihood they will choose your company over XYZ startup that also has (INSERT: ping pong table, Thursday kegs, bi-weekly catered meals, a killer snack selection, etc).

There are many other “wrong” things hiring managers can do throughout the hiring process, but in the interest of keeping my rant to a minimum, I’ve given my top three pet peeves. If you’re a hiring manager and you’re responsive to your recruiters in a timely fashion, if you’re responsible with your calendar, and you treat every candidate at every step like a potential customer, then you are already way ahead of the curve! You’re doing it right, so well done, and see you at Burning Man.