Posted by: Knightbird | December 26, 2011

Respect for People During Recruitment

Chugachmiut cannot function without good employees. We cannot get good employees without going out and looking for them. When they apply, we have an opportunity to assess their fit for employment with us. Fortunately, we typically get lots of good candidates. Unfortunately, we cannot hire them all, which means some applicants will be disappointed. Still, we believe it’s important to communicate with the applicant promptly and courteously. We send the applicant a letter if they are not selected for interview, and offer to keep their application on file if they want us to. Who knows, a suitable position with a positive fit may come up. If they are selected for interview but not for hire, we do the same. A Lean organization respects people, all people and not just the ones we hire. They put a lot of time and preparation in applying for our position, and the least we can do is give them the courtesy of promptly assessing their fit and informing them if we don’t believe there is a fit, in the most respectful way we can.

I wish I could say this is true for all of our Native organizations. I know they have a lot of recruitments ongoing. And a lot of work to do on each one. But, does this excuse failing to communicate a no hire decision? I don’t think so. What do you think?


  1. What a great point. In better performing organizations, people are the greatest asset. Treatment of candidates is representative of the culuture and speaks to the future success of the people you do hire. The situation you describe is about respect and courtesy.

  2. Thanks for this post.

    I agree. There’s no excuse for not treating people with respect, and I’m glad you’ve pointed out that respect for people is the foundation of Lean. It might seem like a good idea to “cut corners” in our professional interactions with others, but once we start hiding behind our “corporate masks” and treating individuals as commodities, it’s a slippery slope: we risk becoming less than human ourselves. If you’re not sure how to act in a given situation, ask yourself how you would want someone to treat you, your parents, or your children in a similar situation.

    And if that’s not enough of an argument for treating people with respect, consider the fact that the recruitment process is an important touchpoint between your company and your potential customers. What could be more indicative of an organization’s culture than the way it chooses to treat potential employees? Don’t forget that people will remember how you treat them, and they’ll tell everyone in their social circle as well. Why not take this as an opportunity to enhance your company’s image? Like quality, respect pays for itself.

  3. Greetings Knightbird, I don’t belive I have ever interviewed and not recieved a letter if I was not hired. Everyone in the course of 30 years has said they will keep resume on file for 6 months or a year.
    But I have only applied at a Native corporation once. A very big one, it was an online application. Via email I got a response that they had hired someone else about a month after the job closed.
    If I have the chance (someones email address) I like to follow up and ask the interviewee how I might have done better. Only recently was my email ignored.
    I hope companies do notify folks of their decisions. Waiting can be tough in hard times.
    All the best

  4. In these days of automated electronic systems there is no excuse for not giving some kind of response. It’s much more difficult to address all candidates personally, though, and I would reserve those responses for the people who were granted telephone interviews and those who went deeper into the process. Timeliness is huge, too. These days when so many people are looking for work it’s only courteous and compassionate to let those who are out of work (should be evident on their resume) know where they stand.

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