Over the past week, I have had two clients tell me some pretty disturbing stories about experiences they have had with managers from two companies. One person said she had been on three interviews with one company, two with another, and then never heard a thing. This is even after multiple telephone calls and emails.
The other individual said he had recently been let go from his company after 18 years because of, “expense saving measures”. He then felt like an outcast and was even given the cold shoulder by his manager during the final few days at his office.
Both clients asked me a similar question. “Is this this standard practice or is it just me?”
Sadly, poor ethical behavior and leadership deficiencies by managers as it pertains to hiring and firing is more common than we would think.
We have all seen posts on LinkedIn from people writing about their experiences as they have looked for new jobs and gone on interviews. It does seem to be such poor business practice to not let people know the status of their interviewing and application process especially if multiple meetings have occurred.
There are also posts we have read from people with real horror stories of what has happened to them or how they were treated when their job was eliminated. Frankly, it can really make your head shake at the poor leadership skills.
In my career, I have been fortunate to have worked with some outstanding human resources professionals. They have taught me a lot and modeled the way to enable me to be better at the communication process with hiring and showing real compassion when I have had to let people go. Because of their education and training, the vast majority of HR professionals and recruiters know how to handle both of these critical skills. (I know some of you may disagree with me, but I have not experienced it otherwise)
I think the real issue is with the hiring manager or the manager firing an employee.
In my view they are woefully under-trained in some of the basic skills of interviewing and following-up with a candidate. Rather than being honest and saying, “Sorry, you won’t be the right match for our company, but I hope you do find the right opportunity somewhere”, they go undercover not returning telephone calls or answering emails.
When the unfortunate task of letting someone go has to be done, they are afraid to look the other person in the eye, make up lame excuses, or just don’t show any empathy.
So, what should we do? How do we correct this? What is the answer?
I think every manager should be required to receive training in these two critical leadership skills. They need to learn, how to hire and how to let someone go.
Some companies are good providing this training while others are not. I am not talking about four weeks or a semester of intensive classes, I am thinking about a half day program here or workshops over a few evenings. However, I also think the training needs to be retaken and reviewed every few years so that we are always improving.
I have a number courses on LinkedIn Learning/Lynda.com. In one of the videos that I have included below, I address the subject of “Hiring and Firing”. It is just a few minutes long so please give it a view. As you watch it, when I say the word “sales,” just plug in your own job function, whether it be marketer, IT professional, accountant, or whatever, as the lessons apply to any position.
Do you agree with my views about hiring and firing? Let me know what you think in the comments below.
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