What was your experience like when you found out you did not get the job? You spend hours combing through job postings, customizing your resume and cover letter only to receive a standard computer-generated rejection response, or no response at all?

In the world of recruitment (executive or other) there are few rules or even guidelines on applicant notification or treatment in general. The Professional Recruiter Accreditation Program (RPR) through the Institute of Professional Management (PMI) focuses on reducing the cost of hiring, improving hiring accuracy, and avoidance of litigation, nothing about compassion or respect for an applicant, or even professionally representing the client’s brand.

Professionalism, ethics, and respect relevant to the treatment of an applicant in a search process varies tremendously. Requests for Proposals for executive search services never (in all my years in the industry) rate or weigh the proponent’s approach to notifying, communicating, or treating the applicants (successful or unsuccessful).

By extension the firm, in conducting a search, directly reflects and represents the client and therefore projects and affects the client’s brand / image in all it does when conducting a search. Who do you think the applicant for a CEO opportunity maligns when they do not receive any communications back from their submission? It’s not the search firm!

Understandably unemployment and limited opportunities have contributed to a higher volume of applications for almost all executive and senior level searches. Still at a time when mental health is at the forefront of society’s concerns its unconscionable to ignore and not attempt to address one of the potential triggers to depression and even suicide.

Therefore, to the extent possible, every search should create a system or process that provides; acknowledgement of receipt of application, confirmation of status or duration, and confirmation of next step(s) and/or a non-successful outcome statement. Let’s try and put the ‘humane’ back in Human Resources!

Ken Glover, BSc., RPR
Managing Partner.




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