Strange Recruitment Practices

by | 19.08.19

Looking for a new job can be an emotional rollercoaster. One second you’re up, the next you’re down and then you’re wondering why you ever got on this ride. But to make it easier for you we thought we would give you some advice on what is normal and what is not.

Employers all recruit differently but there are common methods and systems that are used. It is important that you recognise “red flags” ie: reasons why you should not work for an organisation.

Let us share with you what is normal – albeit annoying – and what should be considered a warning sign.

Frustrating but normal – Job Descriptions

You will sometimes come across vague job descriptions and whilst annoying, it is very normal. Many times job descriptions are written by HR personnel and not the person who will manage the role

Not normal – No Job Description

It is not normal for an employer not to have a job description or for the employer to refuse to share information about a job until you submit an application.

Frustrating but normal – Waiting for an answer

Unfortunately it is normal not to hear back from an interview for several days, possibly a couple of weeks. Employers may be trying to fill several jobs at once and may take their time.

Not normal – Chasing an answer

It is good practice to send a follow-up email and be proactive. However you shouldn’t feel like the only time you hear anything is in response to you contacting the employer, it suggests the Company is highly disorganised.

Frustrating but normal – Being asked your salary expectations early

When considering you for a job the interviewer will have seen your CV and your job related experience. What they don’t know is whether your salary expectations are in line with what they are paying, hence the question.

Not normal – Being told you have to give a salary figure

It is a big red flag if an employer will not interview you without you telling them what you have been earning. It may be they are hedging their bets and looking to recruit someone cheaply.

Frustrating but normal – Feeling unsure where you stand

Don’t necessarily take it as a bad sign if an employer doesn’t get back to you immediately after an interview or give you an update on where you stand –  this is quite normal.

Not normal – Getting mixed messages

It is not ok for an employer to lead you to believe there will be a job offer in the pipeline only for you to receive a rejection letter. This suggests weak management in the Company.

Frustrating but normal – More than one interview

It is very common nowadays for job seekers to be interviewed more than once for a role as the employer shortlists. Second and even third interviews are not unusual, employers really want to ensure you are the best person for the role.

Not Normal – Having the same interview over and over again

If an employer calls you in again and again they should outline the reason for each interview. However if you are called back to meet the same people and go over the same information it probably means the employer can’t make decisions and isn’t respectful of your time.

Frustrating but normal – Day long interviews

Some employers rather than do second and third interviews have a streamlined day long process. Yes, it can be draining, but often it comes down to the employers desire to fill the position as quickly as possible.

Not Normal – Being told you need to start asap

You should never be told an offer is subject to you starting the job within the next day or two. The Company may be desperate to fill their job but any employer who wants you to leave a role without working notice has no respect for professional standards and should be avoided.

Frustrating but normal – Tough negotiations

Yes in an ideal world, the employer would offer a competitive salary immediately but often an employer will start with a low figure. This is totally normal as they expect you to negotiate therefore they start at a lower figure.

Not Normal – Being intimidated into taking a lower salary

It is not normal for employers to refuse to negotiate at all. Whilst many organisations will have budgets and salary bands there is usually still room for a conversation about money and other non-monetary benefits.

It is always worthwhile knowing what to expect when looking for a job but at the end of the day make sure you listen to yourself when something doesn’t feel right. Often we tend to ignore warning signs because we are desperate to obtain a new role. This mindset can lead us to make poor decisions and you could end up in a job you are unhappy with, be careful.

Happy Job Hunting!