It’s that season again. Public schools are winding their academic year down while district administrators and principals are gearing up to hire teachers to fill vacancies they know they will have next year. In this activity, I’ve seen many bad practices that made the interviewer look unprofessional and made the applicant feel sub-human. Here are a few things that have happened in the last two weeks (not in my building, thankfully):
- Cutting interviews short due to personal appointments
- Applicants, who were promised building-level interviews at schools that had advertised vacancies, being turned away at the door with no explanation
- Making a hiring decision and then interviewing applicants when it was known the position was no longer available just to have a fall-back position — and not telling the applicant their chances were slim
- Promising to make a timely decision and then not doing so
- Making a hiring decision and failing to notify the candidates who were not chosen
- Sending applicants not chosen a curt you-didn’t-get-the-job letter — that HR probably wrote with the help of the corporate attorney — and nothing else
Potential employers do not have to expose themselves to a lawsuit to show sensitivity to applicants who are not chosen for a position. A Psychology Today article shares better practices when it comes to hiring and, specifically, how to inform those who were not hired so that they rebound from the process in good form and with their self-esteem intact. From providing procedural information about the decision-making process (yes, I know the legal perils of saying too much), to using the person’s name in the body of the letter, several emotionally sensitive strategies are discussed.
“Cut to the chase. Don't put off the bad news by starting the letter with a compassionate paragraph highlighting a candidate's good points. These "buffers" prepare a reader for good news and just make them feel worse when they scroll down and come to the real reason for the letter.”
There is great information here.