How you recruit says a lot.

In Electronic Recruiting News, John Sumser says:

Candidates should be treated like people. Seems simple enough.

He goes on to describe how to do just that, such as describing the hiring process (how long, what’s involved), and staying in touch with relevant information. Yet it is stunning just how few companies make the attempt to treat candidates like people.

I live in a small high technology community about an hour west of Toronto, Canada. Since moving here two years ago I have had occasion to deal with several companies in the area or all sizes, for both consulting engagements and full time work. I have met and interviewed at these companies up to the CEO level, and usually through several meetings. Yet not a single one of these companies have ever bothered to contact me regarding the status or my contract or recruitment. Even if I just wasn’t the right candidate, a simple phone call to let me know that I was being eliminated would seem to be common courtesy. This was the case even in companies where I had been referred by an employee, and no feedback was given to them either. In some cases I was able to get a status by being proactive, in another case a contract offer was withdrawn – a fact of which I was informed by email two days after I had contacted the company about it.

Contrast that with what happened to me this past week. On Monday I send a cold call email to a company called Redknee, a provider of network-based mobile applications in Toronto. On Tuesday their Human Resources department contacted me, telling me they would like to speak to me regarding a position they had available. After a very pleasant and forthcoming phone screen interview on Wednesday, I received a call asking if I could come for a few hours next Wednesday to meet with their executives. Their recruiting process was quick, efficient, informative, I was treated extremely well and the staff clearly shared not only the good, but also the bad and what they were doing to correct it. I also cold called a staff member and got a very similar analysis.

The upshot of all of this is that I’ve only dealt with the Human Resources department at Redknee, but I feel that if they treat potential candidates this well, then they must treat customers even better. The company seems to have a pervasive good attitude toward the people it deals with. Whether I end up working there or not, I would feel comfortable recommending the company to others.

Conversely, with the companies that did not feel the need to treat candidates with even the most basic courtesy, I cannot help but wonder whether or not the attitude is a reflection of how the company deals with its customers. How a company treats both existing and potential employees says a great deal about the culture of that company.

To those of you who have dealt with Redknee, I would love to hear your comments.