In the past year or so, several people I know have been looking for employment, and almost every one of them has at least one job search horror story to relate. Most of these accounts involve a disturbing trend among those who have positions to fill and there seems to be an arrogant lack of consideration for those they interview.

Friends havetold me about interviews that received no follow up, including unreturned telephone calls, and even promised appointments not kept. This is just plain rude at the very least, and it is utterly bad business behavior in any case.

One thing that every organization with a job opening should bear in mind when interviewing and hiring support teams is this:

Every job candidate is also a potential customer.

The way a company treats a candidate reflects enormously on the culture and integrity of that organization. The candidate who is not hired does not simply vanish, they still need a job. They are quite likely to be hired by another company in the field and could become a potential customer who decides not to deal with a company that treated them rudely. Or they could be employed by a competitor and become a rival with even more motivation to best the firm that scorned them. And even if this individual never works in the same field thereafter, they will surely tell their friends about a bad experience, meaning more potential customers could be lost.

Why this sort of casual, indifferent, and outright rude treatment of candidates is so common I can’t say. I suspect there is a strong sense that in today’s market, just taking the time to interview someone is a commitment and the candidate must not be so bold as to expect common courtesy. As I say, this is shortsighted. Even if human kindness and good manners have no place in a particular organization, protecting its self-interest really should be a top priority.

Nevertheless, I keep hearing about shockingly inconsiderate treatment of those who interview. It is not just rude; it is self-destructive.

Those who are interviewed should be treated with courtesy, especially those who do not make the cut. If a company cannot afford the time to do a simple follow-up, they should not be conducting interviews in the first place.