Friday, March 2, 2012

The Job Hunt: Employer Etiquette

It is a tough job market out there. Not only in the horse world, but pretty much everywhere in the US. It can be frustrating, annoying, hard, and just downright stressful. What can make it even more stressful, is an employer with horrible HR etiquette skills. I have my own experience and it usually goes somewhat like this:

I find this awesome (more often than not, horse) job, that I know that I will be perfect for because I have the experience and education to do the job correctly and efficiently. Well, the employer reads my resume/ goes through my reference sheet and seems to be really excited about me and what I have to offer. The first interview comes and goes without a hitch. We (the job, environment and well, myself) seem perfect for each other. The second interview with a different person comes and goes, again, without a hitch. The employer states that I am exactly what they are looking for and that they will be calling again shortly. Everything seems perfect, but then it happens....silence, nothing. A week passes and still nothing. I try and re-establish communication, but it is as if the person has fallen off the face of the earth. Just poof, gone! Weeks turn into months and months turn into years. I move past it, but there is still that little bit of hope that the company will call or e-mail me back....eventually.

I don't know how many people this may have happened to, but I wouldn't be against the thought that it happens a lot these days. It seems that in this day and age, in a world that is rife with technology and advancements, it wouldn't be that hard to send out an e-mail, letter or just to call and tell the potential employee that they have found someone else. It takes, what 2 minutes at most?? So, are people really that busy that they cannot spare 2 minutes??

On another note, what is this message sending to the potential employee? Do employees really want to work for someone that can't do a simple 2 minute max task? Probably not. I know I wouldn't. It is like a slap across the face saying "WAKE UP!!"  This job, these people, their character isn't what you are looking for. You just got a view into the future, and if these people don't have the professionalism or etiquette right now, how many red flags do you think will arise somewhere down the line??

So, here is the advice I would give to people in this kind of situation: they just gave you a great opportunity!! They let you see who they really are.  Don't give up, though, because not every employer is like this.... and you will find something better. Just keep your chin up, look to the horizon and keep moving forward.....


  1. You know, it kinda seems like this might just be a horse person thing in general; when I was looking for a new place to board my horse, there were two barns where I had a very similar experience; I researched the barns, looking for the amenities I needed and what kind of reviews they had, and they seemed like they'd be great, but I called, left a voicemail, and never heard back, and when I called again it always went to voicemail. If you don't have a spot open, or you're not accepting boarders anymore, what would it hurt to take 30seconds to call me back and tell me? Yeah, I might be a bit disappointed, but at least I won't have that horrible what-if feeling, and I'll appreciate the call back and sincerely say "Ok, I understand, thanks anyways."
    What I wonder is whether this behavior is because of the type of person the horse industry attracts, or whether being in the horse industry makes people that way? Do people work in the horse business because it's one of the few where discourtesy and/or cowardice is acceptable, or does the horse world make you so stressed out (or whatever) that you don't feel bad about ignoring business etiquette/common courtesy?
    I'm sure when you find what you're looking for you won't be just another of those though :) Good Luck!

    1. Thank you for your comment.
      I've really never thought about it being a horse person thing, altogether. But you bring up some great points.
      Maybe it is because people get into a rythym and don't think about how they are actually making their business look. In my honest opinion, I think perhaps it is that there aren't any set guidelines for people in business in the horse industry. You go to the corporate world, and there are HR people, who hopefully know what word of mouth can do to their business. In the horse industry, more often than not you just have the barn owner, managers and workers. But even then, you are correct, there should be time enough in a day to call someone back.