In 2008, I knew the head of recruitment of a top bank, so she often asked me for referrals. Infact, that period, I would happily send her CVs, many I didn’t even know personally, but just helping out in my own little way.
On one occasion, I had referred someone for a job. The person had passed their test and was invited for the interview stage of the recruitment. I learned that the candidates were made to wait till the early hours of the morning. Several people could wait no longer and left. At about 1 am, those who remained were offered to stay in a nearby hotel and were interviewed the next day. They waited for over 24 hours to be seen. All this without any prior warning, notification, or apology.
I was initially appalled at the treatment of candidates. Since, I knew the head of recruitment I thought it was best to call her, hear her out and convince her that there were better and more effective ways to manage recruitment.
So I called her and narrated what I had heard about the candidates waiting till 1 am.
Her response shocked me. She said, ‘the people that left earlier are not the type of people we want in our bank. All the people that stayed behind will be hired.’
She sounded so self-assured in her utterance. I knew this was common practice with a number of companies but that was the first time I had ever heard anyone speak with impunity about delaying candidates at interviews. It was sad to imagine that someone in HR was behaving this way. I shook my head.
I mean, I was an HR head at the time, and I knew how much I used to hassle my MD for delaying candidates. I would apologise to candidates and I would also coach him and let him understand that we needed to present a positive brand image by treating candidates with dignity. He responded positively, sometimes teasing me about my wahala but I knew it was the right thing to do.
Why am I writing about this? There are some poor practices in Nigeria that I can’t fathom. Like why we like suffering people? I can never understand the logic. Why will recruitment appear as though you’re doing someone a favour? And even if you are, must you rub it in with pepper and salt?
I say this because it doesn’t end here. As a consultant vendor, some client organisations are so badly behaved. The same impunity used on candidates they use with vendors. You are invited for meetings, you are kept waiting for hours, why? Simply because you are providing a service. Government is the worst in this regard, sometimes you see top officials at 2 am for a 2 pm meeting. Why? Because you are hustling, trying to make an honest living?
Or you deliver a service to a company as a business, they delay payment for as long as possible, then rather than pay you eventually, they tell you to come and pick up your cheque? Why should you? The buyer is responsible for paying for the goods and services they purchased. A cheque is not payment till it is paid into an account and cleared. Why can’t they pay into your account if it must be a cheque payment? I guess you are lucky to be even considered, so you must suffer to even be paid, but why?
I shared this scenario with my HR Bootcamp class. I just hope someone was touched enough to understand that these practices are ugly in the least and should not be adopted. Even if it’s done, please stop doing it.
I could go on and on, on the unnecessary suffering we cause others, why do we do it?
I don’t understand why anyone will want to make life harder for anyone else. Not now and not ever. Life is hard enough as it is.
Be kind to candidates.
Be kind to small businesses.
Be kind to people working hard to make a decent living.
Life is hard enough as it is.
Don’t add to it.