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First impressions as a HR Professional

Hi, (if you've come across my previous posts in the Career Clinic forum, you will know my story already). I recently came across a vacancy online for a Business Support Assistant for a local care home. Whilst not solely HR, the advert did excite me as it involves lots of HR, some of which I do now in my current role, and some I would love to get involved in. I missed a call this week and it was from someone regarding the role saying to call back as they would like to interview me. I called back as soon as I could and I was really put off by how unprofessional the person was. The man I spoke to came across as though he really could not be bothered and said 'we are interviewing on (date) I will check slots but we have lots to interview'. He offered me the allocated time to which I accepted, then he said 'see you then' and went to hang up without evening providing me address details and who to ask for on arrival. I managed to catch him before he put down the phone and said how I assumed the interview would be at the care home. His reply was 'no it's in the head office' and he said he would text me the address. This was 3 days ago and I've not recieved a text with any information on the address or who I need to ask for on arrival. I'm completely put off, as a beginner in HR I find this extremely unprofessional and sloppy, and I don't feel confident on this role anymore. As they say you don't get a second chance at making a first impression. Recruitment really should be a two way street, why is it always one sided? I've decided not to chase this as i most certainly know my own worth.. but what would you do?
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  • hi Kimberley, I agree with what you said, it sounds unprofessional and recruitment is definitely a two way street. I usually say to go with your gut feeling. However, I'm also inclined to say that you may have just caught him at a bad time. You don't know what stress or pressure he was under at that time. So with that in mind you could go two ways and think it's a poor first impression and you don't want to go for it. Or give them another call and see if you have a different experience. You may also want to go to the interview anyway and use it as a learning opportunity to prepare for another role you are really passionate about.
  • It does sound like you may have caught him on an off day or it might not be his normal job to speak to or contact potential candidates.
    Your opening paragraph sounded positive about the suitability of the role. If it were me I'd go along to the interview and make a judgement call from there if you are offered the role.
    Good luck with what you decide to do.
  • Hi Kimberley, just to add to the contributions already posted - perhaps take this as a sign that the business does need your HR support as they are currently lacking this expertise.
  • Thanks for commenting Gemma. The role wasn't a good salary, I simply applied because at the moment development is most important to me, but his has put me off and I can't help it. it probably doesn't help that I haven't had much luck in the past, but I still haven't received any text with address details or anything, and I just don't feel that I should be chasing it, I would be an asset to them and invested a lot in my self.. so I don't feel that I should chase them :/
  • Hi Susan, I agree they definitley need to improve in this area already. It's not a great way to attract new talent.
  • Hi Stacey, I've still not recieved any details of the interview address, and I really don't feel that I should be chasing this, it's really put me off
  • I'd say go through the whole process and then make an assessment and possibly give them some balanced feedback - what went well/not so well. Agree with Susan sounds as though you could really make a difference in this role.
  • Hi Kimberley, really sorry to hear about your recent experience, however I'm sorry to say it doesn't surprise me. I also applied for a similar role with a local care home (operated under the banner of a UK-wide brand name) and received equally shoddy treatment. There were two attempts to get to the interview, the first one was aborted since I was invited to attend but not given any advance notice, I think the interview letter arrived the day after when the actual interview was scheduled. After attending the interview, and having waited a few days, contacted the home to ask about the current status, knowing full well I clearly wasn't successful. No response. I then saw the job advertised again so that was a definite sign! When the home finally contacted me they did indeed confirm I was unsuccessful, I think the adminstrator I dealt with was quite embarassed by being caught in the middle and kept apologising for the poor response.
    While most care homes are well run I also think some (such as the ones in our examples) face many strains and difficulties which is reflected in the way you and I are treated. Not to say it is acceptable or commonplace but something which seems to go with the culture. I think you did the right thing and the chances are you would only be treated equally badly if you were employed by them. Consider there is a silver lining! Also bear in mind - the way you are treated as a candidate can speak volumes about how the organisation may treat you if you are appointed so if there are bad signs in advance just steer well clear. Good luck with your job search.
  • Hi Claire, these are my thoughts exactly, I find it appauling. It's been 4 days already and no information has been given to me regarding the address as promised. I think I will also contact the company to advise the reason on why I won't be attending as I believe in feedback both good and bad. I also don't want to just look like a 'no show'.They really need to improve their processes. I believe this is a warning sign and it's most definitley not meant to be.
  • just thought I would provide an update, almost 10 days later and still not heared anything as promised. No address details at all. Today, I then recieved an email from Indeed Jobs to say my application was unsuccessful. Unbelievable. I have sent them and email to ensure my application is withdrawn immediately. Absolutley appalled. I'm looking forward to an explanation for this.
  • In reply to Kimberley:

    Thanks for the update Kimberley, yes, really poor show and as for expecting an explanation - well, just don't hold your breath. :-) I'm still waiting for the outcome to an interview myself. Held in April 2011. Somehow I don't think I got the job .. :-D
  • Wow that's unbelievable Claire!
  • In reply to Clare Marie:

    I once attended an interview (3rd stage) at a well-known theme park. It involved travelling (without a car it took most of the day - out of season there is little public transport to and from the place). I had been asked to give a presentation on their staff engagement survey (which had taken 3-4 hrs to prepare), do a work test and have an interview. Never heard back.
  • In reply to Anka:

    Well, how's THAT for a lesson in staff engagement?!?!? Seriously Anka, it really was their loss, wasn't it? :-)
  • In reply to Anka:

    That is awful - I hope you found an employer that was much more deserving of you.