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Common Courtesy in Business

“We should all consider each other as human beings, and we should respect each other.” – Malala Yousafzai

The employment landscape is now more fluid and flexible than it ever has been. Of course, this brings with it many advantages and also some drawbacks. While job security might be something that more and more people seem prepared to forego for a bit more employment ‘freedom’, does this also mean that honesty and integrity also have to fall by the wayside too?

The level of loyalty is changing

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At times it seems that we are living in a society that is increasingly more at easy with being a no-show or non-committal. From staff not turning up on site as agreed, to workers strangely going AWOL one week and then showing up to a brand new business next week. We all recognise the scenario because it happens so often these days in many industries, not only recruitment.

The days of baby boomers staying loyal to a single company, working for decades, and collecting the obligatory carriage clock on retirement have (sadly) long gone.

We don’t expect millennials to show the same loyalty that was evident from employees in the past. That’s fine, it makes recruitment all the more exciting. However, even if long-term loyalty is no longer expected; good old-fashioned decency and respect should not be lost and forgotten about.

‘Ghosting’ in the business world

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As a professional, everybody should have the freedom to take up any job offer they see fit. However, it is a matter of ethics – your moral duty – to inform all relevant parties that you are considering a different offer. Sadly a culture of ‘no-show’ or ‘no-contact’ has emerged as a disturbing trend. It’s a worrying sign that runs the risk of ruining the reputation and culture of recruitment.

You are only as good as your word – but your word should mean something. It certainly did when I was growing up.

If a candidate has promised that they are serious about an offer or on-board for a project, it is not acceptable to just not turn up as expected, or send a wishy-washy message a few days before you are about to start where the client has waited over a month for you. Unfortunately, this is becoming all too common. Furthermore, some candidates will even refuse to answer a call, reply to an email, or show any shred of apology for not showing up. This goes both ways too, as companies are just as guilty of ‘ghosting’ prospective candidates as well.

From a practical standpoint, it is important that a company is informed of a change of view or plan at the earliest opportunity. At the very least, this will allow them to mitigate their risks and hire elsewhere.

From a moral and ethical standpoint, this type of scenario is even more worrying. Your ethics are what define you as a person. Honesty costs nothing but it is priceless. There is no excuse for a ‘no-show’, whether it is for a position or an interview. You should never confirm unless you are 100% sure.

If circumstances change – and they do from time to time – informing the relevant people of should not be too much to ask! It is common courtesy, that’s all. Is common courtesy not that common anymore?

This is why the ‘no-show’ culture should be a ‘no-go’ area for you. And, of course, it’s not just candidates that need to heed this advice, it is clients too. After all, things work both ways!

Clients that cancel interviews at the last minute – or fail to speak to candidates when they should or said they would – can do serious damage to the reputation of their company and their employer brand. Kindness and respect can go a long way.

-Vas Constanti

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