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Bad-mannered job hunters, hires spoil it for others

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By Diane Stafford
Wednesday, April 3, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

I've often noted that the most frequent beef from job hunters is that, particularly after having interviews, they don't hear back from employers.

There is, though, a similar — and justifiable — complaint from employers.

I've heard shocking examples from hirers who have been burned by no-shows — for interview appointments and by new hires.

Consider the real-world experience of James W. Randolph, a veterinarian, who responded to a recent column about the stresses of job searches. He wrote, in part:

Our practice has long had the policy of contacting every applicant to let them know where their application stood with us. Human decency works both ways, though.

When we mark off an appointment time for a candidate, and they lack the “human decency” to let us know they aren't coming to the interview, not only is it frustrating, it's expensive. I could have been seeing patients in that time slot.

Or we sign someone up for trial time, and they act eager to be here, then don't show up.

This past week, I hired a woman and asked her to arrive at 7:10 the next day. We still haven't heard from her (and, of course, don't expect to).

It would be bad enough if this were an infrequent syndrome, but it happens all the time.

Armchair quarterbacks can make all kinds of assumptions or excuses about why applicants don't hold up their end of the human decency contract.

Sometimes, it's true, they may have discovered undesirable or incompatible information about the workplace or had an emergency. But to just vanish without a word spoils the hirer/applicant relationship for people who are trying to do things the right way.

So, for job-hunting boors, here are the rules:

• If you have an interview appointment, show up or call ahead to explain why you cannot make it.

• If you are hired, show up when you're supposed to or call in advance with a good explanation why you won't be joining the payroll.

Diane Stafford is the workplace and careers columnist at The Kansas City Star;

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