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Just Tell Us – We Can Cope

 We’re a fabulous staffing service here at Merit. We love all our clients, we love all our candidates, and best of all we love placing the correct candidate in the correct job. We’re so upbeat and Pollyanna, it’s nauseating.
We do sometimes have eye-rolling and Deep Sigh moments with a thankfully very small number of our candidates. Your behavior sometimes lacks, what shall we call it…finesse. And we think it’s more because you don’t understand the system. If you are dealing with something that you find awkward to tell us, you decide not to tell us, but instead to hide under the kitchen table with your raincoat over your head so no-one will notice you (oh, hang on, that’s what four-year-olds do when they misbehave).
So, here’s the scoop, and the scenarios that have you floundering around wondering what to do.
Scenario 1. You have interviewed  the requisite number of times for a nice job with one of our clients. They love you enough to offer you the position, and when we call you to give you the offer you don’t return our increasingly anguished calls and emails.  Because it transpires and occurs that you were all the while interviewing for another position that appealed more for any number of reasons. TAKE THE JOB YOU PREFER. I mean, WE would. Why didn’t you tell us you have another possibility? You don’t have to give us all the details (“What did you say the HR manager’s cell phone was?” No, we’re not that sort of staffing service), just the timing of it, so that we can tell our client the time constraints they have for their processes. We look bad/eedjits/incompetent to our client and we try to keep a relationship going with them for years – none of those descriptions will help us do that.
If you have another possibility going at the same time as ours, it DOESN’T affect your chances with our client; they know that you’re job searching and have to cover all bases.  Just tell us what stage the other thing is at, and we can work accordingly around it. Disappearing off the face of the earth gets us cross and frustrated.
Scenario 2. Interviewing chugging along nicely, the client has already offered/is about to offer you the position of your dreams. “By the way,” you start a conversation with us. Conversations that start “by the way”, are rarely good. “I have a vacation booked/operation planned/jury duty/court appearance/have to leave early on Thursdays.” Again, we look bad/eedjits/incompetent – we’re supposed to find out from candidates what restrictions they have; it’s part of the service we provide to clients. It most likely won’t affect your offer chances and we can work round it. Not mentioning till late in the process won’t improve your chances. Au contraire.  
Scenario 3. The client wants to see you on a particular date, with lots of notice, or short notice, either way. You’ve done a disappearing act so we can’t confirm. Calling us at midnight for the next day interview won’t cut it. We won’t hear the call for the noise of our sobbing. The client, too, isn’t going to see you at 10.00 am when you haven’t actually confirmed till too late. By the way (see what I mean? “By the way”…Never good….), texting us at midnight to CANCEL the interview? So that the client can’t do anything productive with the free hour they now have?…. Speak to the hand.
Scenario 4. You went for the interview, liked it, would like the process to continue. Tell you what…wait five days before you write a thank you note. I’M LYING. Write thank you notes immediately – that day ideally, or the next if you have other stuff planned that evening. The client is going to get worried about your sense of urgency in the job if you’re not Road Runner in the recruitment process when you’re trying to impress.
Scenario 5. Oh surely there can’t be more than four scenarios. Point is, staffing services are intermediaries between you and the client and possibly the job of your dreams.  We have a duty to you, to give you the whole unadulterated truth about the job so that you don’t find out in horrified fashion when you’ve already started – “I have to work till 10 pm EVERY Wednesday?” – and to give the client the whole story about your candidature – “she has classes that start at 6.00 for the next term, and can’t therefore stay late on Tuesdays and Thursdays for the next 10 weeks, but she can come in early or work through lunch”.
We’re here to smooth out the kinks, find you good jobs and have everyone, you, your new employer and us, feel all warm and fuzzy about it. In order to do that, we need to know the facts. Just tell us – we can cope with whatever it is.
That’s it, class!