Reputation Is Key

“What people say behind your back, is your standing in the community, in which you live.”  – Edgar Watson Howe.

We’ve all heard the idiom, “bad news travels fast”.  Well this is even more true today in our digital, social media, hyper connected world. It seems that nowadays whenever we turn on the news, there are scandals galore, involving companies, celebrities, religious leaders, …etc. Whether they are ultimately found to be true or false, the damage to their reputations has been done, and they will forever be guilty in the court of public opinion.

There are even, online reputation management services, that look to control, search results, about you or your brand, ensuring only positive info is found, and thus protecting your reputation.

In the job hiring world, reputation is still key to opening or closing doors of opportunities for employers and job seekers. In 2018, when high tech started buzzing, the job market with employers and recruiters went on a mad rush to hire talent. This is great news for job seekers. They now have more opportunities to choose from to make sure they find the right job that’s suited for them. Related to this hiring boom, I’ve noticed more occurrences of a certain lack of courtesy, on the part of job seekers, during the job interview process that is worth mentioning.

Recently, I presented a candidate for a difficult to fill IT position. The candidate, when asked about his other active job interviews, was upfront and stated he had four ongoing interviews; two were first round interviews, and two were second round interviews. After successfully prequalifying him for the position, I told him the company would schedule an interview within a week, assuming he’s still available. He assured me that he would still be available, regardless of whether or not he got another job offer.  We scheduled an interview within a week. He confirmed his availability 24 hours prior to the phone interview.  On the interview date/time, he was a no show. I called, emailed, and texted him to find out what happened, but he never returned any of my messages.

In hindsight, the facts were, this was a newly recruited candidate whom I had no prior dealings or relations with, with multiple ongoing interviews. Sure, our client was a little bit late in the game, but was willing to compete and move fast, for any good candidate.

For this candidate, the right thing to do was to be direct and communicate if he were no longer available and interested in the job.  Instead, his lack of follow-up and not honoring his commitment to the prescheduled interview tainted his reputation with this recruiter and our client.

Now, it’s possible the candidates might think it’s no big deal because the job market is hopping. He’s going to land a great job and doesn’t need the recruiter‘s help. What he doesn’t know or realize is that most recruiters and their clients are intricately linked to the larger hiring ecosystem.  Think six degrees of separation ( The Job hiring world is a small world.

To illustrate this further, I will share a situation that occurred with another candidate I screened for a job and referred him to one of my network recruiters. The recruiter called me and recognized the candidate and told me that last year he interviewed and submitted this candidate to one of his best clients. The candidate was a no show at a scheduled interview. The candidate called him during the time of the interview and at this point it was already his 3rd time rescheduling it. I explained the candidate was understanding of the recruiter’s position. He was highly apologetic and that he didn’t mean to put the recruiter in this predicament. If he would just give him another chance to which the recruiter’s response was, “He’s a nice guy, but I will never work with him again.”

The lesson and takeaway for Talent: If you decide to apply for a position and you’re going through the interview process, make sure you show-up to the interview. If you decide not to pursue the job, show the right courtesy by notifying the recruiter and/or the hiring company as soon as possible.

Remember, it takes a long time to build a great reputation, and almost no time to lose it.


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