Employers: Courtesy is a two-way street

Our office spends a lot of time trying to prepare job seekers for work. We assist with everything from resumes to clothing suggestions. We talk about how to handle an interview and we stress the value of punctuality and courtesy. Our office offers books on “how to be a good employee” and information on rights and responsibilities in the workplace. We actually refer some of our clients to specific jobs and employers. In essence, we try our best to prepare them for employers and the workplace.

However, employers need to do their part as well. Advertising indefinitely for the “perfect” employee–and no one seems to know what that is—including the employer, it seems, just causes confusion and frustration to hopeful job seekers. Many employers I have spoken to tell me that they “hire for attitude” and how well the person fits with the existing staff. Some employers prefer to hire people with less defined skills since they wish to train them for the way they do business. Sometimes “close enough” is best. If you can’t find that “perfect” employee after several months of advertising, maybe the position needs to be modified.

Another frustration for job seekers is employers who seem to promise a job but never call back or, worse yet; the job seeker finds they have hired someone else. One young job seeker was certain of getting the job—she had been for a great interview and the employer announced he was contacting her references. The employer gave her every indication that she was the right one for the job and could expect a call from him. She even arranged child care. When she did not hear from him she went back to the business and discovered that someone else had been hired.

This really should be a wake up call for some employers. Your business in a small town is only as good as your reputation and this not only comes from your customers—it comes from your staff and from people hoping to secure a job with your business. Courtesy is a two-way street.

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