WANTED: A Few Good Employers
by Nanci Lamborn, SPHR and Brightmove Recruiting Software and Staffing Software
With all of the employer and recruiter horror stories out there, it only seems fitting that we take the time to acknowledge and celebrate the few rare gems who do happen to exist. While we can all take lessons from the terrible tales we hear, perhaps we can take a more valuable lesson from some of the good guys for a change.
A young marketing analyst recently relayed to me one such good guy story. It seems that when this analyst first applied to a new job posting and received a response, she felt obliged to inform the potential employer that she was in fact, quite a few months along in a pregnancy. I believe that this honesty speaks to the character of the analyst, as most of us have encountered (or perhaps have ourselves been) candidates who would rather withhold this touchy subject information until the new job was tightly secured. And who can blame them? Federal regulation, protective statutory acts and clear-cut case law aside, the chances of a visibly pregnant woman being selected for employment over others not in her similar condition are about as good as my winning next year’s American Idol competition. (Hint: I’m slightly over the age requirement).
However, this analyst remained true to herself and to the hiring company. The small employer to whom she applied had advertised for a new marketing position that suited this analyst perfectly. But like many job seekers encounter during the hunt, other than a cursory website review, much of the company culture was an unknown. Perhaps it was the analyst’s honesty about her condition that incited the good behavior response from the potential employer, who was more than prepared not only to entertain the possibility of hiring either a pregnant candidate or a brand new parent, but who demonstrated a gracious willingness to accommodate her prenatal schedule when arranging interview times. Or perhaps, cynical as we’ve all grown about unattractive employer behaviors, perhaps this one was different from the rest.
Different indeed. Fast-forward several weeks to the expected scheduling of the final selection interview rounds, and a much unexpected early arrival landed this hopeful analyst in the maternity ward for five days recovering from an emergency C-section delivery. This new mom was certain the she had missed out on this particular employment opportunity given her situation, so when the potential employer called to schedule the final interview while she was still in the hospital recovering, her first assumption was that she had no alternative but to agree to accommodate the interview scheduling request for the very next day. She knew there were some other candidates in the final round, so she determined to get herself to this interview, regardless of her physical condition.
Once the employer realized where this candidate was and what her condition was, they would have absolutely no part of scheduling her for an immediate interview. The hiring principal insisted that this mother’s health and recovery were far more important than a few weeks of scheduling time, so the principal postponed the entire final selection round of interviews, rescheduling all of the other candidates under consideration, for several weeks later.
This employer’s action in and of itself would not be all that noteworthy if it weren’t for the fact that it was both unnecessary and unexpected. After all, the employer had several other viable candidates, and most of the other companies I know would not think twice of scratching the hospital patient from their list, continuing with their original interview schedules and selecting a hire from the group who accommodated the company’s time. But obviously, this company was very different, which spoke volumes to this candidate and made her decision to accept an offer to work for this employer all the easier. And a year and a half later, she still thoroughly loves where she works.
So let’s hear a cheer for the good guys. We sure could use a lot more of you! Here are a few more links with a few more good guy stories, and if you have your own good guy story we’d love to hear about it.
Nanci Lamborn, SPHR, is the Senior Human Resources Generalist for the global financial analysis software firm who provided the inspiration and content for this “good guy” story.