Honesty and Respect are Half the Battle

How many times have you taken part in a recruitment process and heard ‘We’ll get back to you’ at the end, followed by a grave silence? We don’t do that!

In job ads, we may often come across the formula: ‘Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.’ In theory, this does the trick – from a legal point of view, a potential employer is not obliged to contact every candidate with feedback, especially if several hundred or even several thousand people have applied for a given position. However, business savoir vivre is a different matter, and here the issue becomes a little more complex.

We treat others as we’d like to be treated ourselves.

At Storware, we have a clear policy. We have a rule that feedback after the interview is given to every candidate, regardless of whether or not a position has been found for them in our team. This may be by phone, but it is most often done by email. Moreover, we try to make sure that the response is personalized – we don’t use ready-made, clichéd formulas but address each person directly, explaining why we decided not to hire them.

Why do we do this? The answer is simple. We have also been on the other side, and we know what waiting for an answer on a job means. We hoped for a change, if only for mundane reasons, such as the end of the notice period in the previous company. We know that changing jobs is accompanied by stress and strong emotions – we respect these feelings, so we require a clear answer internally in the context of hiring or not hiring the candidate in question.

Of course, the silence on our part may drag on for a while. Still, there’s always a reason for this, e.g., we have received additional applications at the last minute that we need to consider, or the recruitment process has entered a decisive phase (e.g., financial negotiations or terms of employment in a B2B contract). In this case, we inform the candidate that we need another day or two. However, we always try to ensure that each person receives a response within two weeks, preferably on a Friday, so they don’t have to tear their hair out over the weekend, unsure of how their recruitment has gone. We take a very strong and honest approach to this feedback – if someone hasn’t passed the sieve of our recruitment process, we want them to know precisely why.

Nothing human is foreign to us.

Someone might ask: ‘Why do you have so much kindness, and does it not stem from purely PR motives?’. Well… no. We are human, and we make mistakes ourselves – for example, it happened that we mistakenly dismissed one of the candidates before the job interview even took place (fortunately, the story had a happy ending, and the colleague is now happy, we hope, member of our team); however, we can fix and learn from them, at the same time emphasizing at every step that the key ‘adhesive’ in the recruitment process is mutual respect and honesty. Even if someone doesn’t feel comfortable in a certain software but has worked in another, we can’t reject such a person. Here we have some good advice for you: it is better to say that you don’t know how to do something instead of claiming that you do when it’s obvious from the first task that you’re not telling the truth. Again, silence is not always golden. Don’t withhold important information, and don’t be afraid to speak openly – including about your competence (or lack thereof).

We had a case of a person to whom we had made an offer of employment, and it seemed that everything was on the right path to be finalized, yet this person thanked us for the cooperation because she said outright that she ‘didn’t feel the flow with us.’ We respect this and want potential Storware team members to know that work standards and interpersonal relationships are changing dynamically. In a modern, open-minded company, the curled-up attitude and fear of voicing one’s opinion should have been a thing of the past a long time ago – along with CEOs who are impregnated with criticism.

You get extra points for being honest with us.

Job applicants aren’t always the same. Some don’t turn up for an interview or don’t inform us of their absence. We know that such appointments, especially for technical positions, are quite long and, for some, perhaps exhausting. We’re also able to understand that someone may have simply forgotten, but – we stress again – we’re very keen on honesty. If you’re not going to come to the interview because you have received another, better offer in the meantime – tell us about it, as we’re waiting for you too. If someone, colloquially speaking, ‘stands us up’ once, then a second time, then no matter how good is their CV, experience, and talent, their credibility in our eyes drops to zero, and the flame goes out.

We take your word for it – even in a foreign language.

Among the most common concerns faced by candidates is language skills. At Storware, we are not interested in language certificates. We realize that someone may have done them after their high school graduation, many years ago, and not had any contact with the language at all since then. Also, a CV written in English isn’t sufficient information for us to know that the candidate speaks the language to our satisfaction. We don’t verify that someone has written a C1 level in a foreign language – we don’t do tests and trust the declaration. Still, during the interview, we emphasize that, for example, 95 percent of the work at Storware is in English, and it’s up to the candidate to decide whether he or she is up to the challenge. It’s worth asking yourselves whether you want to cause yourselves the stress of your insincerity and, in extreme cases, leave the place, not necessarily in an English manner.

More information about current vacancies can be found on the ➞ HR website.

text written by:

Aleksandra Lipowska, HR Team Leader