I recently read an article that spoke to a candidate selection tactic that plays right into candidates’ fears. The writer promotes eliminating candidates who follow up.
I’m not kidding. I wish I were.
The “logic” behind this draconian approach is that applicants who follow up are taking more than their allotted amount of time and interviewer mind-share. Essentially, this person believes that follow-ups are an attempt to game the system. It’s the same confounding reasoning behind such harsh strategies as eliminating candidates for sending thank-you letters.
Here’s the thing… The idea – while totally ill advised – actually contains a kernel of truth. All candidates deserve equal treatment. I am huge proponent of fair interviewing practices. For instance, I have written about behavioral interviewing, a tactic that addresses the need for equality in the interview process by providing a framework to ask all candidates the same questions.
Hiring managers: You shouldn’t punish people for common courtesy or following perfectly reasonable (and smart) practices.
You also can’t build-in policies to overcome deficiencies in your ability to select the most qualified candidate. If a simple follow-up letter would compel you to hire someone over a more qualified candidate, frankly, you should not be in charge of hiring.
Job seekers: Keep following up. These are smart strategies. If you are eliminated for doing so, consider yourself quite fortunate to not be working for a manager or organization that would take such unrealistic measures.