Our world is certainly in need of more kindness. As violence makes headlines all too often of gun-related exchanges happening in public places, at schools, and places of worship, it is evident that we could all use more grace, benefit of the doubt, and acts of kindness. This includes the fast-paced, ever-changing job market.
I recently read an article by Jessica Lieberman for Business Insider in which she explains her reasoning for hiring based on a simple factor: The candidate sending a thank you email after the interview. Now, Lieberman’s story went viral after she published it, causing her to write a follow-up to clarify her points. This “response” of mine is in no way an attack on her, or anyone who agrees with her, but I would love to point out some broader issues with the job market that keep me from agreeing with her point of view.
First, I am consistently astonished at the attitudes of most employers, still. Evidence has long been out about how pay tendencies reflect on the different genders, races, and age groups. Black women are still paid significantly less than their white counterparts despite having degrees, certifications, and experience. Many employers still refuse to do annual performance reviews and offer raises to employees. Employees of well-established, ubiquitous companies such as McDonald’s, Facebook, and Google have staged walk-outs or other forms of non-violent protest because their executives have attempted to cover up incidents of sexual misconduct by protecting the abusers.
Yet, most hiring managers will insist that a candidate should be grateful for the opportunity to even speak to them, let alone showcase their skills in hopes of being hired. Waiting behind that cast-iron gate of the HR screening process are still major issues with employee rights and workplace culture that are just too commonplace to overlook. While employment is certainly a choice, and earning an income is a privilege, I think employers are being intellectually dishonest in thinking a candidate owes them a debt for having been interviewed. Evidence shows that most workplaces still have a lot of catching up to do in order to make their environments more safe, welcoming, and productive for all. I’d like to see that happen first, and then I can be more grateful.