Please Pardon my Rant


The end of summer and once again, searching for appropriate contract opportunities.  Oh, what’s this, a 3 month contract that looks by the description if it was written for me.  Posted Friday afternoon, letter and CV submitted on Saturday.  Follow-up phone call set for, and executed Monday AM.  Alas, the contact was unavailable, so a message is left, with a promise that yes he will return my call.  Early afternoon, a formula email is received.  Blah, blah, blah, after careful consideration, blah, blah blah, we will keep your details on file.

What is it with professional courtesy in New Zealand.  The contract role required (so it was stated) a person who could, among other things, communicate well with senior stakeholders.  If the recruiting company was paying attention to what they were looking for, they would realise that the people they needed to look at for the contract would most likely want to talk to them, not “communicate” by email.   There is absolutely no way that you can evaluate a persons potential fit for a role from written correspondence alone.  I have received this treatment one too many times now, so off went a, yes you guessed it, an email describing my extreme dissatisfaction with their lack of professional courtesy and suggesting that they should review some basics on communications in the future when dealing with senior level professionals.  This may have an effect, but judging from past experience, not likely.  Same thing last week when a call is received from another agency, this time promising to get back to absolutely for sure by Friday (last week).  Monday 18:00, still no phone call.

If you are reading this and you are looking to place quality people in senior roles, please go back to a piece of technology that has been with us for over 130 years, pick up the phone and call, or at the very least, have the courtesy to return my calls.  I promise if you call me, I will call you back, guaranteed.

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One Response to “Please Pardon my Rant”

  1. John Shattock Says:

    You’re right Brian – courtesy is sadly lacking and people don’t seem to bother about returning calls.

    We did some research a few years back for a professional services firm. Biggest area of client complaint was personal relationships (standard and frequency of reporting, explanations of fees, and yes – returning phone calls). Senior partners couldn’t believe the apparently (to them) minor stuff which clients unburdened themselves to us about.

    We have also researched for ourselves, the frequency and speed with which business people return calls. You can try this yourself. Every time you need to leave a message, just leave your name and phone number – no details about who you are or why you are calling. If they don’t know you, you could be a prospective customer calling about a $1 million contract. Make up a spreadsheet with columns for name, outbound call date/time, and call back date/time. If you do this I would be interested to see if you find what we did.

    These days I seldom leave a message, except for clients who know I am working on something for them. I just call back again later.

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