Things Job Seekers Do That Frustrate Employers
July 3, 2019
There are several unspoken rules that you shouldn’t break when you’re conducting a job search. Job seekers tend to do a few things that frustrate employers and recruiters on a daily basis. As a job seeker, you want to make sure that you avoid making the same mistakes that others have made.
Some of these mistakes are learned over time as you experience failure, and others are incredibly obvious that you forget to implement them until it’s too late. It’s important to remember that you need to put your best foot forward when you’re applying and interviewing for positions. We’ve outlined several of the things that you should avoid doing when you’re applying or interviewing for healthcare jobs to ensure that you don’t frustrate employers or recruiters.
17 Things Job Seekers Do That Frustrate Employers
1. Lying About Your Qualifications
One of the first things that could potentially eliminate you from contention or consideration for a new job is to lie about your qualifications or your background. Employers, recruiters, and hiring managers spend hours sifting through candidates to try and find the ideal applicants who match the qualifications, skills, and experience to succeed in a role.
Employers and recruiters didn’t list the job posting with qualifications or requirements that don’t matter, which means that they take it seriously when a candidate lies about their qualifications. If a candidate was willing to lie about their qualifications, what else were they willing to lie about? In the healthcare industry, lying about qualifications, skills, or experience could mean that someone’s life is in danger when they’re asked to perform a certain task and they don’t have any background or training in the task.
When you lie about your qualifications, you’re also sending the signal that you don’t value an employer’s time. As we’ve mentioned earlier, an employer could take hours to sift through candidates to evaluate which candidates should move forward in the selection process. The fact that you got through to the interview stage means that another potential candidate had to be eliminated.
There’s also a significant chance that the other candidate had more experience or qualifications than you did, and as a result of your little lie, they were eliminated from contention. This means that the employer could have potentially wasted a true opportunity finding a candidate that could be a potential fit, in addition to wasting time in the consideration process.
Even if you’ve heard other friends or peers say that they exaggerated their skills and experience to secure a position, employers and hiring managers will value your honesty more. In fact, you can separate yourself as the leading candidate if you establish that you don’t have the skills that they’re looking for, but that you’re much more open to learning new skills quickly on the job. As employers look for candidates who are open to enhancing their skill set and growing, this is one great way to stand out.
2. Bad Mouth a Recruiter You’re Working With
The next thing that job seekers do that frustrate employers and recruiters is bad mouthing or talking ill of a recruiter that they are actively working with. Employers actively work together with recruiters and recruiting agencies to fill positions and job postings that have been available for quite some time. Over time, organizations and the recruiters and recruiting agencies they work with develop great relationships because it’s a give and take relationship.
In some cases, these relationships might even develop into friendships. If you attend an interview and the first thing you do is to start talking badly about the recruiter you were working with, you might automatically disqualify yourself from future consideration.
On one hand, you’re demonstrating that you aren’t very personable and are looking to stand on the shoulders of others at any risk. There are going to be plenty of scenarios in your job where you have to work with people that you don’t like, or don’t get along with. In those scenarios, you need to demonstrate that you’re capable of getting your job done without causing tension in the workplace or spreading gossip. When you bad mouth a recruiter that you’re working with, who you hardly know, employers worry about what you could say about those individuals that you do get to know and work with on a frequent basis.
On the other hand, you’re also demonstrating that you don’t potentially care about any relationship that the employer and the recruiter have. There are plenty of reasons that a recruiter might behave or act the way they do because it’s how they’re accustomed to finding candidates or it’s the best way they’ve found to evaluate and recommend applicants to their candidate. Trying to find a way to sabotage a potential relationship only raises the alarm bells when you’re trying to demonstrate how you could easily fit into existing company dynamics and team culture.
3. Contact Employers And Ask For Assistance Randomly
The next thing that annoys and frustrates employers is when you message them or email them out of the blue and ask for assistance randomly. It’s important to remember that job seekers need to follow the proper etiquette when contacting individuals from an organization or company that they’re trying to secure a job with. Employers, recruiters, and hiring managers do not like it or appreciate it when a job seeker randomly messages them and asks for assistance in their job search.
One such example could be when a job seeker messages one of the top executives for a “recommendation” or “referral” as they go through the hiring process. The hope is that getting a referral or a recommendation from this individual will help push their candidacy further because they’re leveraging an executive recommendation.
The problem is that these referral or recommendation requests often make the individual feel uncomfortable. First, job seekers are asking them for a recommendation or referral for someone who they hardly know, if at all. Secondly, the job seeker is asking them to personally stake their reputation on the referral or recommendation — which could backfire if the candidate is rude or unprofessional later on.
Job seekers should avoid randomly messaging executives or employees for recommendations or referrals unless the person is close friends or has agreed to do it.
4. Be Inaccessible
The next thing that job seekers do that frustrate employers is to be inaccessible. As we’ve covered earlier, human resource professionals spend countless hours trying to coordinate all the little details for each candidate. To begin the evaluation process of potential candidates, HR professionals and employers need to make sure that they have all the required documents and information for each candidate. This means that they need to have the completed application, updated cover letter, updated resume, and any additional documentation. They have to do this for each candidate.
The goal is to ensure that each candidate is on a level playing field. If a candidate doesn’t have the required documents, HR professionals need to reach out to candidates and collect all the information they need. This means sending multiple emails, getting the candidate on the phone, corresponding between different departments, etc.
As you can see, a job seeker needs to be active in their communication with recruiters and employers who are trying to get everything lined up so the job seeker can be evaluated properly. In the event that a candidate isn’t responding to emails in a timely fashion, or flat-out being inaccessible in every scenario, then the job seeker’s chances of securing a position take a steep nosedive.
If a recruiter or employer cannot reach you to schedule interviews, negotiate potential offers, and follow-up on things that they need then the recruiter will automatically assume that you’re no longer interested and they should consider other applicants. As we’ve mentioned with other points, not responding to them in a timely fashion or being inaccessible also sends the message that you don’t value their work ethic or their time.
5. Be Unprofessional or Rude
During the job search process, it’s important to be as professional as you can be. Once again, you’re trying to ensure that you’re putting your best foot forward and trying to create the best impression that you possibly can. Job seekers who tend to be unprofessional or rude automatically frustrate and annoy employers and recruiters. There are several things that you can do to ensure that you’re not unprofessional or rude to employers who are considering you for the position.
The first thing that you want to ensure is that you’re punctual whenever you’re interacting with or interviewing with the organization. In addition, you want to ensure that you’re dressing appropriately and you’re capable of being open and honest with your answers without throwing anyone else under the bus or being rude.
6. Disrespecting Former Employers
One of the worst thing that a job seeker can do when they’re interviewing for a new position with an employer or a recruiter is to trash and disrespect a former employer. It doesn’t matter what kind of relationship you had with them or who disrespected who first. It doesn’t matter. As a job seeker, you need to make sure that you’re respectable in every scenario, because it highlights who you are as an individual and ultimately speaks to your character.
As we’ve covered earlier, how you speak of others you’ve interacted with, worked with, or been employed by indicates how you might speak of them in the future. Employers and recruiters don’t want to recommend someone who might be looking for ways to tear an organization down when they leave.
That’s exactly what you’re doing when you apply to a job and you start bad-mouthing the former places you were — you’re hoping to tear that organization down and make yourself look bigger. The problem with this is that it sends the message that you’re only focused on yourself. Every organization and company needs to be a collaborative team-based environment to succeed. The moment a job seeker leaves and starts to disrespect former employers or employees, it makes it seem as if you’re only out for yourself.
The best way to talk about former employers is to highlight some of the opportunities you had there to learn new skills and gain new experience and how those skills and experience would make you an attractive hire for the future position.
7. Last Minute Cancellations
The next thing that job seekers do that frustrate employers is to engage in last minute cancellations. As we’ve highlighted earlier, HR professionals, hiring managers, and employers need to carve out significant chunks of their time to conduct phone interviews, in-person interviews, group interviews, evaluation periods, evaluation meetings, and more. In many cases, like with group interviews, multiple people might be involved to coordinate interviews together when all of their schedules line up.
It takes a lot of work to schedule interviews and get everything lined up so everyone can be on the same page. In addition, many employers are working on set timetables. This means that they need to hire and fill a position within a certain time frame. Every single day that a position is open or vacant, employers are potentially losing thousands of dollars in revenue and profit. Every last minute cancellation that a job seeker is responsible for means that the timetable has to be pushed back even further.
In some cases where the timetable cannot be extended, asking for a last minute cancellation might even disqualify a job seeker from being considered because they cannot extend the timeline further. They needed to conduct the interview and make a decision in a set timeframe.
The best way to avoid frustrating employers and organizations with last minute cancellations is to ensure that you select appropriate times when you can clear time off your schedule for interviews or whatever might be requested. In the event that you do need to cancel, make sure that you give them plenty of time and ask for a reschedule with a valid reason for the cancellation.
8. Going Over Someone’s Head
Another easy mistake that job seekers might accidentally do that could frustrate employers is going over their head. If you’re working with a recruiter, then the last thing you should be doing is trying to talk with someone that the recruiter is working with from the organization. Or in some other scenarios, you might even try to talk to the manager or the department manager when you’re trying to develop a potential connection that can secure you the job.
Unfortunately, trying to go over someone’s head makes it seem as if you think they’re incompetent or that you’re unhappy with how they’re interacting with you or helping you go through the application and selection process. Not to mention, it can make the employee or recruiter look bad when you try to go over their head and they most certainly won’t appreciate it.
Avoid causing unnecessary confusion or headaches by trying to go over someone’s head with the intent that you might be able to get a leg up in the application and consideration process.
9. Using a Reference Without Permission
The next thing that causes frustration for employers and recruiters is when job seekers elect to use references on their resume and application that never game permission. References are an important piece of any application and consideration process because it offers an external opinion that employers and recruiters can evaluate when they’re trying to consider whether a candidate would be a good fit for their organization.
They can ask the reference for important things like what the work ethic is of the candidate, what experience they have in certain areas, and much more. When a job seeker puts down a reference, most of the time it’s because they feel that the reference will speak highly of them and offer a good perspective on the job seeker. Unfortunately, asking for a reference might cause some trepidation for people and they completely forego asking permission and just put their name down “because they’re friends” or “well they won’t mind.”
Unfortunately, this is a really bad opinion to have and you should always seek permission before putting a reference down. The reason for this is that you don’t want your reference to be caught off guard when they receive a request to be a reference. They might say somethings that aren’t true or replace you with someone else of the same name. Another thing that might accidentally happen is that the employer or recruiter is put in a tough position when they have to explain that the reference they’re talking to was listed as a reference, and try to explain why they weren’t informed.
Avoid making the employer or organization feel like they’re in an awkward spot because you forgot to ask permission before putting them down as a reference. Ask for permission from those individuals who you know will speak honestly about your work ethic and promote you in a good light.
10. Being a No-Show
Being a no-show is one of the worst things that job seekers can do to separate themselves from other candidates. You won’t be separating yourself in a good way, instead, you’ll be separating yourself from those candidates who are still in contention or consideration for the position and end up in the pile of eliminated candidates. As we’ve highlighted earlier, HR professionals, hiring managers, and employers often have a finite amount of time they can use to source, evaluate, and hire candidates.
They cannot afford to wait on those candidates who are a no-show with no reasonable explanation behind it. Not to mention, not showing up for a phone interview or an in-person interview without providing a reasonable explanation is just flat out rude. It once again shows that you don’t value their time and effort — which once again raises the concerns they might have about how you’ll behave for important meetings or deadlines when you’re an employee.
Being a no-show for a phone interview or an in-person interview shows a lack of professionalism and might cost you more than just one job opportunity. Due to the fact that nearly every organization uses a modern applicant tracking system that allows you to write down notes on each candidate, they might write down a note about your unprofessional behavior and encourage future HR professionals to avoid interacting with or considering you. You don’t want one mistake to cost you several different job opportunities with the same employer.
We’ve all been in a scenario where we’ve accidentally forgotten to do something. It happens, but there are more ways to keep it from happening than ever before. Make sure you clear your schedule and make ample reminders that will assist you when the time comes. If you do accidentally miss it, make sure that you have a very important and reasonable excuse and reach out to them as soon as you can and profusely apologize with the intention of trying to get a reschedule.
11. Pestering Them
One of the easiest ways to frustrate and annoy an employer is to pester them every chance you get. Employers and recruiters are busy people. They need to manage multiple different tasks for each candidate they’re considering, and then multiply that for each candidate. They then have to manage tends to hundreds of jobs, in addition to every human resource concern that current employees have as well. When a job seeker constantly pesters them about the status of their application or the next steps in the process, it can frustrate them to the point where they begin to take their time with all the correspondence or flat out pass on the candidate.
The thing that job seekers need to understand is that everything takes time when it comes to evaluating and hiring candidates. Often times, there isn’t just one person that makes all the decisions — it’s a team effort. Each person involved needs consideration time that lengthens the entire process. Pestering one person who might not be the sole person involved only works against you when you ruffle the feathers of someone who is only trying to help you out.
It is important to follow up frequently, but you do not want to follow up multiple times in a day or send multiple calls and emails in a very short time frame. Give it some time, let the process breathe a little, and you’ll do just fine.
12. Bait and Switches
Baiting an employer and switching at the last second is one of the most frustrating that job seekers tend to do. Essentially, this process involves applying for one job and getting denied or passed over. Then, the job seeker applies to a separate job with the intention of trying to convince the employer that they’d be a better fit. Some job seekers do this by interviewing for the second position they applied to. Throughout the interview, they try to convince the employer, recruiter, or hiring manager that they’d really like to be considered for the other position.
When job seekers perform a bait and switch with the employer for the position, you’re only wasting their valuable time and setting the employer back because they initially thought you wanted the position, and are now down one more candidate.
13. Being Stubborn In Salary Negotiations
One thing that is often a contentious point for a newly hired employee is the salary negotiations. You will often be asked about your salary negotiations throughout the consideration and evaluation process when you’re interviewing, but depending on how you answer will largely impact how the salary negotiations go. Employers often have a range that they’re willing to pay for certain positions.
Employers will frequently ask in interviews what your salary range or expectations are to get a better understanding of whether or not you’re within their expected range, or if you will be difficult throughout the salary negotiations. If a candidate is worthwhile, they will often be willing to increase their salary range to get the candidate. But if a job seeker is outlandish with their salary demands or salary responses throughout the interviews, employers will become increasingly frustrated with the job seeker.
Salary negotiations often make a lot of people uncomfortable because there is some give and take, but if you ground it in the reality that you’re looking forward to being a valuable employee for them, then you’ll do just fine.
One way to avoid being stubborn in the salary negotiations is to politely ask what the budgeted salary range is for the position. If you’re asked by the recruiter or employer what your salary expectations are, you want to be forthcoming but avoid providing too much information. You don’t want to appear difficult, but you don’t want to give away too much of your hand.
14. Bringing Up Money Too Soon
Besides being difficult in the salary negotiation phase, another thing that frustrates employers when it comes to compensation is bringing up money way too early. Job seekers who tend to bring up money early send the message that they’re only concerned about the pay they’ll receive. It also sends the message that you’re not really passionate about the work or working with the employer, you’re just concerned about your bank account in the long run.
Because money isn’t everything in the work world, the last thing you should be bringing up throughout your interviews is money. Let them be the ones to bring it up and avoid frustrating the employer.
15. Ignore Feedback
Employers, hiring managers, and HR professionals often meet with dozens of candidates for each position. This means that they gain exposure to candidates from every walk of life, experience, skill set, and background. This means that they have a ton of candidates that could potentially aid you in ways you never considered before. HR professionals and employers know what the ideal candidate for the position is. This means that they’re also very familiar with what skills or experience they want the ideal candidate to have.
In some cases, an employer, recruiter, or hiring manager might offer you some constructive feedback to aid you. This might be feedback about your resume structure, cover letter, interview skills, or the skills you have in your repertoire. If they indicate that the other candidates have certain experience, it’s a good clue for you to see what you can do about adding that experience to your tool kit.
This way, you’re learning about things you can do to increase your chances of landing future positions in a similar role or with the organization. If they provide you with some feedback, don’t be offended by it. Instead, use it to your advantage to secure a position in the future by using their feedback.
16. Providing Unsolicited Criticism
The next thing that job seekers might accidentally do which can lead to the inevitable frustration of employers is providing unsolicited criticism. This unsolicited critism might come in the form of a simple conversation starter that turns into actually offending the person you’re talking to. For instance, you might say that the application process was really difficult. And it just so happens to turn out that the person you’re interviewing with made the application process what it is and you indirectly insulted them.
You might think that you’re being kind to them or that you’re just making some civil conversation, but you never know what can develop from providing unsolicited criticism. In some cases, part of the interview process will actually be a request for you to critique something and find ways to improve it — but the key to remember is that you were solicited and requested to povide feedback that might be useful for the business and employer. Even if your intentions are good, you should avoid providing unsolicited criticism.
Think of other ways to potentially start a conversation or keep the conversation going instead of going on a tangent about things you don’t like. As a job seeker, you also don’t want to come off as a negative nancy who is looking for things to dislike because you’re unhappy. Instead, you want to make it seem like you’re really thrilled to be interviewing for the position. Ultimately, it’s important to remember that there are going to be things that you cannot change and that you should just accept. If something bothers you, remember that you aren’t there to provide criticism, you’re there to highlight why you’re the ideal candidate.
17. Backing Out of a Job Offer
One of the most frustrating things that a job seeker could do is back out of a job offer when it’s already been extended. This process happens when an offer has been formally extended and then the job offer gets declined when the job seeker receives a better offer from a different organization. As we’ve mentioned earlier, receiving an offer means that there were dozens of steps involved before an offer could have even been extended. This is all time and effort that could have been provided to another candidate in the meantime.
When you are offered a job and you accept, either verbally or written, it’s an understanding that you have officially committed to the job and that you’re willing to work for them. When you back out of the job offer, you’re demonstrating that you don’t value and honor your commitments.
Another thing that might happen as a result of backing out of a job offer is that it might play a role in the future when you are hoping to be considered for a new position. You don’t want to accidentally get eliminated from future consideratoin because you decided to back out of a job offer earlier in your career.