Too many employers treat candidates like dirt

Bad hiring practises ruin your company’s image and brand. Full stop! Why do top executives let this happen? Why does this improper behaviour by hiring organisations and managers continue to be a subject in my articles?

Dear Managing Director, Dear Marketing Vice President, Dear Board of Directors,

You should really be protesting vigorously about these destructive manners, which are causing great damage to your company’s reputation.

Your Marketing Department’s efforts to market your brand and products through business- and social media, through CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) activities, and through regular marketing activities, all mean little when other colleagues in your organisation seemingly ignore professional courtesy to job applicants and candidates.

I’m sure that no company would ever talk as disrespectfully to their customers as they talk to job applicants and candidates every day.

Glassdoor for Candidates is like TripAdvisor for Travellers

In today’s Internet-driven world, customers have more power than ever. If job candidates have a positive experience when dealing with your organisation, they will share this experience with friends, family and connections, which in turn can lead to new business.

But what happens if you fail to provide a positive experience when candidates are talking to HR and hiring managers? Research shows that many unhappy “customers” will share their complaint with up to 15 people.

Glassdoor is a website where current and former employees anonymously review companies, exactly in the same way that travellers use TripAdvisor to share their experience when travelling.

I could easily fill the rest of this page with quotes that would shock you; comments that applicants and candidates have posted with names of the company and employer. Any potential employee considering a job with your organisation can easily look up your company name and the location and read whatever critiques other candidates and even staff have posted.

  • Terrible CEO!! Go far from here if you want a better life.
  • Management’s solution for bad Glassdoor reviews is to blame the disgruntled employees.
  • I showed up at the Bangkok office. The person I was supposed to interview with first didn’t show up.
  • Had an interview for a senior position. The two expat directors in the meeting wore holiday shorts and T-shirts, while the local staff wore business clothes.
  • If you see some “good” reviews on Glassdoor, don’t fall for it. Don’t be a victim. A very toxic workplace where the boss engages in physical fights with employees. Trust me, you’ll hate your stay.
  • Employees are squeezed in every attempt (health, time, other aspects of life, etc).
  • Take care of your staff, and make them feel appreciated. Don’t penalise us for everything.
  • Always changing contract terms. Penalties for taking time off for illnesses or emergencies.
  • Never concerned with people even though calling itself a people team. The is only concerned with senior management; doesn’t listen to or care for general staff’s opinions or they just ignore you.
  • Zero work life balance. Always doing overtime.
  • If the Manager continues to act selfishly and there are no human relations, it’s best to fire everyone and hire a robot instead. This way you can act the way you want; a Robot hasn’t got feelings to care about what you say or who you shout at.
  • Don’t overlook the elephant in the room. Start showing some respect to your talented subordinates.

Embarrassing, unacceptable, and amateurish

A senior executive candidate once told me how he pulled out of the hiring process for a Managing Director position at a multi-national company that had contacted him directly.

He explained that he and other top candidates met the client six weeks earlier and to-date no decision and not even an update had been forthcoming.

Let me be very blunt about this. It’s embarrassing, unacceptable, and amateurish. There is no way you will impress senior executives with that kind of slow recruitment process. Period.

Too many hiring companies still think that the supply of people (applicants or candidates) is bottomless, and that they can take forever to make their decision.

How many people are queueing up outside your office to apply for a job every morning? I thought so.

When the unemployment rate in Thailand is less than one percent, is it not common sense that good candidates are like hot cakes? Where is the courtesy to keep the candidates you have interviewed updated on a regular basis? In my book that is at least once a week, a short email to show that you did not forget and the process is ongoing.

It’s hilarious to watch the arrogance displayed by some hiring companies when they call in a candidate five times to interview. Mind you, five times as in five different days. Thai candidates with ten annual leave days have just used 50% of their yearly vacation entitlement to take time off for the interviews.

Too many companies still start the interview meeting by asking the candidate to fill out several pages of an application form; the kind of detailed form you typically fill in on your first day of employment – not on the day of your interview!

Once interviewed, the candidates are often left to figure out by themselves what is happening. Were they considered unqualified or will they receive a job offer?

It is really very simple. Show some courtesy, an acknowledgement and frequent updates will go a long way to show that your company cares. Even candidates who didn’t get the job offer will still talk positively about their experience with your brand.

Author: Tom Sorensen is a Partner at Boyden Thailand, a global Top 10 executive search firm. Contact; learn more on and

Series Editor: Christopher F. Bruton is Executive Director of Dataconsult Ltd, Dataconsult’s Thailand Regional Forum provides seminars and extensive documentation to update business on future trends in Thailand and in the Mekong Region.