3 Reasons Not to Hold a Grudge During the Hiring Process

Oct 4, 2022

We’ve all been there: a candidate turns down a job offer at the last second with no warning, or a hiring manager doesn’t give any feedback for over a week after an interview. It can be easy to let frustration take over in these cases. For example, a hiring manager might decide that a candidate is untrustworthy after a lapse in communication and ban them from consideration for future job opportunities. Or a candidate waiting for feedback after an interview might decide they don’t want to work for that manager after all and withdraw their candidacy.

First and foremost, the hiring process is a human process, and human beings make mistakes. There are risks to holding grudges when someone slips up, and in many cases, there are benefits to practicing forgiveness instead. Here are three reasons not to hold a grudge during the hiring process, and to give people second chances:

Remember: It’s Not Personal

Candidates and hiring managers alike have a lot of pressure on their shoulders. Often, they are balancing the need to make the best decision possible with their responsibility to meet the needs of other people who are involved, such as families or team members. Sometimes that balancing act is very difficult and someone can make a decision that inconveniences someone else, whether by suddenly backing out of an opportunity or neglecting to communicate with others involved in the hiring process. It’s important to remember that those frustrating decisions are not personal, and in most cases, the candidate or hiring manager who slipped up had no intention of inconveniencing the other person. Everyone is doing their best to make the best decisions they can at that particular moment in their lives, and keeping that in mind can help reduce the frustration and stress of those situations for everyone involved, even if some disappointment is inevitable.

Keep Your Options Open

There is a difference, of course, between a frustrating decision and serious ethical or professional breach, and every case is different. But in many cases when a candidate or hiring manager makes a mistake, it’s in everyone’s best interest to acknowledge the unmet expectation and move forward without any extra drama. Choosing to hold a grudge against someone after a frustrating experience during the hiring process closes doors – not only for the person being dismissed, but for those who are avoiding them. By accepting that person’s decision and letting it go, candidates and hiring managers leave space to have better interactions with different opportunities in the future. People learn, change, and grow all the time, and while it can be difficult in the moment, the best thing for everyone is to avoid defining someone based on one negative experience and give them a chance to earn trust and deliver value again in the future.

Everyone Makes Mistakes

Perhaps the most important thing to remember is this: no one is perfect. There may come a time when a hiring manager makes a professional mistake and needs someone to give them the benefit of the doubt. Or a candidate might show up late for a job interview due to unforeseen circumstances and need the hiring manager to give them a second chance. Treating people with forgiveness and patience is a great way to encourage them to extend that same forgiveness and patience to someone else when it’s needed in the future.

It’s crucial for candidates and hiring managers alike to communicate well, behave professionally, and honor commitments during the hiring process. Everyone’s time is valuable and no one likes to feel disrespected or “ghosted.” But it’s equally important to understand that mistakes do happen, and that when they do, no one benefits from a grudge, and everyone benefits from moving on with forgiveness.

About the Author

Jay Dubac

Jay joined Kimmel & Associates in 2017 in the Logistics & Supply Chain Division. In 2019, he transitioned to the Midwest general construction market.

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