By David Rose

A candidate misses an interview with a Hiring Manager. She’s still employed. Her current boss announced a last minute visit, unexpectedly, and she had to cancel the interview. She contacted the Hiring Manager 3 hours before the interview, apologized for the inconvenience, and expressed an interest in rescheduling. She has integrity and felt obligated to remain loyal to her current role and employer. The Hiring Manager saw it differently, and was reluctant to reschedule citing concerns with the candidate’s commitment to make a job change.

A Hiring Manager misses an interview with a candidate. Her boss announced a last minute visit, unexpectedly, and she had to cancel. The Hiring Leader contacted the candidate 3 hours before the interview. She apologized for the inconvenience, and said she would follow up soon. The candidate was expected to be gracious and wait without any real commitment.

Same scenario, different status.

There is a culture, long established, that companies and their representatives call the shots. They have the power [in the interviewing and hiring process] in that they decide whom they hire. They dictate the process, and candidates are expected to flex and understand if they want to be considered. While employers claim to want the best talent, many want the best talent that is willing to jump through their hoops and accept their conditions on their time table.

The imbalance is changing.

Candidates are gaining leverage. The mismatch of skills and available opportunities has increased the competition for talent. It has also begun to shift the power during the interview and hiring process. Candidates are interviewing with more companies and considering multiple job offers before deciding which offer to accept, thus snagging control of the interview process, including the timeline. Candidates have also learned that sharing salary history during an interview can negatively impact their ability to negotiate a fair compensation.

There is a push towards balancing the employer/prospective employee power dynamic.

The State of California’s employment laws aim to protect the employee from discrimination and sets requirements for minimum wage, meal and rest breaks, overtime, etc. California limits salary history inquiries during an interview process, and Hawaii recently signed a bill into law (Equal Pay Act) that made it illegal for an employer to inquire about a prospective employee’s salary history. The laws are designed to address demographic wage gaps in the state.

The way we work, and what we want from our work, has shifted.

Our expectations of fairness and honest consideration have not. We must avoid inconsistency and extend genuine courtesy whether we’re hiring or hoping to be hired. Together, we can make work better for us all.