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How Hong Kong HR professionals got candidates to work for free

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A lengthy recruitment process is a major turn-off, most candidates would perceive companies with a long interview process as disorganised and inefficient.  Research has also found that the golden time frame to get back to candidates is one week after the initial interview.

However some companies are still putting candidates through rounds after rounds of tests and interviews, to a point that candidates are starting to question whether the company is trying to take advantage of them.

In a post on Hong Kong Discussion Group, a candidate shared she went through four rounds of interviews before being rejected because her salary expectation was too high.

The candidate who was applying for an assistant marketing manager position was called back for a second interview after meeting the human resources department and the line manager.

She was asked to present a business proposal at the second round of the interview.  The topic was given to her one day before the interview.  “I think the company doesn’t care I have a full-time job to do.  I ended up working late into the night to prepare for it,” she wrote.

She got a call back for round three, and was put through a 90 minute online test.  And then in round four she had a meeting with another line manager.

After four rounds of interviews the candidate received a call from the company to discuss about salary.  The conversation ended with the hiring manager saying she is not a top priority and her salary expectations are too high.  The candidate had already mentioned her salary expectations during the preliminary stage of the recruitment process.

Despite a complete waste of time,  the candidate questioned if the company was getting her to do free work by requesting her to do the business proposal.

The post had sparked a discussion on the dodgy hiring process of some businesses and a number of respondents shared they had similar experience.

One respondent who was in sales said a hiring manager had asked him to bring a client list to the interview to prove that he is well-connected to clients.  To the candidate’s surprise, the hiring manager wanted to photocopy the client list during the meeting.

Shocked by the hiring manager’s behaviour, the candidate said “You don’t have to photocopy it, the information is false, you can have my client list after you have hired me.”

Another reader of the post said he was requested to do a two hour written test.  He turned it down because he believed the company should have a more efficient way to test his ability.   He felt the test was an office task that the boss wanted candidates to do for free.

There is nothing is more important than finding the perfect fit for the organisation but hiring managers should understand aside from fresh graduates, most job seekers are taking personal time to prepare and attend job interviews.   An effective hiring process goes a long way in helping organisations establish their employer’s branding.

ALSO READ: Which country takes the longest to hire candidates?

Photo/ 123RF

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