A graduate politely requesting to reschedule a job interview need not necessarily be written off as "entitled"
Graduate career development practitioner and motivational speaker, Lillian Phiri Bususu received a lot of backlash on Twitter for her “entitlement on steroids” post.
She took to social media to expose a graduate she had called for a job interview. The unnamed young man could not make it and requested to have the interview rescheduled.
According to Lillian, he responded with: "I am busy, can I come next week Monday?"
She went on to describe the behaviour as being entitled, especially considering the number of young people who are unemployed in the country.
Called one unemployed graduate for an interview on Thur and his response was, "I am busy, can I come next week Monday?" ?? Entitlement on steroids. Sorry mate, your loss. With such high youth unemployment, an interview is now a treasure not to be taken lightly.#Muchisrequired— Lillian Bususu (@LillianBususu) January 28, 2019
The post went viral and sparked debate about whether it is wise for a prospective employee to try to reschedule an interview. Or whether it is fair for employers to expect job seekers to drop anything and everything for a job interview.
I agree with you. So many people need that job that he/she is too busy for. If they are busy, the opportunity must be provided to someone who is not. It's that simple.— Asanda.K (@AsandaTeedow) January 29, 2019
A person can be unemployed and still be busy AF because people's lives do not begin and end in the plantation. Also, for a lot of black graduates, 'I am very busy' can be code for 'I need more time to hustle for transport money to attend the interview.' Because poverty.— Ree Ntuli (@ReeeNtuli) January 29, 2019
The post garnered much traction because youth unemployment remains a great concern in South Africa.
According to Statistics SA, more than one in every three young people in the labour force did not have a job in the first quarter of 2018. The unemployment rate among young people aged 15–34 is 38.2 percent.
We spoke to Nixon Ganduri, an HR consultant from one of South Africa's major investment groups, who says there are often timelines in the recruitment process that may hinder human resource from allowing a prospective employee to reschedule.
"Remember, you are not an employee as yet, therefore the recruiter can choose to go for the next available candidate. Unless you have critical skills that cannot be easily replaced," he said.
"My advice - communicate clearly your reason for not being available. Some companies may consider a telephonic or Skype interview instead," he recommends.
26 year old HR intern, Prudence Nakana who also saw the controversial post, says it's important for HR to be more compassionate.
"There are many legitimate reasons a candidate may be unavailable on the date proposed by the company. We are dealing with human beings not machines," she said.
An unemployed graduate can be busy. Asking to reschedule an interview is polite and shouldn’t even come as a surprise to a recruiter. If you’re hiring urgently, tell the person that the time cannot change and move on.— The CV Writer (@_AdeFunke_) January 29, 2019
What is this tweet? https://t.co/aCILTta952
And that was the sentiment echoed by many on social media. Twitter users remarked that "being unemployed does not mean you are idle."
Another argument that arose was that graduates generally struggle with transport money or even presentable clothing to wear to job interviews.
First of all, we don’t know if that’s what this person really said. B. a recent graduate may not know the professional way to decline or reschedule an interview. And in conclusion, she should not have come here flexing her HR muscles as if she was doing the candidate a favor. https://t.co/u0LAjVjtwv— Mama Bow (@Phroetiq) January 29, 2019
Often when interviewees request to reschedule an interview, it’s due to money, or they are in another province. It requires a level headed recruiter who is also human to understand that.— Rose M (@sunday_dear) January 29, 2019
Given the above discussion then, should recruiters practice more compassion?
But unless the odds are absolutely against you for your designated interview time, do make an effort to get yourself to that interview.
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