…”we are a Christian company”

I don’t hear it every day, but I hear it often enough for me to say, “that’s great,” because we aspire and subscribe to the same principles. But I say to myself, as I express the fact that I’m glad to hear that, “we’ll see!” I have been a practicing Catholic all of my life…notice I say “practicing,” because I’m sure that I will never quite arrive, so to speak, in this world. All of us that espouse Christianity are trying to practice as best we can.

What was so interesting about this fellow’s comment…he was the CEO… was that he kept saying it as though he was trying to convince me as well as himself. I let it go without much of a response, thinking, again, “well, we will see how you all act.”

Over a period of four weeks, the VP of sales told us that he would interview our candidates on two separate days and changed the day, one time the night right before and the second time, the day of the interviews. (There were six interviews.) After finally getting together with the candidates, who were quite frustrated with having to rearrange their day twice, the VP of sales told every candidate that they were a great candidate, just exactly the kind the company wanted to hire and they would probably have them back within a day or two. I knew something was wrong when the third candidate called and said that he was told that he was an excellent candidate, exactly the kind the company wanted to hire and that they were going to bring him back in the next day or two, which is exactly what the two candidates before him had said. Of course, I’ve seen this kind of thing before and so it was no surprise when the sixth candidate called and reported exactly the same thing.

Okay, we will give the benefit of the doubt. The VP was just one of those kind of people who has hard time saying ‘no’ to anybody and wanted to make everybody feel good. Not the nicest way to do things, but understandabl. All of these candidates thought that they were going to be called back within a day or two, as they were told. We called and emailed the vice president who did the interviewing for five days and never heard a word from him about the candidates. Out of frustration for our candidates we nicely emailed the CEO explaining that the VP promised these candidates at least a response in a couple of days after the interviews. Three days later the VP sends an email stating that he wanted to have two of the candidates back to meet the VP of Marketing.

In spite of our calls and our emails asking him feedback on the other candidates, we finally come to the conclusion…the obvious conclusion…that he wasn’t interested in four of them. We passed along to our candidates who were eliminated that they obviously did not make the cut. Unfortunately, we were not able to tell them why they were not being considered. It was as frustrating for us as it was for them.

The candidates that were supposed to go speak with the VP of Marketing smartly called the VP of sales to get his ideas about what the VP of Marketing would be most interested in seeing or hearing from them. Not surprisingly, they didn’t get a phone call back. One of them wrote a very nice email and, again, not surprisingly didn’t get a response. The interviews with the VP of Marketing were arranged by the CEO’s administrator and it was all done via email. Obviously, not a lot of love being shown here

.The two candidates who interviewed with the VP of Marketing were told the same thing that they had been told by the VP of sales, that they were “absolutely perfect” and the company should be getting back to us and to them within a day or two. She couldn’t be more convincing of each candidate that they were perfect. She even gushed to each of them how wonderful they were. We called the VP of Marketig, the VP of sales, the CEO, and the CEOs admin for a solid week. We heard absolutely nothing. On the Monday of the second week, one of the candidates got a call from the CEO’s admin, informing her that the CEO would like to have her in for one last interview before they hired her. The admin followed up with an email that she also sent to us and it said that the company wanted to hire the lady. The candidate was understandably guarded, but needed the job.

The CEO spends two hours with the candidate and tells her that they’re going to hire her. They discuss everything… duties, benefits, start date, money…etc.  The candidate thinks she’s been hired. Then, you can guess what happened…nothing. Neither she nor we heard anything from the company the next day, a day after, the day after or the day after that. The candidate called the CEO twice. She even called the admin once and got no return call. Responses to her emails were not returned either. She even texted the CEO….nothing!

One week after she had been told she was going to be hired we getting email from the admin…not either of the VPs….not the CEO…that they were not going to hire our candidate. We tried to get a response from the VPs, the CEO and even the admin and nobody called us back.

The last candidate, who thought she was going to be hired, found a connection on LinkedIn who had worked for this firm. She tracked down the contact and found out that the company runs just about the same way that all of our candidates had been treated. Her contact holder that despite their espousal to “being a Christian company,” it couldn’t be further from the truth based on how they treated people. It was a big joke in the company. It was probably a good thing that we didn’t place anybody there.

Now I realize that we are all sinners, trying to aspire to a higher level. I assume that there are lots of candidates out there who preconceived or assumed we were going to find them a job when we couldn’t. I realize that sometimes, even our actions can be misconstrued as not caring. But you don’t stay in this business we are in since 1952 if you don’t genuinely concern yourself about people. We may not be able to help everybody but we certainly try to be as compassionate as we possibly can be. We know the golden rule and we strive for it.

I will have to admit though, that this company was just downright rude. Even if they would’ve hired someone from us I can’t see how they were being “Christian.” Their actions spoke so loudly about who they were and what they were, we could never really hear what they said.

So, when someone says “I’m a Christian,” or says “we’re a Christian company,” watch out for what they say. Judge them by their actions. Pray for them either way.

“Do not waste time bothering whether you ‘love’ your neighbor; act as if you did. As soon as we do this we find one of the great secrets. When you are behaving as if you loved someone, you will presently come to love him.” – C.S. Lewis

“Treat others the way you wish to be treated.”

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