Is Integrity Dead?

I guess I must be from another era when it comes to the way I expect people to conduct themselves. I have seen several trends lately that are very disturbing and wonder if you have had similar experiences.

Applicants that make appointments and then simply don't show up.

Applicants that don't show up, don't call and then call you later and want to reshedule.

Applicants that aren't selected for jobs and call you up to yell and scream about what a "mistake" you made in not hiring them. (Yeah, right!).

This is the kicker. We hired an administrative assistant. She worked three days and then came to my office and told me that another company had called her and offered her more money and she needed to do what was "right for her.". This is after we stopped the recruiting process, waited for her to work a two week notice, etc. and so on. I guess people don't think anything of doing this nowdays, but I was always under the impression that this showed very poor character.

What is going on with people nowdays????


  • 12 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • Have had the occasional no-show applicant. And once had a person call the Friday before their first day of work to say they accepted another position that paid more or was closer to home and they had to do the right thing for themself. Same thing, we had stopped the recruiting process and I even sent the other candidates rejection letters. I don't notify now until the candidate actually shows up the first day.

    My biggest beef was with the candidate for a director position that came for 2 interviews, negotiated salary, accepted the offer... then turned us down a day later. As part of the package, she wanted us to hire a coworker for another opening in the same department. We hired the coworker and he is still with us. Found out later she was using us to get a promotion and raise at her then current employer. When we hired her coworker that opened the door for her to grab more power. She made sure her then current employer knew she was inteviewing with us (they were our competitor). They gave her a promotion with a larger span of control and a significant pay increase. Two years later they went bankrupt. She sent us her resume hoping we still wanted her. We didn't.
  • Ditto.... I too learned the hard way some years back, do not sent the rejection letters to the "runner up" applicants until you have the new employee firmly on board.
  • My favorite one is about an agency hire. We needed an engineer with very specific experience. In the search, I received a resume from an employment agency. The guy's background was exactly what we were looking for. We hired him and paid a sizeable fee. Three months to the day, he resigns, another position, more money, yada, yada,yada. Within a week I get a call from a HR buddy wanting a reference on this guy. Guess what, same employment agency sent him to this other company. They hired him (same salary) and 3 months later he resigns. My HR friend calls me and is amazed that this guy did it to him also. Bottom line, the applicant was splitting the fee with the agency. He had been doing this for at least 2 years that I know of. We both called the President of the agency and threatened to tell all of our business associates about his agency. The fees that we paid were reimbursed.

  • I had an elderly gentleman who came to a job fair. He was looking for an advertised job for a cashier at our convenience store. The job was part time, and between advertising and job fair had been filled. However, we had two full time positions for cashiers at the casino which were not advertised. He never spoke with the department manager from the casino who was looking for the cashiers, because I don't think he heard them talking about their needs. He went home, which to his credit was a good distance away. He decided we needed to reimburse him for his time and mileage because we had falsely advertised for cashier positions. He made phone calls, he wrote letters, all pretty much to no avail. We finally made him understand there were cashier positions available but it was only two, and he hadn't even talked to the hiring manager...and it simply wasn't possible for us to hire all 104 individuals that came to the job fair when our openings totalled 14!
  • I think that the issue of the person accepting another offer after accepting yours is not so much an issue of integrity, but timing. If a person is doing what they should be doing in a job search, it is not uncommon for someone to have two or more pending possibilities and they generally know which ones that they prefer to come through first. Sometimes the preferred offer doesn't come through first so they accept the one that does because they do not know whether the other will or won't. So they accept yours and a few days later the preferred one comes through. Now they have a dilemma - do they stay with you, a second choice, or do they go with their first choice. I think most of us would go with the first choice.
  • I don't know if Integrity is dead, but it's definately on life support.

    Just today I had an applicant come in. She told me that she had worked for our company a couple of years ago at another location. On her application she put down that said she worked there for 4 months, got a significant raise during that time and what her rate of pay was.
    I guess she figured we would just take her word for it. A couple of taps into my computer and she shows up in our system working for us during a different year, for less than 1 month, and making WAY less than what she put on the application!
    Sure some people may "pad" their resumes a little, but to the same company!? One of these days I'm just not going to be able to contain my laughter.
  • I don't know if integrity is dead, but it may be on life-support. I also don't think the problem is new. I know I'm showing my age, but as long ago as fifteen years ago I learned to double-schedule interview appointments so I wouldn't have to waste my day waiting for applicants to deign to show up. I've always wondered why someone would go to that much trouble and then just not come. Leaving aside those who are stricken with a sudden illness or are run off the road by Bigfoot on their way to the interview, I can only conclude that they are ambivalent about the job or about working at all. In that case, I suppose we are better off without them, but it is very annoying and I've noticed the whole issue getting worse again after having leveled off for some years. Maybe it's the economy? Perhaps people who are out of work apply for jobs they don't really want and then don't follow through at the last minute.

  • A few years ago, I was working for a small, family-owned manufacturing company in a tiny little town in northwest Iowa. Out of necessity, our recruiting area had at least a 50-mile radius, and most of our applicants were barely out of high school. We were probably the only company in our recruiting area that didn't do pre-employment drug testing (the owner was afraid that if we did, we wouldn't be able to hire anyone at all!)

    Hiring was a revolving door endeavor - we'd hire someone, they'd work a week, collect their first paycheck, and disappear (we paid employees on the day after the pay period ended). However, they wouldn't disappear forever - often, they'd come back a few weeks later and reapply - and then, they were incensed that we wouldn't hire them again!
  • On the other hand how many of you have sent resumes, filled out applications, had prospective employers change appointments at the last minute, been kept waiting an hour after appointment time to be seen, had interviewers stop the interview to answer the phone every time it rings or never ever had a reply following an interview. Just playing devil's advocate.
  • To go with the devil's advocate, I have been scheduled, rescheduled and cancelled because someone else had been hired before the interview process was even completed. I've been kept waiting for hours and asked to come back another hour, day, week.

    The worst treatment was by the man who hired me for my current job. I was interviewed, offered the job and told to report on a specific day. I got a telephone call a day later saying "don't come in after all, we've decided to take more applications". A day later I got another call from the same guy saying "remember me, I'm the a**hole who told you not to come in yesterday. I want you to come in after all". Because I was truly desperate, I took the job anyway. I was told by another employee that a tall, tanned, striking blonde with a great resume (and other assets) came in right after I had been hired and interviewed well. They called me and withdrew the job offer. In checking with references they found the blonde who seemed too good to be true was, and possessed none of the qualities or experience listed on that wonderful resume. They called me back.

    Astonishingly, it turned out to be a great job, and the self-proclaimed "a**hole" was one of the best bosses I ever had. I've been here 25 years now, so "integrity" as defined here has been suffering for a long time.


  • You're so right - maybe we ought to start a new topic about prospective employers who can't seem to handle an interview properly!

    About a year ago, we were doing some mass hiring to fill an expanding department, so I was being assisted by several other managers in handling interviews. I was totally floored one afternoon, when a supervisor brought one of the potential new hires into my office. He'd been on a plant tour with our Training Manager about two hours earlier - the manager was paged, and told the prospect to "wait right here", and that he'd be right back. Well, by the time the supervisor ran across the person (still waiting right here), the Training Manager had long since left for the day.

    At least the guy could follow directions!
  • I went through two two hour interviews and was offered a job. I accepted the position and set a start date. Turns out the hiring VP was a friend of my current boss, a week before I was suppose to start she recinded the offer. That same afternoon my current boss offered me a small raise without mentioning a word about it.
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