Opinion: Respectful workplaces start with recruitment

Drew (left) and Christina Stewart (right) have been helping businesses find and hire great employees in British Columbia for over 40 years.

BRITISH COLUMBIA – Building a respectful workplace is essential for a company, and while everyone would certainly agree, I’m usually asked why it’s so important in the recruitment process. The people who apply are only applicants or candidates – they are not even employees yet. Why is it important to treat someone who is not an employee? Why not devote your energy to those who have already made the cut?

When I’m asked these questions, I wonder if there’s a magic line in the sand when people suddenly become more worthy of an employer’s respect. They are always people. Human beings who want to work for you. People who ask to spend day after day pushing, working, creating, making and producing for you. They always deserve respect.

What about an employer who thanks applicants for applying? What does it say when they don’t? It’s more than a good idea when a candidate receives a response from a company after submitting a CV; at a minimum, it confirms that the resume was received and at most it indicates that the candidate is more than just a number.

Or what about companies that don’t tell a candidate who’s been interviewed that they didn’t get the job. These candidates have taken the time to pick out and squeeze some great clothes, prepare and research your business, think about answering questions, maybe even take some time off from their current job or arrange childcare. , and somehow adapt the interview to their life, and after all that, hey, have a stressful interview with you. They sit in the hot seat and try to be friendly but not overly friendly, knowledgeable but not boastful, and share all relevant details but don’t talk too much. Even if it’s uncomfortable, please pick up the phone to tell them they didn’t get the job. It may not be very nice, but it really is.

At every point of contact with a candidate, you have the opportunity to build your reputation as an employer who respects people. Even if these people don’t get the role, chances are they’ll share their experience with others and don’t forget they can be clients too! A few courtesies go a long way to positioning you as a respectful employer of choice.

Christina Stewart is co-founder and owner of Recruitmentand can be reached at 778-658-0696 or

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