Nebraska, the Good Life. We’re home to one of the best collegiate volleyball programs in the nation, offer a great quality of life and cost of living…oh, and the Runzas! I’m a Nebraska native, born and raised in the small town of Harvard, population 900+. One thing in particular that I’ve always loved about living in the Midwest is that people are generally kind, considerate, and trustworthy. I value these attributes and believe this is one of the reasons the Midwest is best!
So, how can this whole “Nebraska Nice” concept be detrimental to one’s job search? I’ve seen it become a hindrance when it precludes a candidate from articulating their true feelings about something specifically related to their job search. This manifests in what I’ll refer to as perceived conflict avoidance strategy. I’ve witnessed this playing out in a few different ways. The first example is “ghosting.” I’m guessing all of you are familiar with that phrase. Instead of letting a hiring manager know their interest level has changed, some candidates choose to just never respond to requests for setting up an interview, or just no show to a scheduled interview. The second example is the “push back.” This is when a candidate keeps canceling an interview at the last minute, indicating something has come up and they need to reschedule…only to never actually follow through with rescheduling.
In the moment, using “ghosting” or “push back” to avoid having a candid conversation about why your interest has changed might seem like the easiest solution. I’ll be the FIRST to admit that conflict makes me uncomfortable. I’m definitely a people pleaser and having to engage in what I anticipate to be difficult conversations isn’t my idea of a fun activity. But trust me–using these conflict avoidance strategies is not going to help you long term. Never returning a call from a hiring manager or simply not showing up to a scheduled interview is not a good look. And, repeatedly canceling scheduled interviews is going to send a strong (negative) message to the hiring managers, which could come back to haunt you in the future.
What I want candidates to understand is that I am here to help you through your job search. I WANT to hear your true thoughts and opinions! I will never try to talk you into taking a position that doesn’t feel right or make sense for you personally or professionally. I just ask that we both engage in open communication throughout the process. Working with a recruiter provides so many benefits to candidates. I am your advocate. I want candidates to provide me with a vision of what they want their next position to look like, from a job responsibilities, work culture, and compensation standpoint. In return, I am committed to serving as your eyes and ears in the marketplace, presenting you with opportunities I identify as potential good fits. I’m going to help you prepare for your interviews and debrief with you following your interview. If we get to an offer stage, I’ll consult with the hiring manager(s) and provide them with the information they need to craft an offer that you’re going to be excited to accept.
Just know that you can still embody “Nebraska Nice” while being transparent about what you want in your next job, or if your interest level changes with a specific role. Be honest. Be real. Know that this will get you much further in your professional career than “ghosting” or “push back.”
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Stephanie has been with Aureus Group for 13 years. As a Senior Account Manager within the finance and accounting division, she enjoys partnering with organizations across Nebraska, providing staffing solutions within the areas of accounting, finance, and human resources. In addition to working closely with hiring managers who are trying to identify talent for their departments, Stephanie finds great satisfaction serving as a confidential resource for professionals who are interested in exploring new job opportunities.