A lot of us that are either in the baby boomer generation or close to it have long talked about how kids today are soft. Often they are referred to as snowflakes. They seem to be self-centered, lacking in social skills, and they need crying rooms whenever someone says something that might offend them no matter how tame the words might be. Now certainly there is some exaggeration of the condition and not all kids fall into the category of being self-centered victims. But some recent experiences that I have been through reinforce some of the stereotype.

Not too long ago i made the decision to expand my business by hiring more staff. At the time Western New Mexico was holding a job fair which our agency manager was attending. He talked to a couple of people who expressed interest in the positions. I also advertised the positions on social media and received some responses. What happened next tells me a lot about why so many business people in our area consistently complain about the lack of employment candidates.

Out of the 5 individuals that we contacted, 3 set appointments for an interview. Of the 3, two of them did not show up for their scheduled interview nor did they call or otherwise communicate to us that they would not be able to make their scheduled appointment. The third arrived wearing gym shorts and a T-shirt while applying for a professional position.

Of the two remaining candidates, one did not respond to the offer of an interview while the other, a job fair candidate, did not have voicemail setup on their cell phone and did not respond to an email. I thought this was particularly interesting because the job fair candidates generally go through a pretty good educational process through the career development office at the University where things like this are covered. One of the keys to finding gainful employment is the ability for a potential employer to contact you.

I have quite a few friends in the business community as well as clients and this is a common theme among business owners trying to find not just qualified employees but almost to the point where a warm body will do. How do you expect to find a job if you cannot communicate or show a basic level of respect for other people? Business owners are often stretched for time. When you do not keep a scheduled appointment it not only says something about you, but it takes them away from doing something that would help their business.

Now I know, there are situations where business owners or managers do not treat potential employees with a similar level of respect. That is not acceptable either. Certainly, things can come up but an employer should do everything they can to be on time for interviews because you have to give your undivided attention to a potential employee. They should also communicate to people who have taken time out of their life for an interview as to the outcome of that interview.

Now I will say that since this happened I've had two people who took the request for applicants seriously, communicated well, and showed up on time. Interestingly and I'm not saying this so as to draw any conclusions about specific demographic segments, but both of those people have at least 20 years of work experience.