Last year I did a little “field research” to improve upon my complimentary talk on “How to Attract, Hire and Retain Top Talent". It was eye-opening. I embarked on a three-month journey to see how companies actually did with the attraction part. I might say most failed miserably and I cannot say there was any one company that shined at this process.

To really find out how companies do in the attraction part of finding top talent, I actually applied and interviewed for jobs that I was completely qualified for and in some cases even over-qualified. Some interviewers were down-right nasty.

Let me share one of many stories:

I applied for a position in which I could have brought huge improvements to the company’s marketing and lead generation. I was invited for a first interview. Everything the ad listed as a responsibility, I had done and had great results in former positions. I behaved like any top-talent applicant would/should. I researched the company thoroughly before both a first and second interview. I created thoughtful questions based on my research and the job ad. I researched the company on, which also told me exactly how the first interview would go. The reviews from former applicants were correct, right down to the questions asked at the first interview. I shined at that interview. I was immediately invited back for a second interview, which was scheduled for the next week. I even sent a thank you after the interview.

The second interview

This interview was with my would-be supervisor. Again, trying to do my best and wanting my research to be accurate, I prepared again. I re-visited all the research I did for the 1st interview and was ready to go. I arrived to the interview and was coldly greeted by my would-be supervisor. She told me how busy she was and how, “Frankly, I’ve been so busy, I haven’t even looked at your resume.”

Me: Jaw drop, thinking to myself,

 “Whoa! What? I did all this preparation and she didn’t even look at my resume.”

Think for a moment, I am top-talent. I have proven results. I have former employers who I worked for years ago lined up to give me glowing references. I had longevity at each job listed on my resume – I was never a job hopper. I met all the qualifications and then some. The salary range was listed in the ad, so if I applied I was OK with it. Treating me badly should never have been an option. The horror story continued. The interviewer was rude and asked questions she should have already known if she had even skimmed my resume.

This was not the only bad interviewing experience I had. I applied for one job and got a phone message saying they wanted to interview me. I called back. No response. I called again. No response. I emailed and finally the HR recruiter for this company tried to bait and switch me to get me interested in a different job. None of what this company did was a surprise based on what I read about their culture on Besides bad reviews from employees on, they also had terrible online reviews from their external customers.

Finally, one other company interviewed me twice for a position I would have rocked. The first interview went great. The second interview, however, didn’t go well. I could sense a bit of ageism prejudice. Once again, the salary was openly disclosed to me and I was fine with the range. Treating someone with my experience (or anyone) as poorly as this second interviewer did, makes no sense. Upon sending a thank you email, there was no response either. These last two interview stories were with companies who have their own “professional” recruiters internally.

I am grateful to have done this little experiment. My research has definitely shed light on how employers need training with attracting top talent. If you have an organization with managers doing hiring, their behavior can either lead to a quality online brand reputation for your company or not. Contact The Voice Customer Experience to provide a complimentary 45 minute training. 

How to Attract, Hire and Retain Top Talent

In a market with the lowest unemployment rate in the nation and as a manager or employer, how do you ensure you can attract, hire and retain top talent? This educational seminar will tell you how!

What you’ll learn:

  • How to provide exceptional internal customer service to employees, co-workers and peers that will attract and retain top talent
  • How to identify and deal with an “office bully” who may be driving employees away or giving your place of business a bad reputation on employee review websites like and others
  • Tactics on recognizing and retaining top talent. Turning over top talent in an organization can cost thousands of dollars.

About the author

Beth Boen

Beth Boen is on a mission at The VOICE Customer Service Training - to restore the lost art of providing exceptional customer service and turn the tide on poor customer service becoming the norm! Her blogs contain tips on how to provide exceptional customer service in everything you do!

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