Author Topic: When Hiring Other SM's...  (Read 7541 times)

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RuthNY

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When Hiring Other SM's...
« on: Feb 24, 2009, 10:14 pm »
I'm in the process of hiring my summer staff, and have come up against something interesting that I've not encountered in the past.

I receive all the applicants' resumes from the theatre, go through them, and then send e-mails to set up phone interviews with the top candidates.  The email clearly describes the position, the dates and the pay.  The applicant then replies with their interest in continuing the process (or the statement that they have another job, or can't work those dates, or for that money, etc.) and we mutually decide on an interview date and time. 

Pretty easy?  Pretty clear? It seems so, yet there is a large percentage of Stage Manager applicants who NEVER respond. It is both polite and professional to respond either way (I certainly don't take offense when someone says "no thank you" to an interview) yet some of the applicants clearly do not deem this necessary. It's a pity, because then I begin to have pre-conceived notions about whether I'd even care to work with them.

True, people get busy, but if one applies for a job, shouldn't one be serious (or smart) enough to reply when an prospective employer makes the first move? 

Has anyone else run into this?

And what might I be missing here?
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Amie

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Re: When Hiring Other SM's...
« Reply #1 on: Feb 24, 2009, 10:57 pm »
I've been on this hiring end, but not for stage management. This is frustrating.  You aren't missing anything, as far as I can see.  It's common courtesy as well as common sense, if you ask me, to simply response.  One never knows when one will come across this employer again in the future....
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“This whole creation is essentially subjective, and the dream is the theater where the dreamer is at once: scene, actor, prompter, stage manager, author, audience, and critic.”

KMC

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Re: When Hiring Other SM's...
« Reply #2 on: Feb 24, 2009, 11:19 pm »
True, people get busy, but if one applies for a job, shouldn't one be serious (or smart) enough to reply when an prospective employer makes the first move? 

Absolutely.  It's not only polite, but necessary to respond in a timely manner.  The employer, in this case you, needs to make decisions against a certain time-line and by not responding they're only hurting themselves.  And if they are out of touch or not available they should indicate so via an auto-response email that can be set up with any email service and put change their voicemail indicating when they will be able to respond.  "I'm busy" is not an acceptable reason for not responding.  If you're interested in a job, you need to respond in a timely manner (in the corporate world, 48 hours is typically considered an acceptable window for a response to an email and many HR policies or informal lessons on "email etiquette" go on this timeframe).  At the very least, a simple email that says "my next two days are booked solid, but I'll have a chance to send a proper reply by the end of Thursday" takes about 30 seconds to write.

Has anyone else run into this?

I have encountered similar situations in the past.  One option for you is in your initial email to a candidate to include a deadline for scheduling an interview.  It can be worded as simply as: "Our goal is to have this position filled by xx date.  To allow time for consideration of all applicants interviews may be scheduled until yy date."

As an employer your options are fairly limited.  It's not usually appropriate to give career advice in this context or lessons on etiquette to applicants, so if they're clueless unfortunately you've just got to move on.
« Last Edit: Feb 24, 2009, 11:22 pm by kmc307 »
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MatthewShiner

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Re: When Hiring Other SM's...
« Reply #3 on: Feb 25, 2009, 12:12 am »
I do find slow response is common.  A lot of good stage managers are "holding out" for another job - which I wish they would just be honest about.  I have held positions for months for the right person, I don't have a problem with that.  But again, I tend to be hiring at a level and salary grade that finding a replacement SM at the last minute is usually not a problem.

What I find very odd is that the most common complaint from job hunters is the lack of response form the person they are applying for - like not letter of "we got your resume", "we have filled the position", etc, etc . . . funny, how they people applying don't feel like that need to respond in a timely manner. 

I have to admit when I looking to fill a position, I will send out feelers to a couple of people at a time form my "A list", not a firm offer, but a "are you available and interested" - then I will go ahead and make a decision - but I like to know who is available and interested before I make a decision.  (Usually running the list by the Director . . . letting them have a choice in the matter.)  I also like to note I get a lot of "yes"'s and then people backing out before the contract is signed. It happens.

You would think that jobs fewer and far between people would be more responsive.

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Anything posted here as in my own personal opinion, and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of my employer - whomever they be at a given moment in time.

ChaCha

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Re: When Hiring Other SM's...
« Reply #4 on: Feb 25, 2009, 02:11 am »
Am I the only one that thinks freelance stage managers who are working might actually NOT have time to check their emails for several days?
Also a surprising number of emails do go missing or get swallowed by spam filters.
ChaCha

MatthewShiner

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Re: When Hiring Other SM's...
« Reply #5 on: Feb 25, 2009, 08:10 am »
I find it hard to believe that anyone doesn't check their e-mail daily.  And even just sending out an e-maill saying "I am in the middle of tech, can I get back to you Monday?"

To be honest, I would think twice about hiring a Stage Manager who doesn't check their E-Mail for several days.  Between wireless internet, e-mail on cell phones, etc, etc . . . it doesn't seem that hard to stay in touch.

(Now, they could be could be on vacation, but a nice "I am away for this week" auto-responder goes well.)

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Anything posted here as in my own personal opinion, and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of my employer - whomever they be at a given moment in time.

Amie

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Re: When Hiring Other SM's...
« Reply #6 on: Feb 25, 2009, 09:35 am »
Being a stage manager who uses email as one of her primary sources of communication, I also find it hard to believe that anyone is too busy to shoot back a quick email in response.  Particularly if one has applied for a job and is waiting to hear from a prospective employer.  To me, there is nothing more frustrating than someone who is unreachable.

Am I the only one that thinks freelance stage managers who are working might actually NOT have time to check their emails for several days?
Also a surprising number of emails do go missing or get swallowed by spam filters.
~ Amie ~

“This whole creation is essentially subjective, and the dream is the theater where the dreamer is at once: scene, actor, prompter, stage manager, author, audience, and critic.”

ChaCha

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Re: When Hiring Other SM's...
« Reply #7 on: Feb 25, 2009, 09:48 am »
I do take the point that if you've been applying for work it behooves one to keep an eye out for responses through all possible channels.
Maybe I just think that the phone used to work well as a way of communicating...
ChaCha

KMC

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Re: When Hiring Other SM's...
« Reply #8 on: Feb 25, 2009, 10:10 am »
I do take the point that if you've been applying for work it behooves one to keep an eye out for responses through all possible channels.
Maybe I just think that the phone used to work well as a way of communicating...

Of course, and the phone still IS a great way to communicate.  Face to face is even better.  One major benefit of email though (aside from being instantaneous) is that it provides a paper trail for all communications between the two parties.  When hiring and interviewing, a paper trail is critical.
« Last Edit: Feb 25, 2009, 10:32 am by kmc307 »
Get action. Do things; be sane; don’t fritter away your time; create, act, take a place wherever you are and be somebody; get action. -T. Roosevelt

RuthNY

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Re: When Hiring Other SM's...
« Reply #9 on: Feb 25, 2009, 11:20 am »
 I do agree that there's nothing wrong with a phone call. 

But I prefer only to interview candidates who can work all of the specified dates without conflict, and who will work for the money and housing terms offered.  It's much easier to explain this in an email to 40 candidates, than to call them all with the inquiry.  I only set up the dates and take "No thank yous" via email.  Everything is else is done via the tried-and-true "old" method!

I do take the point that if you've been applying for work it behooves one to keep an eye out for responses through all possible channels.
Maybe I just think that the phone used to work well as a way of communicating...
"Be fair with others, but then keep after them until they're fair with you."
--Alan Alda

geridith

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Re: When Hiring Other SM's...
« Reply #10 on: Feb 25, 2009, 11:52 am »
I personally think its rude to not give a response immediately, whether its a yes, no, or let me get back to you. Why would you give any potential employer any reason to write you off? Honestly, with the competitiveness of this business, you have to do everything you can to make yourself seem like best candidate possible to everyone and anyone. 

MatthewShiner

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Re: When Hiring Other SM's...
« Reply #11 on: Feb 25, 2009, 02:40 pm »
I have to admit one of the major problems with communicating during phone for initial conversations is the phone tag.  An e-mail is a quick way to get a bunch of information out to the potential SM - I just need to know if the dates work, you are interested in the project and are available.  That is what the initial e-mail is all about.  After that, we set up a phone meeting.

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Anything posted here as in my own personal opinion, and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of my employer - whomever they be at a given moment in time.

Jessie_K

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Re: When Hiring Other SM's...
« Reply #12 on: Feb 25, 2009, 03:53 pm »
I have to say that on the receiving end, I usually prefer an email with dates, terms, job description and request for interview by e-mail.  A phone call or voicemail is not always convenient to receive, but you can check you email anytime and have a "written record" of the dates, etc.


Amie

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Re: When Hiring Other SM's...
« Reply #13 on: Feb 25, 2009, 04:17 pm »
Agreed with Jessie.  The phone call is a great FOLLOW UP, for me, but not always initial contact.  I want it all written down in specifics so I can refer to it again.  Sometimes, I take calls on the road or out and about, so it's not always ideal.
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“This whole creation is essentially subjective, and the dream is the theater where the dreamer is at once: scene, actor, prompter, stage manager, author, audience, and critic.”

J

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Re: When Hiring Other SM's...
« Reply #14 on: Feb 26, 2009, 10:07 pm »
I really have to agree with ChaCha.

A LOT of email can get swallowed by a spam filter, and if you're getting hundreds of spam a day, it's not always caught when emptying your spam folder. I had this trouble with yahoo, and had to eventually switch to another email provider. I was missing legitimate emails on a daily basis.