Looking for great temporary worker benefits? Switch to Acorn by Synergie!
11 August 2023

Best Practice | How Acorn advises an applicant to attend an interview

Best Practice | How Acorn advises an applicant to attend an interview

Acorn's Kristy Moore talks to Recruitment Grapevine on how job interviews should never ‘jeopardise’ an applicant’s current position.

Securing an interview is arguably the easier part of the recruitment process, after all it’s the first steppingstone for a candidate looking to embark on a new career or change jobs.

However, it’s what comes next that can cause some issues – getting time off to attend said interview.

It’s a tricky one, with many employees opting to take holiday in order to attend the interview for their dream role, but it seems one candidate was offered some unusual advice by a recruiter in order to attend theirs.

One Reddit user took to the forum to share his tale, after a recruiter suggested he take a sick day in order to attend an interview.

User u/brvtalbadger pasted the request from the recruiter, which read: “Hey again Olly, struggling to get something booked in at the moment to be honest – do you think there is any way you could be cheeky and pull a sick day to get down on the Thursday at 3pm?”

Shocked by the request, the user responded to the recruiter stating that he would like to decline the interview altogether if this was their typical approach, or that the company can wait a week to see him when he can attend an interview in his own free time.

Recruitment Grapevine reached out to some recruiters to gauge their thoughts on this tactic, finding out whether this is a standard procedure for recruiters or something that should never be considered.

“When clients are looking for folks to join their company, headhunters are often approaching passive traffic; recruiters should always outline the detail of how they will approach the market, and what clients may expect. In today’s market the onus lies with recruiters to educate and inform all parties around the process, and to manage expectations of all involved,” said Laura Le Masurier, CEO of Crucial Recruitment.

“Often, clients may need to interview outside of working hours. I would not hire someone who ‘pulled a sickie’ to be at the interview, nor work with a recruiter who employed such methods, it sets an awful precedent.”

If a candidate is happy to fake illness, then it may showcase a lack of commitment and responsibility if they can so easily drop their current role to attend an interview.

Similarly, Kristy Moore believes job interviews should never ‘jeopardise’ an applicant’s current position.

“With flexible working on the rise, employed jobseekers are finding interviews easier to attend but coordinating them should never jeopardise your current position. You want to leave on good terms,” she added.

“The temptation to duck out between meetings is always there but I only ever advise caution – being discovered during company time means an uncomfortable situation for all. In a perfect world, avoid taking time off altogether – many of our clients understand the difficulties juggling a job search with work presents, often meeting the right candidate outside work hours.

“Taking a day’s holiday otherwise allows for plenty of preparation time and the benefit of feeling more relaxed. You are entitled to request time away whilst keeping your reasons vague but avoid pulling a sickie at all costs.”

How to advise your applicant to attend an interview:

  • Work with clients and employers who can offer interviews out of working hours or telephone/video interviews.
  • Suggest taking annual leave to attend an interview.
  • Advise applicants not to lie to their current employer, to help avoid any uncomfortable conversations later.
  • According to CV-Library, jobseekers should also keep their reasons for taking time off vague. This will help to avoid any tricky questions when they return to work.