I have the same knee jerk thought upon hearing of one of my fellow humans doing or saying something that is down right inappropriate. "Tonight we've arrested two suspects in the burglery of an 80 year old woman," or "Breaking news... police are asking for tips on what seems to be a car jacking of the local meals on wheels van." I am not sure what you are thinking after reading those two headlines, but my thoughts don't immediately go out to the victim, but rather the mom of the perp. Unless she's Ma Beagle she's dissapointed, crushed and wondering where she went wrong. Instead of her kiddo thinking of the consequences of his decision on the lives of other's, his mind was missile locked on his own selfish desires. This mentality transcends illegal behaviour and often times rests comfortably in the minds of many job seekers and employers. I will give you an example of both just to be fair.
It's decision time and you have two companies after you. After careful consideration you decide on Company A because of its onsite gym facilities knowing good and well you will more than likely never set foot in there. Instead of contacting Company B to tell them of your decision to "bulk up" you proceed to screen the company's call. You get that dip in your stomach when you see the familiar number and instead of taking it like a (insert gender) you SCREEN it. Of course time will erase that sinking in your stomach mostly because the company will stop calling, but I assure you, there's a dissapointed recruiter who is blaming themself and it could have been avoided had you owned up to your decision.
Fresh from a meeting with the heads of your departments you sit down to an email from a persistent candidate who desperately wants to know their status. You just had the VP of Finance tell you straight up they were no longer being considered because of their lack of experience but you hesitate to respond. No one likes to be the bearer of bad news so you wait days to respond an avoid the difficulty of telling someone no. What you may not realize is every day you wait is another day this financial analyst is picking apart every comment and conclusion they made in the interview. It's also feasible they are following the behavior of the candidate in the above scenario and screening the calls of less desirable Company B because they are waiting to hear from you.
Kind of like the old chicken and the egg delima. Who tipped the first dominoe in the bad communication train... the recruiter or the candidate? Finger pointing obviously gets people no where so the solution I believe is to simply act in a manner that would make your momma proud. Candidates, if you have an interview scheduled, don't cancel the day of. I am an avid believer in not slamming doors before you atleast walk through the threshold and an even bigger believer in being an individual of your word. Companies, follow Midas's favorite rule and treat these candidate appropriately. Perhaps if everyone considered the time and feelings of all parties potentially effected the whole recruiting process might be just a little more productive. Well that's my sappy idea anyway...