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Why more job hunters cry foul

Growing pool of applicants triggers a rise in dubious hiring tactics by some firms

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After Mary Faith McConville interviewed with Global Payments Inc., an Atlanta-based payment-authorization company, the firm promptly offered her a job in human resources at their office outside Chicago.

What's more, Global Payments felt that Ms. McConville, previously an HR manager, was capable of filling a greater company need, so they expanded her responsibilities.

"They turned it into my dream job," she says. "I was star-struck that they wanted me that much." Soon after the October interview, McConville and a company representative agreed to a start date a few weeks away.

But two weeks after the interview, she still had no written offer. Numerous attempts to follow up were ignored. "The day before I'm supposed to start work, I still don't have any paperwork - no contract, no offer letter - and no one is returning my calls or responding to my e-mails," McConville recalls.

That evening, she contacted the recruiter who initially put her in touch with the company. "When she told me it wasn't going to happen, my stomach dropped. You work so hard to get an offer, and ... then suddenly, it's gone. It was devastating."

The Global Payments HR representative who oversaw McConville's recruitment did not respond to three requests by the Monitor for comment about the incident. McConville has since accepted a management job in human resources with Home Depot.

Experiences like McConville's are not uncommon, according to job seekers and employment experts. An October survey by Chicago headhunter Wendy Tarzian found that 80 percent of survey respondents had experienced at least one "bad" interview - in most cases during the past one to six years.

Experiences included:

• Interviewers telling interviewees that another candidate had been selected, but that the firm required that they conduct interviews nonetheless.

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