Welcome to Recruiter Q&A, where we pose employment-related questions to the experts and share their answers! Have a question you’d like to ask? Leave it in the comments, and you might just see it in the next installment of Recruiter Q&A!
Today’s Question: We know the hiring process is far from perfect. To help make it better, we posed a question to some job seekers: What do you think is the worst part about the hiring process, and how would you like employers to change?
1. Not Knowing Where I Stand
The worst part of the hiring process is the black box your applications and resumes go into after you submit them.
In a buyer’s market, it is far too easy for the people doing the hiring to collect as many applicants as possible without ever giving job seekers an indication as to how the process is progressing. Like most job seekers, I remember wondering if recruiters had even received my materials, as I often did not even receive a confirmation email.
One potential fix is further qualifying applicants before they apply by putting stringent requirements in the listing, which would lead to a more manageable applicant pool for hiring managers.
— John Liston, All Set
2. No Human Contact
The internet is awesome in many ways. It makes communication almost totally free. Today, most employers require online applications and rely on automated responses. A job seeker will not speak with a human for weeks or months throughout the application process. This is a tragedy because it only builds enmity between labor and management. Moreover, many companies are obnoxious in their requirements for specifically tailored resumes and cover letters, but then they fail to keep candidates updated on their applications.
When I was last applying for a job, I carefully edited my resume and made certain my cover letter was detailed and specific for each company. I read their “About Us” sections to make sure I knew their missions, goals, and values. Unfortunately, more than 90 percent of my applications were never answered by human beings. Instead, I got automated boilerplate emails about how much they “value” me. Worst of all, many never responded to tell me when I was no longer being considered for the position.
— Matthew Massee, The Utah Advocates
3. It’s Hard to Build Trust
The hiring process is all about building a relationship quickly when the stakes are high and the clock is ticking. Job seekers seekers want to build trust, but few hiring managers give them opportunities to build trust with low risk of failure. Job seekers want to communicate just enough of their personalities and good judgment during the hiring process, and unless someone has taught them how to do that, they can’t do it. Both sides lose when that’s difficult.
Here are some other things job seekers are worried about:
- Can they let some of their personality come through? How?
- Can they communicate their sense of humor? If you give them that chance, you learn a lot about their judgment by seeing if they can make jokes in ways that are culturally appropriate.
- Do they have the opportunity to indicate they have researched the company in the interview without being pushy?
If you teach hiring managers how to make openings for these kinds of signals, everybody wins.
— Shannon McGurk, Authentic Masculinity