The Hearts in HR

The Hearts in HR

“When HR fails with outdated views, it doesn’t get respect from “jobseekers.” – Anonymous

An overwhelming hiring process can leave a wrong impression on HR and a company’s overall brand. Because HR demands so much from job seekers, and all they are asking for in return is respect. But a wrong impression of HR is formed by jobseekers over three phases during the hiring process: Application, Recruitment, and Interview.

A jobseeker’s first introduction with a company is through a job posting — some with the mile-long job requirements and unrealistic workloads that would require more than one person to do. Job seekers are left shaking their heads in disbelief as the job posting doesn’t describe a “real” person and the underwhelming compensation package it comes with.

In a survey at the Harvard Business Review, jobseekers felt they were unqualified for reasons that had to do more with intimidating job postings taken at face value. The job seeker would instead liken options to “nice to have” rather than having nonessential requirements.   

The application itself can be pretty agnostic to the things that don’t matter but become compulsory before moving on. The other biggest roadblock the jobseeker has to contend with is the hiring company’s Applicant Tracking System (ATS).

An ATS is not a one size fits as they vary among companies; therefore, a jobseeker must try to beat every system. Unfortunately, for a job seeker, these systems are designed to make recruiting more efficient and indispensable for the hiring company. Not necessarily easy for the job seeker. Applying always takes some judgment, and some skills are required. It excludes candidates, who may have mismatched keywords, word tense, among other factors making highly qualified job seekers slipped through the cracks and are not found.

The way forward – it really takes the Heart in the HR to get a good hire from the unrealistic hiring protocol.

If Rejection Happens

It’s tough to be rejected or to get a no response from hiring companies.

HR can be considered as the corporate mouthpiece to job seekers, and both internal and external recruiters are perceived as messengers for HR and their brands. While Recruiters don’t make any hiring decisions, they are expected to enforce those that are built above them.

However, it should not be their mere job to insert keywords into their profiles/resumes and cherry-pick candidates but rather to dig deeper into the pool of candidates. Nothing more, nothing less.

Among the most frequent reasons for the frustration of candidates in the hiring process is the lack of communication. There are a lot of unhappy job seekers who are frustrated from not receiving a response from prospective employers. Sadly, due to a lukewarm hiring environment, job posting still appears without no intentions of hiring or any regard to potential employee/employer relationships.

98% of Fortune 500 companies use ATS while a Kelly OCG survey estimated that 66% of large companies and 35% of small organizations rely on recruitment software.

Hopefully, a job seeker gets past the ATS and starts preparing for an interview. They spent hours pressing clothes to wear, role-playing with themselves about what to say and what not to say. But at the interview, they realize the conversation is centred around the gap in employment and not whether they’re a good fit for the company.

HR forgets that a job seeker has many legitimate reasons why he or she may be unemployed for a period of time, some at no fault of their own or why worked outside their core training.

Then after the interview, there is barely any definitive answer as to “when” there will be a followed-up.

The hiring process can be overwhelming – a frustrating application process, and a complicated interview process with multiple hoops to jump through. All of this frustration builds resentment and a loss of respect for the hiring process.

All Together

Candidates have now begun to exercise control over the recruitment process, one in which recruiters have always had the upper hand in the hiring process. Many recruiters and hiring managers have been ghosting candidates for years, and jobseekers are living out the phrase “what goes around, comes around.” Jobseekers are now ghosting – failing to show up for job interviews or even the first day of employment, and cutting off all communication abruptly.

If HR does not respect that relationship, then the “Human” thing is at least, minimize the frustration. Be it in the formulation of policies and procedures for hiring practices and employee selection to building a culture of getting past the “usual” role of “paper pushing” for legal and compliance reasons.

Overall, job seekers expect a simple and straightforward process — one with an insight into the employee experience and a sense of connection with the overall brand.

Credit: Gaile Sweeney (Resume Writer and LinkedIn Optimization)

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