Between being breadcrumbed by hiring managers and disingenuously led on for “open” roles that aren’t really open, there’s plenty that’s wrong with today’s hiring model. And as you fire off your 500th job application into the abyss, it’s enough to leave anyone wondering: how exactly did things get this bad? And when in the world of recruiting will they be better?
We heard from hiring experts on the most glaring issues with the ways candidates are hired (or not hired) today, and what exactly needs to change.
“Respect and appropriateness seems to be missing from the recruiting process,” Carolyn O’Connor, an FGB VIP and Immigration Legal Specialist, said. “Candidates are expected to show up when called and bring what is needed even if not told, but companies rarely follow any set protocol or etiquette for process. Sadly, what little etiquette there was in the process has begun to disappear with the more and more of the process moving online.”
Automation has made the process a largely impersonal one, O’Connor added.
“It has taken care of a lot of the followup or confirming of information, but it has also removed a lot of the connection or simple respect that many would expect from the process,” she said. “People are names on a screen, even after an all-day interview or series of interviews, and rarely warrant much time if any after a decision is made.”
“Make the application process easy,” Andrea Madden, an FGB VIP and Marketing Strategist, advised hiring managers. “If I just submitted my resume to you, I shouldn't have to be redirected to another page where I need to type all of that information out again. Also, keep in mind that a lot of people are relying on mobile versus desktop when it comes to job hunting. It's convenient, but it also means adapting your recruiting process for a smaller screen, a smaller keyboard and potentially slower speed. Clicking on a job posting, only to have your mobile browser open with a bunch of tiny fields show up is a terrible user experience. Consider who you're trying to recruit and make it as easy as possible for them to apply for your job posting.”
“I think one of the main ways companies could improve the recruiting process is not require extensive industry-specific experience for a role, especially if it's more entry level,” Meghan Titzer, an FGB VIP and Director of Product Development, said. “This shrinks the pool of candidates to basically people who already work for your competitors or friends from your former employers, making the pool much less diverse and thus poorer in many ways (including across gender, race/ethnicity, educational background, location, experience, etc.). Companies should be willing to teach industry specifics, if they can identify those who have a good, broad education, ask good questions and are curious about new ways of doing things. But this requires a willingness on the part of the company to invest time and resources into training, and most I've seen are understaffed enough that they do not.”
“The application process has become a massively orchestrated situation meant to put people under pressure and see who survives, and this is not the best way to get people's most positive side,” Adam Korbl, CEO & Founder of iFax, said. “Businesses could be missing out on brilliant skills because someone hasn't done well in an interview process — and its important to remember that nobody flourishes in the same situation, so allow a potential employee to take a form of leadership in the interview that can help them present themselves in the best possible way and show you exactly what they are capable of.”
Ashley Askew, owner of Shutter Club, agreed.
“I would do away with this process and go for a more conversational interview,” she said. “It allows the applicant to relax and get a little more comfortable. Only then are you able to get a more accurate representation of their personality. I personally like the awkward silences as it shows how they would react in a real life scenario. I believe this route is best even for more technical careers. People should not fear interviews or, even worse, have to Google the night before to ensure they are prepared for an interview.”
“The processes companies use are rarely uniform and vary greatly from company to company,” George Mazzella, CEO and Co-founder of The Suite, said. “You have young startups that move way too fast and scare people away and legacy businesses that move too slow and lose great talent to their competitors. Like many things, the key is in the middle. Companies need to learn how to move fast enough to keep the excitement high, while diving deep enough to alleviate potential concerns.”
To make this better, Mazzella recommends that hiring mangers be timely and transparent with responses throughout the process.
“Don't leave people without an update for weeks and expect them to wait,” he said. “Most often, it isn't how long it takes to get an offer letter that frustrates candidates. It's the lack of any update or sense of progress that they grow frustrated with.”
Nina Krol, Outreach Manager at Zety, echoed that there’s “nothing worse” for a job candidate than the feeling of being strung along.
“There's no worse turn-off for a job candidate than a recruitment process that lasts months and involves complicated processes, tasks, screening, endless interviews, or a recruiter ghosting for weeks,” she said. “Job candidates expect to know what the recruitment process will look like and how long will it last. High-potential professionals are likely to abandon the recruitment process if they feel like it's taking too long or is too complex, which is a total waste of talent.”
“It’s an honor to have someone want to work for the company,” Amy Feind, a job searching coach, said. “If a process is not completed that says ‘thanks, but no thanks,’ it reflects poorly on you, not the candidate. It doesn’t cost much to keep relations good with potential applicants now as they may become clients, stakeholders or shareholders in the future. You never know.”
Even worse than a hiring manager who only hastily thanks a candidate for their time? One who ghosts you altogether, said Jagoda Wieczorek, HR Manager at ResumeLab.
“One of the core issues in the recruitment process today is candidate ghosting,” he said. “First, ghosting candidates can dent your employer brand because the ‘dumped’ candidates, and probably their friends and family, will never apply for a position in your company again, as you’ll have the ‘reputation.’ Second, it’s just unethical. Job seekers that have been in between jobs for over a month or two are desperate, and they’d much rather know they aren’t a good fit than be left in the dark and have false hopes.”
“Be transparent about salary ranges,” advised B.C. Kowalski, managing editor of Wisconsin’s City Pages and founder of Frugal Wheels. “When I was job hunting, I didn't even bother with jobs that didn't post salary ranges at least. Again, why waste time when you can qualify candidates right out of the gate? My assumption as an employee is that if a company isn't willing to post that information, they must not pay competitive wages and benefits.”
“Lack of business or scope of work understanding by the recruiter is a problem,” John Pohl, a career coach, said. “Often, companies are putting recruiters in place that have little or no real-world business experience and are unable to grasp or understand the key components thoroughly enough to interview the candidates. On the candidate side, many questions they may have cannot be answered by the recruiter due to a lack of understanding.”
Using the CV as a measure of job performance and ability is flawed in itself,” Oscar Frith of Jump.Work said. “There is so much information that is not considered or goes to waste in a CV, especially when you consider that the average time spent reviewing a CV by recruiters and hiring managers is 7 seconds. Using it as the cornerstone of the hiring process leaves so much to chance and human bias.”
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