An Open Letter to Job Seekers

Topics: HRExaminer, by Mary Faulkner

photo of Mary Faulkner, HRExaminer Editorial Advisory Board Contributor.

Mary Faulkner, HRExaminer Editorial Advisory Board Contributor.

Dear Job Seeker:

We, the recruiting community, understand your frustration. We know that it’s tough to find a job. Sometimes you have the luxury of looking for something new “just ‘cause,” but usually you’re looking because you’re angry or frustrated with your current role, or you’ve lost your job and are in a panic because the bills keep coming and unemployment isn’t all that great.

Sometimes we forget that you’re bringing a host of emotions to your search. We forget that, to you, your resume is THE MOST IMPORTANT ONE. And we need to do better in how we treat you in the process.

But don’t forget, there’s a human being on the other side of the job search, too. Many of us are frantic and stressed – some of us carry over 125+ open requisitions at any given time because our businesses are trying to save money (and some of those positions have 500+ applicants to screen). Some of us are also recruiting in a highly regulated industry that requires more steps because of policy. You think we’re making it difficult for you on purpose – but really, we’re following what’s required. When we put application instructions on a job posting or career site, it’s so you understand the process to which we are held accountable. By explaining the process, we want to make you successful!

There is a lot that happens behind the scenes that frustrate us, too. We are working with hiring managers who may have never hired a person before and need a lot of coaching, which can add time to the process. We are working with hiring managers who think they know the best way to hire, and their ideas aren’t always…okay. So that adds time to the process. We are trying to keep you updated, but we don’t always know what the hiring manager is thinking, either. We do our best.

On top of all that, most of us are trying to work with an applicant tracking system (or other technology) that was configured years ago and simply doesn’t fit our needs today. But it’s embedded in an HCM system that has been around since the cloud was just a fluffy white thing in the sky, so that’s going to take a few years to unravel, so we make do. Does that mean sometimes we spend 4 hours printing resumes for a hiring manager to look through because she can’t figure out the ATS? Yes, sometimes it does. Because our goal is to help our hiring managers find the right person for the job.

None of this really matters, though. It’s our job to make sure that all the craziness that we deal with on a daily basis doesn’t impact our customer service. We should do what we can to minimize the obstacles in your job search without complaining about our workload, our tech issues, our hiring manager issues (bless their hearts), our own frustrations, our own worries, and our own lives. Because it’s not about us – it’s about you. Right?

Just…be aware that there are human beings on this side of the process, too. Most of us are really nice individuals who love nothing more than to help people find their dream job. And there are A LOT of people trying to find their dream job. Listen, we hate it when we hear about recruiters ghosting candidates. We think it’s classless and rude and gives all recruiters a bad name. If we personally know a recruiter who is doing this, we will let them know what we think of their practice and try to make sure the rest of us do better. We take pride in our work – just like you. We face a lot of challenges, just like you.

Partner with us. Follow our process to increase your chances. If you’re not even REMOTELY qualified for a position, applying for it won’t change the fact that you don’t meet the requirements. If you’re applying for a position with a large, global organization, don’t be surprised if we rely on technology to help us handle the load. If we put contact info on a posting, we’d love to hear from you. Maybe not every 5 minutes, but you get the idea. Please be patient – there are a lot of you out there. And we are trying our best to do our jobs.  If we fall down now and then, it’s not out of spite.

It’s because we’re human.