I’m told in emphatic terms—and words that can’t be printed in this publication—that the job search and hiring process is broken. I heavily engage with job seekers, hiring managers and human resource professionals on a daily basis in my roles of an executive recruiter, contributor to Forbesand CEO of www.WeCruitr.com. Maybe because I serve in a capacity solely to help people find jobs and improve their careers, they feel comfortable telling me their intimate stories. People who read my pieces and engage with me—relative to their job search—are candid about their horror stories and how badly the search process has become.
One of the most common threads is that there is a communication breakdown between the person seeking a new job and the representatives at the companies (hiring managers, human resources professionals and internal corporate recruiters). It seems that there is an inherent difference in how both sides desire to interact with one other.
Here is what I’m hearing—prospective interviewees who are in their late 30s and older expect one-on-one meaningful conversations from the beginning to the end of the process. They feel that résumé submissions should be answered, someone at the company should prepare them before the interview takes place and offer feedback after each interview. Job seekers also desire to have their expectations managed with respect to the number of people that they’ll be required to meet with, the time frame involved and a rough idea of the compensation. I think we’d all agree that these are reasonable expectations.
What I’ve heard from job seekers is that these expectations are not being met. Instead, they receive little or no acknowledgment of résumé submittals, an absence of feedback and they’re left in the dark for long periods of time. They tell me that most of their interactions are with relatively younger people in their early or mid 20s. I’m told that the candidates feel that these folks don’t feel comfortable talking on the phone and prefer communications via email, text and through LinkedIn messages. They’re uncomfortable and awkward carrying on a conversation, so job seekers feel that the human resource staffers hide behind technology.
I can readily understand this. As a Gen-Xer, I’ve worked the phones for decades. I am accustomed to using the phone—not just the modern day smartphones, but clunky rotary phones without answering machines. As a teen, I would call my friends, encounter a busy signal, hang up and try a few more times until whoever was on the line got off (as there was no call waiting). When the call connected, I would be forced to engage in a conversation with my friend’s parents. Here’s a typical exchange: