Unemployment is at an all-time low. Employment is at record highs. Corporate executives grumble about the war for talent, but their own actions hinder the hiring process and turn off potential candidates.
During the financial crisis and the ensuing years, companies were able to easily attract top talent at lower salaries—since there were so many people out of work. Fast forward to today, the job market has dramatically changed. It is now exceedingly challenging for corporations to find and hire people with specialized skills and experience.
I’m usually not the smartest person in the room, but I understand a little bit about Economics 101. If demand greatly exceeds the supply, something has to give. With respect to hiring, there are more jobs open than people available. When it comes to highly specialized positions, the number of suitable potential applicants becomes very small. This means that job seekers need to be enticed to leave their current jobs and accept a new position. It could be done by offering a person more money, making the process super easy, showing love and compassion for the job seeker and offering intellectually challenging and rewarding work with internal growth opportunities.
Companies are doing the exact opposite of what they should be doing. Instead of wooing job seekers, they are making their lives insufferably difficult and driving them crazy. If you are looking for a job today, it’s likely that you’re going to encounter the following:
1. The job description is written with 20 or more bullet points of demanded qualifications. They are usually unrealistic wish lists with requirements that nobody could possibly possess. The unintended consequence is that overqualified people respond to the job ad thinking it’s a senior-level role, those that have too-little experience submit their résumés because they send it everywhere and the appropriate ones are too intimidated to respond since they may only have 10 out of the 20 requirements.
2. The applications to apply to a job on a company website or listed on job aggregation sites, such as Indeed.com, are cumbersome, glitchy and require an inappropriate and extensive amount of personal data. Completing an application that is just like the résumé you have already attached is a waste of precious time. Then, you come to a part where you’re stuck, the site crashes, you lose everything you posted and have to start all over again. It wouldn’t be so bad if you didn’t have to fill out different applications with each and every job you apply to. After all your efforts, you don’t even receive a courtesy email acknowledging your submission.
3. If you are miraculously contacted, it’s probably three weeks later and you barely recall applying for the position. An invite will be sent for a phone call instead of an in-person interview. It’s frustrating to then speak with a junior human resources representative who does not really understand the nature of the job.