the biggest job seeker frustrationI’ve been watching the results come in from a survey that Alison Green is working on, and I’m kind of ashamed to see the final result. What are job seekers frustrated about?

The biggie (49%!) is lack of communication. The second most common (11%) is having standards that are unreasonably exact, which keeps candidates and hiring managers frustrated.

Fixing the broken recruiting process

First, this brings me back to a post I read recently on Glassdoor about fixing the broken recruiting process (heck, the comments section of the post sounds just like the survey Alison has put on). One of the great quotes from the article was about requiring hiring managers to get back with the candidate within 48 hours. However, instead of just another rule with no consequences, this one has teeth.

Can you think of a good reason for a hiring manager to take more than two business days to update a job seeker after a face-to-face interview?

I can\’t. If you want to boost the quality of your hires and your organization\’s overall leadership quotient, make a rule that every job candidate brought in for an interview needs to get a yes/no message within 48 hours after the interview, no exceptions. That will get your managers thinking about timeliness in the recruiting system. If the manager hasn\’t checked in with the candidate by the 48-hour mark, that candidate will be handed to another hiring manager in the company while the slowpoke manager gets to go find new contenders. If you snooze, you lose, right?

Mystery Job Shopping

Second, I can’t help but remember my experience at Gerry Crispin’s Mystery Job Shopping session at SHRM10. Gerry has some brilliant ideas, like letting employees and alumni review jobs as if they were products and post those reviews to your website’s career page or having videos from recruiters as a FAQ section on your career page.

His company does mystery job shopping on companies and then reports the data publicly. Here’s just one example of a report that they put together on a fictional candidate (Jim Knee Cricket :-)). Some companies get angry when they find out they’ve been mystery shopped. Maybe that’s telling in itself?

What companies can do better

We are aware of the issue, job seekers. People are talking about the broken process time and time again. But like most things, it’s not going to be fixed overnight. I’ve been on both sides of the issue as a job seeker and HR pro, and it’s not pleasant for either of us!

Companies do need to continually look at what their recruiting process is and how they can change it. Even if those changes seemĀ minuscule, they can really build up if you have a lot of candidates.

Anyone else have any thoughts to add?

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  • One thought on “Job seeker frustrations: It’s us, HR

    1. Some of those survey responses were heartbreaking. Maybe it was the cumulative effect of reading through all 400 at once, but at some points I was almost moved to tears by hearing how vulnerable people feel, and how badlyl they’re being treated by prospective employers.

      If someone applies for a job with me, it doesn’t matter how unqualified they are or how many other applicants I have to deal with — that’s someone who offered to help my business, and they deserve to be treated with respect and kindness, even if that means just getting them a quick “no thanks.”

      I’m so angry about this…

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