When did the job search process get broken? Years ago, getting a new job was a straightforward process.
- You typed up your resume and took it to a print shop.
- The print shop gave you back 50 or 100 copies of your resume.
- You read job ads in the newspaper and replied to them.
- You heard back from a few of the employers you had written to.
- You had one, two or maybe three job interviews at most for any given role.
- You got a job offer.
- You got hired.
That was it! Now the job-search process is excruciating. More automation has made things worse, not better. On top of that, the people you deal with as a job-seeker looking for a new role are often rude, brusque and condescending. Why is the job-search process so arduous and so hard on your self-esteem?
Here are five reasons for the deterioration of the job search experience, and the recruiting process in general.
The Advent of Applicant Tracking Systems
Applicant tracking systems started showing up in corporate and institutional recruiting programs in the early nineteen-nineties. They are a pox -- undoubtedly the worst application of technology ever employed to solve a human problem.
Two seconds of thought would tell us that you can't hire great people by spotting keywords in their resumes, but that hasn't stopped employers from jumping on the Applicant Tracking System bandwagon. Who knows how many fantastic job-seekers they've turned away with their talent-repelling recruiting processes?
Smart employers are starting to see the flaws in the automated recruiting framework and making their hiring practices more human bit by bit. It's high time they did!
The Reliance on Mechanical Communication
In case sitting at your computer filling out fields in an automated recruiting portal is not bad enough, many or most large employers have also adopted mechanical communication protocols that save live contact with a human being for the very end of the recruiting pipeline.
That is unacceptable, and I advise you to walk, run or roller skate away from any employer that requires to follow more and more steps (more tests, more requests for personal information and more delays) without adding human contact to the mix.
By the time you've devoted hours to applying for a job online, you deserve a human phone call or email exchange before you donate another minute or brain cell to people who don't view your time as valuable.
The Decline in HR Staffing Levels
HR departments were much more generously staffed twenty years ago than they are now. These days two or three HR people might easily be expected to handle the employee relations, training, compensation and benefits and recruiting for several hundred team members. Paper-thin HR staffing is one reason why recruiting has degraded so badly.