Time and time again I have heard horror stories about candidates’ hiring experiences. So what part of the job hunt is the most frustrating for candidates? Here is my top 5 list:
1. Not Hearing Back
I think the number one thing that annoys job seekers is not hearing back from hiring managers. While a company might be flooded with hundreds of applicants and cannot respond to every applicant, this black hole can be irksome. To make matters worse, some hiring managers express interest in applicants and then suddenly disappear for a prolonged period of time or don’t respond to the candidate even after the interview has taken place.
Tip: First, be patient. HR is probably being flooded with hundreds of inquiries. Second, where possible, take an alternative route by connecting with employees inside the company. Ask them to forward your resume to the right person or to follow up on where the company is in the hiring process. Making connections inside the company might lead to faster results.
2. Tedious Application Process
Statistics show that approximately 50% of mid-sized companies and almost all large corporations use online application systems to screen and filter through numerous candidates. Unfortunately, this software is not always customized by the employer, is too lengthy or does not auto-populate the resume into the online form – making the application process very tedious for the candidate. The candidate is often left frustrated thinking, “Why did I spend all that time writing down all my history only to then be asked to submit my resume as well?”
Tip: While these online applications are unavoidable, I recommend taking the time to ensure accuracy when filling out the application. Additionally, these online systems are designed to automatically filter through applications, meaning generic resumes will not make the cut. When applying, tailor your materials and content to meet the needs of the employer. Research “buzz words” and review the job description in detail to guide you.
3. Job Descriptions That Lack a Job Description
Many companies leverage previously produced or Google-searched job descriptions. This can lead job seekers on a lengthy road that goes nowhere. Many find down the road that the company they are applying to is not something they were interested in at all, or even qualified/over-qualified for. Job-seekers regularly find themselves applying and interviewing for jobs that bear little similarity to what they thought they were applying for. Now that is just a waste of time for the candidate and for the employer involved in reviewing the applications.
Tip: How else will candidates know that they fit the needs of the company if it is not clearly articulated in the job description? When possible, inquire about the job description in more detail and research the company/hiring professional responsible for filling the role. But, also ask yourself if this is a place you are serious about applying to. A company without a job description or lack of detail in the description may reflect upon the company’s structure throughout the organization.
4. Mass Networking Events
I often hear about candidates attending networking events but then find the event to be a huge waste of time. Mass networking events can be awkward for job seekers especially if you do not know anyone there or are naturally introverted.
Tip: Make sure you are networking in the right areas. Spend your time networking at places that are specific to your industry. Try and get the attendee list to target a select group to research beforehand and then connect. Focus on individuals that have actual decision making power in the company.
5. Needing Experience to Get Experience
We live in a world full of contradictions. Job seekers apply for jobs to gain experience but are expected to come in with years of experience already on their belts. This is especially frustrating for millennials and recent college graduates entering the workforce. How does that even make sense?
Tip: So, how do you overcome a job description that asks for 5+ years of experience? Focus on the skills needed to fill the role and apply anyways. Rarely do applicants meet all of the job requirements. Additionally, if you lack great experience, make up for it in other ways. Immerse yourself in the industry, know the trends, have an opinion, network and obtain internships.
Being a recruiter, I understand that the job search can be tedious, frustrating, time consuming and competitive for job seekers. It is up to the hiring manager to ensure the hiring process is a great one as it reflects greatly or poorly upon the company’s reputation. Looking for ways to stand out with a stand up hiring experience? Read my recent post here.
So, what else really grinds your gears about job hunting? Comment below and keep the conversation going.