Looking for a Job – The Full-Time Job from Hell

Over the past few days I’ve had multiple conversations about the job searching process. Some of them have been with myself, some have been with others. One thing me, myself, I and everyone else I’ve spoken with has agreed on is that the process sucks. It’s broken. It’s been left on the side of the road and needs to be fixed. Somebody call AAA.

Non-HR folks are usually surprised when I can commiserate about how painful this process tends to be. In their minds, I’m part of the group of evil sadists who have created the problem.

one of them

But trust me, I know your pain. I know the agony of uploading a resume and then having to complete an application with the EXACT. SAME. INFORMATION. I, too, cringe when having to answer irrelevant questions like when you graduated high school or what your last salary was. Or worse yet, the salaries for all of the jobs you’re listing, along with the name, address and current contact info for each of your former managers. If we aren’t connected on LinkedIn, chances are, I don’t have it.

rebukeLet’s not forget the cover letter requirement. Heaven forbid you just look at a resume and gather why the person is interested in the job. I absolutely suggest cover letters for career change situations. If your job history has been in sales it may not be immediately apparent why you’re applying for a job as a social worker. But if your job history is a long line of social work or social work adjacent roles, it should be pretty obvious. Cover letters should not be required to apply for a job.

We need to stop making it difficult for people to work with us. We want great people but we don’t want to value their time. I can just imagine the number of great candidates who have been lost to a tedious application process. Who wants to spend 30 minutes applying to one job?

Don’t get me wrong. I get that an application is a legally binding document whereas a resume is not. I get that cover letters are often used to assess writing skills. Some employers call themselves weeding people out by not making it too easy to apply. “If it’s too easy, everybody will apply! We only want the cream of the crop who doesn’t mind spending an entire evening applying to our jobs!” Well, that’s a place I’m dying to work at. Not.

The hiring process is a window into what it’s like to work at an organization. This includes the application. If the process is tedious, time-consuming and disjointed it reflects an organizational culture that doesn’t value people. For example,

  • Long, drawn out application process
  • Waiting several weeks to contact people to schedule an interview
  • Bringing people in for more than two interviews

If you don’t value someone’s time when they are trying to work at your organization, that already tells me you won’t value it when they work there. Hard pass. 

job-search-5The job search/application process needs to be fixed. All applications should be mobile-friendly and involve no more than three steps. It shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes.  Sometimes I just want to apply for a job real quick during my commute. Resumes alone should be accepted. Until we come up with something better than resumes. Interviews should be scheduled in a timely manner. Communication should be consistent during the process. It’s really not that difficult to create a more person-focused process.

Value people. Value their time. Value their desire to work at your organization. Value the fact that after they’ve sifted through numerous job postings (another mission from hell) they’ve decided to take the time to apply to your job. Then don’t make them use too much of it. Looking for a job shouldn’t BE a full-time job.

If we really want to make a difference, let’s also have all job postings include salary ranges, realistic expectations and only consider requirements as things that are legitimately required to be able to do the job. What a wonderful world this could be!

 

will

Real time image of someone who’s spent the day searching and applying for jobs.

#SHRMDIV Day 2: Inclusion Paves the Way for Innovation

I nearly filled an entire notepad on day two of the SHRM Diversity & Inclusion Conference, feverishly taking notes on everything from business cases to legal considerations to behavioral science.

tony byers

The day kicked off with Dr. Tony Byers discussing The Multiplier Effect of Inclusion. Engaging us with wit, humor and authenticity, Dr. Byers started by sharing a story from his childhood of being excluded, the lasting impact that feeling left on him and how the experience informs his work. Similarly to Maria Arcocha White, he briefly touched on how D&I work had been done for the past 40-50 years and how it needs to change.  Over time, he stated, counting heads became more important than making heads count. Organizations can be diverse without being inclusive but it’s inclusiveness that really gives them an advantage. To highlight this, he showed us the difference in outcomes between a cross-cultural group that is well-led and culturally competent vs. one that is poorly led. Guess which one performs better?

divinc

Using a 10 question activity he highlighted the implications for innovation and creativity when an organization lacks diversity and inclusion. Hint: There are no elephants in Denmark.  From there he went on to discuss the responsibility each of us doing work in the D&I space has for being a multiplier when it comes to inclusion. We have to take a leadership role in this push for change. How are we helping our organizations become/be/act differently if the answers to questions are always the same? Considering the impact of multipliers, we must ask ourselves what we will commit to doing to implement inclusiveness, not just diversity. My commitment is to develop and sustain an organizational culture in which everyone feels included, respected and valued. What’s yours?

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • The 3 C’s of Inclusive Behavior:
    • Curiosity – Thinking Differently
    • Challenge – Managing Personal Bias
    • Courage – Develop an Inclusive ‘Speak Out’ Culture
  • Diversity x Inclusive Behaviors x Innovation = Increased Market Success (Organizations with inclusive cultures outperform other organizations by 26%.)
  • Different voices lead to different ideas and different solutions.
  • We may not always get it right in our attempts to be inclusive but we can’t stop. (Example: Starbucks’ ‘Race Together’ campaign.)

FAVORITE QUOTE: Why do you have to have a business case to treat me right?

I attended two other sessions on Day 2 but they honestly deserve separate posts. Especially Dr. Steve L. Robbins who I could have listened to for HOURS. Stay tuned.

#NotAThoughtLeader

 

The #JobSearch Climate is Changing (Infographic)

A couple of weeks ago I attended a webinar presented by BEYOND on The Text Generation of Recruitment. In this webinar the presenter discussed the benefits of using texting as part of your recruitment strategy. One of the best reasons given was that people are on their phones ALL THE TIME. Some of the stats given included:

74% of job seekers use a mobile device in their job search. 

Text messages have an open rate of 99% vs. email open rates of 20%.

Recruiting texts have a 15% average response rate within the first hour after sending.

I took a lot of notes but basically, it’s worth weighing the pros and cons and considering whether texting makes sense for your recruitment strategy if you want to have the best chance of reaching people where they are.

As a follow-up, BEYOND sent some additional resources via email, including this lovely infoographic. Y’all know I can’t resist a good infographic and since sharing is caring, I’m sharing it with you. Enjoy!

mobilewarming

Glassdoor Introduces New Job Search Experience

I’m a huge fan of technology and working smarter not harder. I am so glad that many HR functions can now be automated or at least enhanced by technology such as by using an Applicant Tracking System. What did we ever do without them? 

While I’m always on the hunt for tools to help me do my job better, I’m also on the hunt for tools to help me find a better job. As such, I am intrigued by Glassdoor’s recent launch of a new job search experience. Continue reading

#DayInTheLife: Hiring Hurdles

Image

Diff Strokes Arnold

When a hiring manager asks you to schedule interviews but doesn’t update their Outlook calendar..

 

 

#DayInTheLife: Crazy Candidates

January 7 – I had to make a few calls to schedule interviews. Some applicants I reached immediately.  I also had to leave a few voicemail messages and have the applicants return my calls at their convenience.

This is a pretty basic HR task, but one particular applicant stands out from this exchange. She returned my call based on the voicemail which stated my name, organization and why I was calling. Typical. We go on to schedule the interview, I tell her I will send an email confirmation and prepare to say goodbye. Before I can do so, the applicant asks these questions:

  • Can you tell me the name of the organization? (Huh? I’ve said it multiple times.)
  • Can you send me the job posting? (Didn’t you see it before you applied?) Continue reading

#WorkLife: Are Tattoos Still Taboo?

It’s 2016. Times have changed when it comes to what is and isn’t work-appropriate. Right? Women are allowed to wear pants to work. Hell, women are allowed to work. People of African descent can wear their natural, unprocessed hair to work. In most places. We have business casual workplaces and “dress down” Fridays. Workplaces have undoubtedly loosened up a bit over the years. Granted, heavy issues like equal pay, racism and gender parity, among other things, have yet to be fully addressed but, to paraphrase Robert Frost, we have miles to go before we sleep.

Continue reading