Putting Humanity Back into Job Hunting

As I work with graduating students that are in the midst of pursuing a job in their field of study, they’ve made comments such as:  “It sure would be great if there was some humanity in the job hunt!”  These are bright, young adults that are right around the corner from completing their Masters of Science and special certifications.

There’s much ado about the unemployment of recent graduates and how it affects families and our economy.  In fact, 40% of today’s unemployed are millennials.

Finding a job in their field of study is a challenge.  Some applicants pump out applications, play the numbers game and pray.  Others are selective and respond with fewer applications and focus on quality. Either way, there is a chasm between recruiters trying to find “talent” and job seekers.  The generic rejection letters or zero feedback makes the process inhumane, but where does it stem from?

When the Process Makes the “Decision” 

With the use of Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), a resume has a place to go but may never be viewed by a human, even if the application belongs in the “yes” column.  If the application is viewed, the applicant’s effort may result in a recruiter’s 6 second human eye resume scan and quick judgement.

Who’s Eyeballing the Resume?

Who are the recruiters and what experience do they have?  One student shared her story about receiving a generic rejection letter.  Being a conscientious pro, she called the recruiter to understand what was missing in order to make improvements. This student had many, many hours of internships and in response to her question of the recruiter in the department that reviewed her resume, she was told that her 2 years of intense internships “did not count as experience”!  Does that mean that internships, what many college students rely on to gain experience, can only qualify when they are paid work?

How about the recruiter that makes a decision on candidacy when he/she is 6 months into being a recruiter and their prior experience was a security guard at Ross Dress for Less?  Good for them, but are they qualified to decide the applicant’s fate?

Some recruiters create barriers because they don’t want the direct communication (which is why many don’t post email or phone contact).  That’s another argument for candidates to network—-to meet others in the organization that may recommend them to the HR/talent department or hiring managers and help their candidacy for the position.  In addition to a recruiter’s personal/professional judgment when reviewing a resume, they have processes and rules to follow, otherwise, they may wind up in the same boat as their applicants (and see it from the other side as they become a job seeker).

The argument for networking is …unless the applicant wants to spend 100% of their time with online applications that have little chance of response, they need to “put themselves out there” and develop relationships.  Sometimes it’s uncomfortable to reach out to people you don’t know but getting introductions or referrals increases your chance of landing the position.  Your outreach also develops new skills that integrate into your professional persona and success in your new career.

There are ways to put humanity into the job and talent search.  If you’re a recruiter that’s open to new techniques for reaching quality talent OR an applicant that wants to learn how to uniquely network online using LinkedIn to find and nurture your best opportunities, call Bear2Bull…

Penny@Bear2BullCoaching.com                              530 277 7037