Whether you are unemployed and looking for a job, or you have a job but are looking to find a new job outside of your organization, you are impacted by the hiring process, which is different for each organization. I rarely speak with anyone these days who says they are happy with the employment process that is being used by organizations. I speak from experience of both sides of the process – as a Human Resources Executive, where Talent Acquisition was one of my responsibilities, and as someone looking for a job.
I too have experienced a lack of communication, an impersonal process and, of course, the “hurry-up, we’re-interested”, but then you wait and wait hearing nothing. Or you get complete “radio silence”. With all due respect to all the wonderfully dedicated Talent Acquisition staff whom I know and respect, it sucks. But don’t blame them.
The employment process reflects the organization, the resources they are willing to put into the process and their willingness to make decisions. Mix in a pandemic, and organizational decision making becomes even more challenged. Too often, Talent Acquisition is viewed as an expense, rather than an investment to acquire their most valuable resource. Often Talent Acquisition specialists may have 60-80 open requisitions, making it impossible to stay in touch with all of the applicants in away they’d like to. The other challenge is the investment of leaders into the process and willingness to make decisions.
I’ve always been surprised at how much leaders hate to interview and make decisions about candidates. As a leader, you’re judged by the performance of your team, not yourself as an individual. Knowing this, you would think hiring is a high priority. But leaders avoid it like a trip to the dentist office. The biggest challenge in the process is getting leaders to decide what the job is, what they are looking for in an applicant and finally deciding who they want. You might think that’s easy (it really is), but for leaders it’s hard. The Talent Acquisition Team and the member of that team you’re speaking with doesn’t control that.
What do you do about that? Nothing, because it’s not your process. It’s their process.
You might want to control it, fix it and make it better. Stop, you can’t, because it’s not your process, it’s theirs. Your job remains to following their process and present yourself the best you can. Learn from the process about the organization because you want to work there. If you hate the process and how they make decisions, do you really think it’ll be different in the organization if you get the job? I don’t think so.
Among the worst things that happens is you interview with an organization and then hear nothing for a while. You immediately think the worst. Don’t do that. It might be they are interested in another candidate, or it could be the person who is the decision maker might have other priorities that are more important and want to push off the decision, they might be making a job offer to another candidate, or it could be… The possibilities are endless, and the reality is, you don’t know.
Remember this scripture as an applicant:
If God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31).
Do your best to relax. If this is the job for you, if it’s part of God’s plan for you, nothing will keep it from happening. Even the worst hiring process.
I appreciate the insights you candidly shared in this article, Dale. And you’re right: in most organizations the hiring process sucks, not just for candidates but for the hard working people in HR and hiring managers.
I also think it’s important to look upstream at why the organization has so many open positions and recruiters handling 60-80 open requisitions. Turnover is an incidious problem that hurts everyone, including customers (or in healthcare, patients). I agree with your observation that managers hate recruiting, interviewing and hiring candidates. It is a time-consuming process that keeps them behind a closed office door instead of with their team, which is where they should be in they want to improve loyalty and retention. Gallup research shows that 70% of the variance in employee engagement is explained by the manager an employee reports to. Until we think differently about how we develop and support frontline leaders, this hiring hamster wheel is just going to keep spinning.