I posed a question on LinkedIn during the week. If you had the opportunity to change or improve the job application process what would you like to see being done differently?
One way or the other you would have had the experience of submitting an application for a job vacancy. I planned on writing this post months ago but ended up with the subject saved as a draft. I was recently engaged in a conversation with a friend who recounted the numerous applications tended in for various job vacancies advertised for and the common theme was the lack of response. It makes the whole job search process look like it is just for the benefit of the employer which is not the case. I can recount a lot of good and bad experiences. The worst was one interview I was scheduled for, it was a referral and we agreed to meet to discuss the job requirements since I didn’t have a clear idea what the position required. Of course with my boss (my daughter), I was unable to do any detailed research during the short period. I got there only to be told it was a panel interview. Won’t go into details but when I walked out I just wanted the ground to open up and swallow me. For those who know me, I take things very serious and personal. Although it didn’t go well, I was expecting a call or email to inform me that I was unsuccessful but no message of that sort was received. The company won’t see it as a problem but they have just lost a potential customer or spokesperson. Imagine the opinion I would have of them and possible implications on their brand if I should recount this experience every time their name comes up in a conversation.
Not to focus only on the negative, I have equally had some good experiences. A recent interview required an online test followed by an interview with the HR. I was made to take a similar test to the online one including a personality test. I received feedback on the test including the results of the personality test! We hardly get to know how we fared on any aptitude test we take. I was impressed by this small act. I was later wowed when the personality tests results were communicated to me including the positive and negative and I was given the opportunity to express my view on the results too!!! I was so impressed to the extent that I could not keep my mouth shut and had to rain praises on the HR. Wish all companies would learn the essence of communication.
Now back to my letter.
On behalf of all job seekers and applicants I write this letter to potential employers to really make them aware of what applicants go through.
Dear potential employer,
I trust you are keeping well. There are a few issues I have noted with the application process which makes me feel disregarded and useless.
I saw your recent job advert which was in line with my career goal. I read the requirements and I met them. I took the time to update my CV and write a convincing cover letter to support my application. I waited…….and waited, sent follow-up emails and as expected got no response. I kept asking myself, “Was I not capable as I thought?” Was my application received at all?, If it was did they read my high level cover letter? I followed all guidelines provided online and by mentors in creating an award-winning CV. Where did I go wrong? Did the company value the time using in writing the letter? If they did they would at least have contacted me.
I kept checking my mails not even any notification of the receipt of my application. I know you receive piles and mountains of applications but please invest some resources in a recruitment system that would send electronic updates to applicants instead of leaving them in doubt or giving false hope. I guess this has never crossed your mind because you believe the applicant needs the job to earn money. I beg to differ it’s a two-way affair. You also need me who is skilled to contribute my quota to helping you meet your objectives. Without employees there is no company and without a company there will be no work for employees. So think this through and hopefully redesign your recruitment process.
I can be a mouthpiece for your company and depending on this little experience, I can be a good or bad one. I know your brand is important to you but it seems you are leaving out a small aspect of it. Every task worth doing is worth doing well. If you pride yourself on providing the best of services to customers, treating your employees well etc that is good but remember you haven’t treated your potential employees well with respect. It is just a matter of communication.
The next time I see a role advertised, I might desist my friends from applying and guess what you might lose a very skilled potential employee who could have worked the magic for your company, but sadly I prevented this because of the lack of respect I received as a professional.
It is not my aim to bore you with a long letter and cry out my grievances too you but just to let you know of how we feel when there is no communication and we are left hanging.
How I wish each applicant would be able to receive feedback on why they were not considered. I am aware that this will be too much to ask but at least make it a point to do this at the last stage of the recruitment process as at least the numbers would be manageable at that stage. Knowing why I failed to make it helps in my career development. I will be grateful because although you didn’t employ me you have still helped make me a better person.
I hope my letter would be read and given the due future consideration.
Potential employee and company mouthpiece
PS: Please read the letter carefully, it’s not just another job application to be tossed away or shredded.
Share your job application experiences. Share the good and bad sides.
Praise the companies doing a good job and maybe other companies would follow in their steps.