Tom Dimmick, seasoned HR professional turned Third Party Firm owner of DK Search, and I were having a discussion about the recruiting process and what it really is to most job seekers. As well as everybody involved with the mess.
After 25 years in corporate HR Tom speaks from both the internal and external viewpoint.
Tom’s take on the recruiting process and why it will never be a totally positive process no matter how many cows we give away, what kind of system we use or how hard we try to “engage” and treat our candidates with the respect and value they deserve.
The recruiting process is a negative process. The process always begins with more candidates as inputs to the process than there are offers of employment as outcomes to the process. We can call it "selectivity" or "winnowing" or "narrowing the field" but the results are the same; the rejection of some of the candidates in the field. However; it is my opinion that there is a deeper meaning to this as well and it is an important one for candidates to remember.
First, this process does not always result in the best candidate being selected. There are a whole host of good reasons for this to occur. There could be relocation issues or compensation issues or other financial issues. Beyond these very reasonable issues are reasons that are less objective and sometimes just plain foolish. There are issues of nepotism and biases of all descriptions. Simply put, the best candidate is not always the candidate that ultimately gets the offer.
So what does this mean to all the candidates out there? What can they learn from this process? In my opinion . . . very little. Too much is hidden from the candidates' eyes and what they do see is often vague and without clarity.
What should they do? If the process is flawed and the outcomes lack clarity what should a candidate do? Accept the rejection as just that, the result of a flawed process with vague outcomes. In short, they must never . . . and I mean NEVER . . . take it personally. Like a golfer, the candidate must put out of his or her mind the last shot . . good or bad. Maintain enthusiasm!! From a candidate's viewpoint, it is a numbers driven process, the more resumes sent, the more recruiters contacted, the more interviews conducted, the sooner the next offer will be presented and you can never let the bastards see you sweat.
How can anyone disagree with Tom’s take on a flawed process. I think it’s much the same for recruiters both internal and external. It’s always going to be negative, unless or until there are 10 jobs for every person on the planet. I’ve been around a long time and even in times of very low unemployment the process is based on more “no” answers than " yes" answers..
There will never be a time when we can provide total clarity to candidates for all the reasons that employers and recruiters talk about over and over. No matter how much a candidate wants to know the inside scoop on why they didn’t get a job. Everybody on the recruiting and hiring side of the desk is protecting themselves from negativity. Potential lawsuits, bitter feelings if the real truth were known, avoidance of knocking a good candidate in the dirt when they did something in an interview that should not have been a deal killer but it was because of one picky hiring manager. Am I going to tell a less than attractive candidate that they didn’t get the job because the hiring manager thought they were butt ugly. Of course not, they can’t do anything about it. The next hiring manager may be double dog ugly and think that candidate is a doll.
Dealing with a negative process on all sides is what we do. What our candidates do. What our employers do. In a perfect world everybody who applied for a job would be hired. Every candidate we submit would be hired. There would be free love and nickel beer and enough for everybody. It can’t happen. Even the most positive candidate experience becomes negative if the wonderful experience results in a “sorry we went with another candidate”.
There are processes like having surgery that will never be positive but we do them because eventually having endured the process we will hopefully feel better. There are a lot of processes that are painful when they happen. Recruiting and job seeking is right up there with having teeth filled or child birth. It’s a bitch while it’s going on but when it’s over and you are the candidate who gets the “yes” or you are the recruiter who fills the job the pain is soon forgotten. We don’t take the pain of other processes personally so we have to encourage our candidates and ourselves to regard the flawed negativity of the recruiting/hiring process as one of those things we don’t like to go through but if we want a job or a candidate placed it goes with the territory.
Not only should we not let the bastards see us sweat , we can’t let the bastards get us down. The problem is that there are no bastards to fight. It’s not you it’s the process. Pick em’ up, get over yourself and GO!
If you have the solution to taking the negativity out of job hunting or placing people in jobs, let’s hear it. And if you say social media your hard drive will crash , your refrigerator will quit running and either you are your spouse will be pregnant with Octuplets.