Job Seekers Are People Too!

Job Seekers Are People Too!

Robynn Storey

I’m not a movie star or an internationally known musician, but I do receive hate mail. Well, maybe I shouldn’t go so far as “hate,” but I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve opened a message or an email to find an unhappy note from a recruiter.

In case you don’t follow me on LinkedIn, I’ve owned and operated Storeyline Resumes, a successful resume writing company, for over 20 years. I’ve worked with over 150,000 clients, which means I’ve heard some horror stories about recruiters and hiring managers. After posting (with permission!) about one such story, I received a phone call from a recruiter named Stephanie. I don’t know her, she doesn’t know me, but she felt compelled to give me a call.

She started off by saying that “a lot of people follow your posts and it seems like you are always bashing people in the recruiting industry, and I wanted to know why.”

I was a little taken aback. I told her I don’t think I’m “bashing” recruiters, but I will tell you that being in the resume business, I’ve heard MANY stories about candidates jumping through hoops for job interviews and recruiters who don’t even have the decency to give them a response.

She told me she gets hundreds of resumes and voicemails each week, and that it would be impossible to respond to everyone. I said I get 400 emails a day and respond to every single one of them. I wasn’t trying to one-up her, but I did want to understand her thought process. We’re in the business of helping clients who are trying to make one of the most important decisions of their lives.

She explained that companies don’t want her to reach out to candidates who don’t get the job.

My response? “Maybe you should be the change and insist on reaching out, since candidates have invested time, energy and resources to go to the interviews.”

We chatted some more, and our conversation ended pleasantly enough. She got her complaint off her chest and I hopefully gave her the “human” perspective. Our conversation stayed with me for the rest of the day. I kept thinking about the stories I heard from my clients and about how Stephanie had been taught to handle applicants.

Throughout the hiring process, job seekers tend to become just names on a page. Recruiters and hiring managers are overwhelmed, and, granted, some applicants just aren’t right for the position. But if you’re asking someone to take time out of their lives to prepare for an interview, buy a new tie or dress pumps, travel to the office, meet with the hiring manager, HR director, and board members, then it’s unconscionable to not respond when the applicant checks in. When that happens, something is wrong. The hiring process is broken.

Somewhere along the line, we’ve forgotten that job seekers are people. People with fears about their future, people eager for the next step, people with families to support. And until the hiring process improves, I’ll keep posting stories and making noise. If it changes the hiring process in some small way, it’s worth a few pieces of hate mail.

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