HR professionals Should be More Transparent to Job Seekers

Dear HR Pros, Be Transparent

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Dear HR Pros, Be Transparent

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HR professionals Should be More Transparent to Job Seekers

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I graduated college on May 15, 2010 with a Bachelor of Business Administration in International Business. I knew before I graduated that it would be hard getting a job. My dad was laid off from his job and it took him six months to find another. He then had that job for six months and got laid off again in which he was unemployed for another six months before finding his current job. Our economy sucks.  That’s a bold statement, but I think there has been a breakdown in communication between the HR world and those applying for jobs. I don’t necessarily blame this on Human Resource professionals because their industry has been affected just as much, if not more than other industries.

Dear HR Pros, Be Transparent

I have applied for job after job after job after job to no avail. You send your resume to employers through job sites such as, Yahoo HotjobsCraigslist (which is a joke), Simply, and directly to employers. My experience through these job sites is awful. You spend over an hour filling out ridiculous surveys that employers say really do help, only to find you aren’t qualified for a certain job. That isn’t including perfecting your cover letter for each job and fine-tuning your resume to make it stand out for a certain job. I have learned that it’s not directly HR’s fault most of the time because these are required systems and it costs a lot of money to deviate.

I’m not sure HR professionals really understand the effort and time it takes to fill out these applications. If a job applicant was only applying for their job, I’d understand the time that it takes, but we are filling out 5-10 applications a day. That’s a full time job! I have been told in the past that if an application takes more than an hour to fill out, that I shouldn’t waste my time in completing it. I wish I could afford that luxury, but in reality most people can’t. I spend hours a day filling out these surveys to test if I like to build ships or solve math problems. I think these assessments are jokes nonetheless, but essential if you want to get a job. I€™ve read different job boards and blogs that have broken down the logic of these questions.

I know for a fact that Human Resource specialists and directors have tons of applicants per job, and in doing their job they don’t have time to read and carefully consider every applicant. They brush over your resume in five seconds, when it took you an hour or more to fill out the entire application. There are even more professionals out there that give you opinions on how to make your resume stand out, but there is no logic to it, because everyone differs, there is no one way.

Everyone is frustrated. College graduates who don’t have a job by the time they graduate are told to return to school and get their masters, but what about after their masters? With no experience and a lot of education, you won’t get anywhere. Internships that are paid are few and far between and you usually have to be enrolled in school to obtain one. Once you graduate, you are thrown to the wolves without experience, which means you are less likely to get a job that you want.

If the position makes under 25K, then I’m over qualified. Do HR professionals understand that we all have to start somewhere? There are two sides to the coin, but I think HR professionals usually look at the wrong side. It’s been two months since I graduated college. Those who are looking for jobs explain the process as depressing. I think it could be a lot better if HR professionals were more transparent in the process. I know it’s hard with 100,000 applicants per job, but it’s hard on our end as well applying everyday for months at a time until we hear news. We can show patience if you help us out and if we didn’t get the job, send us an email, anything.

What do you think?  Are HR professionals looking at potential applicants in the wrong manner? Are the job assessments really useful? I would love to hear from previous HR professionals about these assessments and what they tell you about applicants.

Disclaimer: This post is not meant to upset Human Resource professionals because I know your job is just as hard, your budget is being slashed, and you have tons of applicants to few HR Specialists. What I said isn’t anything that I haven’t been told by people who are searching for jobs. It’s a rough process and I believe if there was more communication we would all peacefully co-exist and finding a job wouldn’t be such a long and depressing process.

Blake McCammon, is an intern at Xceptional HR and is also our Gen Y twice monthly blog contributor.  Connect with Blake on LinkedInTwitter, and Facebook.  Blake is a recent grad of Northeastern State University with a degree in Business Administration.  During school he created and managed his university’s social media strategy while also spearheading the university’s Go Green campaign.

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  1. Blake-
    I am really enjoying your posts! Great Subject to talk about. Best wishes on your Job-search and all future endeavors =)

  2. I am SO glad you wrote this!

    I’ve been a professional recruiter on the agency side for 4 1/2 years. Since the economic crisis, I’ve spent hundreds of hours volunteering to help job seekers gain a better perspective into the hiring process and the minds of HR folks.

    First, I’d like to note that the majority of Human Resources and Recruiting professionals are not using social media to share information, but they do use it to recruit and screen candidates. The few HR pros who do share are awesome and I hope they set examples for the rest of the HR community to contribute and share.

    With that said, I completely agree that HR should be more transparent. I deal with both the job seeker and the HR pro, so I have a pretty good idea of both sides.

    There is a huge problem, and this is what I think it is:

    Both sides are frustrated. HR feels overworked and overwhelmed. Job Seekers are underworked, overworked looking for work, and overwhelmed.

    Both sides feel like it’s “not their problem” that the other is in a rough situation. They have their own problems to deal with.

    There are a lot of commonalities between the two and therefore, they butt heads.

    The biggest problem I find is that HR pros expect job seekers to read their mind and know what they expect. But if they aren’t giving the job seeker feedback on why they are not chosen for the job…or even for an interview, how is the candidate supposed to know what to do?

    On the other side, many job seekers are taking out their frustrations on the HR pro or recruiter. I get it all the time. I call the candidate and give feedback as to why they were not chosen, and the job seeker will actually argue with me! I’m emotionally drained by the end of day one…so at the end of the week, I don’t always have it in me to take the risk by providing feedback. Sometimes I just can’t give feedback at all or I’ll go nuts!

    I’m not saying that any of this is excusable or right, but we are all human and no one is perfect.

    I think that HR will always have the upper hand and because of that, should spend a little more time educating the unemployed community instead of avoiding them. Many of these types of frustrations can be avoided.

    The fact that a lot of HR pros do not use their inside knowledge to help the unemployed community in a time of desperate need is unacceptable. As humans, we should all take time to help each other in any time of need.

  3. Thank you for the post Veronica! I agree that HR will always have the upper hand quite frankly because they know why applicants weren’t chosen and when applicants will be chosen. As for job seekers – we know nothing. We apply and then we can wait and wait and wait then in the end not hear anything. If the people that I applied with would’ve given me feedback as to why I wasn’t chosen for particular positions I think the process would’ve been a lot better.

    Like you said, job seekers will argue with you, I don’t think that’s necessarily because they are upset with you, it’s just that they have been on the search for awhile and are completely frustrated. You’re awesome for giving feedback when you can. It takes someone with great emotional stability to do what HR professionals do!

    I hope you continue to read the section of this blog! I appreciated your comment!


    Thank you Shennee for reading! I always appreciate your comments!

  4. Blake –

    As a professional recruiter for over 18 years, I left the field to pursue other career interests. I swore that I would never return to recruiting due to all the changes the field was being challenged with.

    2 years later and I am back, Why? Because of hearing stories like yours daily. As soon as anyone finds out what I do, I used to get a resume, a please help me find, etc…

    Now, when people find out, I get exactly what you have expressed. So you are not alone, and my best advice is to put the same time and effort into hunting for a good independent recruiter as you are doing in finding a job.

    HR departments are hiding. I have many friends in this field, and we never ever talk shop. Why? Because of our widely different opinions on how HR should treat the recruiting process.

    Many of the points Veronica mentioned are so true and on point, but I still believe ( maybe cause I am a Gen X dinosaur) in communication! Pixel, print or voice.

    You are miles ahead already, use your blogging, and social media expertise ( I am just starting!) to hunt down those HR pros you need to talk to. If you cannot get through, hunt down the recruiters they are talking to.

    Find out where their lines of communication are and begin a discussion with them. Hope this helps, contact me if you need more info and I will be following your blog.

  5. Hi, I read your post with interest. I’m an HR Director and recruiting is a part of my job along with benefits, staff training, employee relations, etc., but if I were to really give exceptional customer service to my applicants, it would be my ONLY job.

    I try to respond to each person and I do try to give some feedback where appropriate, which honestly usually feels like a risky and thankless job. And yes, people have argued with me or told me to keep my fricking job.

    I am definitely concerned about my candidates’ experience and do want to make their application more pleasant. Within the last month, I’ve drastically reduced the number of fields in my online application so that it should only take minutes to complete. And I have been using an assessment in the last year but I’ve decided to move it to later in the screening process to reduce candidates’ initial time investment.

    Good luck with your job search!

  6. Blake et al–I’ve tried, in a variety of different forums, to “educate” the job-searching population out there, and all I get is everything from a rasher of total nastiness to a snarky & sarcastic “well that’s your job isn’t it” and quite frankly, I’ve given up. I’ve been in HR for over 25 years, I’ve seen this cycle before, and granted this one is particularly long & ugly, but it doesn’t excuse the fact that we HR types are just as much human beings as you job searchers out there.

    I get to look at over 500 resumes weekly on average, for roughly 6 to 12 job openings. I’ve been as specific as possible in the postings, looking for specific skillsets & qualifications, and yet I still get people who apply for all 12 openings, clogging up my mailbox & fax, and basically wasting their time & mine.

    We don’t do little “tests” but I do set up some openings with qualification screening tests, just to rule out or rule in those who have the skills we need & those who don’t.

    I’ve been jobless before, I get it. And no one is more sympathetic to the person who’s been looking for months or even years, to no avail. However, it’s a 2-way street…and some of the same rules apply, whether the long-term job seeker wants to acknowledge it or not. Be nice–be persistent without being a pest–ask GOOD questions–don’t expect a response every time–be realistic…and did I say be NICE???

    No one likes to be treated rudely or disrespectfully. If I get you on the phone, don’t treat me like I’m a nobody and what I say doesn’t count. I will guarantee that your resume gets put in the no-thanks pile. And if you’re just not qualified, get over it…or find a way to improve your skills or whatever to make yourself more attractive to potential employers. I will be more than happy to talk to you, but only if you’re NICE and don’t take your frustrations out on a total stranger who has alot of work to do.

    I’m sorry if this sounds mean, but I’m so up to here with all the ugliness out there. I feel your pain, I have felt your pain, I continue to feel your pain, just don’t get mad at me. This too shall pass, honestly. If you live long enough…

    1. Thank you Carmela! I cannot tell you how many times I’m looking in a job folder for an engineering opening where the basic qualifications CLEARLY state eng’ing degree and I have 1/2 with no degree/no experience.

      You nailed many of the complaints that my peers and I have discussed…but one thing I have failed to see anywhere on these comments or in the article…what about the manager? The hiring manager at the company I work at OWNS the job…they provide feedback as well as the HRM, and usually better! I’m not sure anyone realizes that many HRMs can have 50+ open positions, but the managers may have less than 5 open jobs! And I’m sorry, recruiting/staffing is not the only responsibility I have in my role. As Krista stated…this would be my only job.

      Are business great with communication and responses, not always. But don’t always hold it over the HRM as it being their fault…because many times we are just as frustrated with hiring managers to obtain feedback as the candidate!

  7. I feel for HR professional’s and job seekers (that would be me) – however, being rude or nasty to anyone is just unacceptable. Times are difficult with a capital “D” – and I have cried after not receiving a position I thought I was a good fit for. My one peeve is that; after I take a Myers-Briggs type test, and when I call to ask, I am told that I agreed (by my signature) that the organization doesn’t have to give me the results, and that is okay too, but I ask nicely and what would it hurt to tell me. Times are hard – so let’s not be so hard on each other. Good luck to everyone who is putting their all into finding a job and to the HR professionals – don’t let anyone disrespect you.

  8. i have been reading , yes there are two sides to a coin, and i understand both sides, but however , it is frustrating filling , out all that information and making sure you have crossed t’s and dottie ur i’s …. but i urge you not to give up something has to give, and it cant be us. we have been bent enough…. i do notice that while filling out the app. we are directed to different websites. that encourage u to go back to school. and then u are getting a million phone calls from schools…. that are offering you to come back in the class room, well i did fall for the old okkie dok.. but after talking with one of the school couslors if found it going to cost more that they wanted to tell me … until i just had to keep asking for the break down of the program and the final cost when finished.. she said i would be in 20-25 k debt… im 43 and have kids coming out of high school… i cant afford to wrapped up in that kind of debt, and when the kids need me im going to still be paying off a debt from a school in wich the credits dont transfer….. so i urge any to continue on your journey and dont give up!!!

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