Human Resources is something that many of us in the workplace don’t understand. We might not understand legal issues and compliance. We may not understand the “benefits world”. But we do understand the quagmire of interviews and the pitfalls of hiring processes.
I wanted to give you an insight into how everyday workers might feel about the process. It might not apply to every job or circumstance but my experience was a lesson for me. It should be a warning to your company too.
I have had a few interviews in my time in the workforce. Some have been great and some have been lousy. I have learned about myself and learned a lot about companies.
I put in for a Chemical Technician role with a large, Fortune 500 company. The company was expanding and definitely needed to hire. (The company had multiple press releases with coverage in local media outlets). I learned of the opportunity by surfing around their “career” section. I decided to apply for the role, (Chemical Technician).
Here is what many of applicants actually see:
(1) Glitch filled application system.
It didn’t matter if it was the experience section, skills descriptions, education areas, or the myriad of information required by the “central rejection system”. I ran into error codes and had to backtrack several times, to the point of losing data multiple times. When I actually finished the process of uploading a resume and clearing errors, I was starting to think I was hours older. If the “X” Company could spend more than US $200 million on a plant and operations; couldn’t they get a application system that worked?
(2) Poorly described testing process.
It gave decent directions to get to the testing location but did not give decent directions to the classroom. I had to ask multiple people where it was located. My lucky day was when I happened to find the one person that was supposed to unlock the door. No one was listed as a point of contact. No phone number of anyone at the company or a contractor. The details to check in were relatively clear but a person couldn’t avoid the feeling of being treated like cattle. The computer was outdated and its processes had bugs. It didn’t tell me if I sucessfully completed my tasks when I whizzed through it. The proctor mentioned that “the company would contact us”.
(3) Crickets or the sound of silence.
Most major companies that I had ever applied with would at least send me a cookie cutter rejection notice. For several months (at least four total), I heard nothing. I do remember finding a notice in my email from the company mentioning to contact them if we didn’t hear back in a certain amount of time. I did email them through that channel.
(4) More crickets and an email found in the spam folder.
The email found in the spam folder was a cookie cutter rejection email. It was found only a few days after it was sent to me. It had an actual person who had worked for the company’s name on it with a company email address. It wasn’t a response to my query. No one followed up on it. I also sent an email to the person who had sent me the email. No dice. I decided to give up and move on.
The entire process gave me an idea for a blog article. I decided to help human resources personnel and their companies. My takeaways are as follows:
(1) Talent pooling treated people like cattle. It didn’t matter if it was the testing process, interviews, or the waiting game. If you want your employees to treat your time with respect; start with respecting theirs during the hiring process.
(2) Communicating is important. Your company shouldn’t be an iron trap. If you expect your employees to let you know when problems come along; don’t wait to send word of issues or delays.
(3) Make sure your technology works. It doesn’t make you look good when your systems don’t work. You can throw around money for nice landscaping and advertisements but what your employees say about you can get around. This is true for people that don’t get jobs. People talk about the hiring process to other potential employees. Dissatisfaction starts early if you are not careful.
Note to my HR friends; head things off at the pass before it hurts your company. Learn from what people outside of the admin building are saying.
Empathy can help you in the long run. I look forward to giving you more insights in the future.
feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.