“It seems to me, while it’s true that every dog will have his day — when all the bones are buried there is barely time to go outside and play…” —Neil Peart
At least we all agree that 50 clicks to apply for a job online is frustrating, even egregious. Mercy, 10 clicks is like 49 years in dog years these days — millions of automated job application processes painfully processed each year. It’s “customer service” crystal clear that the more hoops you make prospects and customers jump through, the less likely they’re going to jump. Same with job candidates and current employees — it’s also “customer service” crystal clear that job candidates on any level just want to be acknowledged that they applied, whether they make it through the screening process or not.
But what they don’t need are flowers, rainbows, unicorns and tons of smiley faces when it comes to their job application experience. In fact, recent research highlighted in a Freakonomics report I came across revealed that “customers don’t really care about all those in-your-face niceties that some retailers seem to think are important.” This is from the Customer Contact Council, a division of the Corporate Executive Board, which conducted a study of more than 75,000 people who had interacted over the phone with contact-center representatives or through self-service channels such as the web, voice prompts, chat and e-mail.
Granted, that was specific to retail, but I’d argue that customers just want you to give it to them straight — acknowledgement and closure.
I wrote some of the following last week, but it bears repeating here. …She took the microphone, paused, then asked, “So how do I get noticed when I apply to a company online and my resume goes into an applicant tracking system with dozens of others competing for the same position with similar qualifications and keywords?” She feigned a smile, held the mic at half-mast and then handed it back to me. Not just dozens of applicants, I thought, hundreds if not thousands. Not matter how she served herself up, no matter the keywords used and embedded throughout her resume and online profile, she’ll still most likely get lost in the proverbial black hole. This particular candidate experience has been written about more than most, and unfortunately hasn’t changed much over time. My recent experience volunteering to speak at Hirewire, a local organization to help job seekers in Santa Cruz County with career development and job search advice, verified this sentiment from the woman above as well as over 20 others who attended the monthly event. Multiply that across similar gatherings in municipalities all over the U.S. According to a recent HR Executive article titled Not Ready for Recruiting, we’re still not improving. In fact, in the 2012 Allied Workforce Mobility Survey from Allied Van Lines highlighted in the article, found two-thirds of 500 HR professionals polled saying they have “extensive” or “moderate” plans for hiring this year, and 80 percent of larger companies – with more than 10,000 employees – plan for “extensive” or “moderate” recruiting. And yet, 52 percent of those respondents consider their recruiting programs to be only “somewhat successful.” Ho-hum, diddly dumb.
Mark Stelzner put it very well last night, during #TChat, when he wrote, “The candidates are underwhelmed and the recruiters are overwhelmed.” But I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Give candidates acknowledgement and closure — the same, and especially with, internal candidates who already work for you.
Screw the smiles, rainbows and unicorns. Give it to us straight, baby.
Did you miss the preview? Click here. And thank you, Sarah White, for moderating #TChat! We all look forward to this year’s Candidate Experience Awards, to see who’s getting it right. In the meantime, the World of Work community’s tweets last night got a lot right. Check out the following slide show, a cross-section of wisdom. We’ll see you next week.
#TChat INSIGHTS: 2012 Job Candidate Experience First Contact
Storified by TalentCulture · Thu, Jun 21 2012 00:29:56
to by company…by the PERSON doing the talking.#TChatTom Bolt
ates patience! #TChatInsperity Careers
hem #tchatJanine Truitt