“I’m tired of the dehumanizing, violent slog of the job search,” a friend said to me. Those words made me put on my career coach cap, which I haven’t worn in awhile.
Why is the job search such a pain for people? Sometimes the job search is degrading and dehumanizing in a way that some, like my friend, can consider psychologically violent. Why do some recruiters and companies make hiring people such a pain?
For that matter, why is it some recruiters and companies make it easy? Whereas other job search tools require you to endlessly re-enter data and watch your resume be mangled, why do others make it so simple? How come those making the search hard don’t learn from these people?
The answer is (and yes, this is Agile) who is the customer and what do they want? The bad news is the job search too often is not designed for the searcher.
People who need to find employees and talents have limited time, money, and people. Managers have their own projects and priorities, legal departments have their worries, and so on. The job search process has to factor in many people’s needs, demands, and limits.
If you’re lucky you factor into those choices and are a high enough priority. If not, then you’re probably facing incoherent recruiting sites and incomprehensible job search requirements. You’re not the customer.
As depressing as this is – and it is depressing – I also use this as an indicator of who actually cares and can be worked with. A poorly done job search site and recruiting process is a sign of problems, bad priorities, or employees not being valued. It’s a warning.
On the other hand some company or organization that makes job searching and applying easy – even if you’re not hired – is one to pay attention to. They may actually care, or at least realize you don’t find quality people by making quality people decide you’re stupid. At worst, an organization that makes the job search easy at least hasn’t screwed it up, which is a good sign I suppose.
In my personal experience, the ease of finding a job that interests you and getting into the interview is a good measure of what it’s like to work for that employer. It shows enough awareness to find and talk to the right people. Sadly, I have found speed of the process is not always a measure, having seen good employers take forever, and bad ones quickly hire (the wrong person).
So next time you’re facing the job search, for each recruiter and job site, ask yourself who seems to at give a damn about you – or at least isn’t making you miserable. They’re probably easier to work with.