I read articles about candidates who are ghosting employers. They’re not showing up to interviews. They’re not showing up on their first day. They’re disappearing. And, employers are frustrated. On top of the ghosting phenomenon, employers can’t seem to find enough qualified candidates. It’s like there just aren’t any good people left.
If you’re a hiring manager and you’re having trouble hiring, here are a few tips.
First, think back to the last time you looked for a job. I’m not talking about the time a friend called and offered you something you didn’t know was open. I’m talking about the last time you felt down and out. I’m talking about a time when you were applying to everything you could find and were pinning your entire future on each interview. Remember how crazy that time felt? How vulnerable it felt? Keep that in mind and do your best to treat everyone you interview with the same level of respect you would want to receive.
Make it easy to apply. Don’t you hate those long online applications? So do job seekers. Make the process easy to apply and you’ll have more candidates to pick from.
If you’re going to ask candidates to take tests as part of the interview process, think hard about it. Personality tests and IQ tests are not a perfect indicator of future performance. But they’re a sure fire way to turn off candidates. If you decide that tests are for you, at least save them until late in the interview process. Don’t force candidates to devote time to your screening process if you’re not committed to investing time first.
Be flexible with candidates. I’m not talking about interviewing candidates on the weekend. But, when you offer times for interviews, give more than one day and more than one time. Schedule interviews a few days ahead of time, so the candidate will have time to reorganize their schedule. Don’t force the job seeker to pick between their existing commitments and you. They don’t even know you yet.
Follow through on your commitments. If you tell the job seeker that you’ll let them know something next week, then let them know something next week. If next week comes and you don’t have the update yet, let them know that. They’ll understand.
Be reasonable with your requirements. Do you really need someone who can write code, market, and project manage? Decide what’s the most important to you and focus in on those things. If you are expecting to find a unicorn, you’re going to come up empty-handed.
Pay attention to your online reviews. I know that they aren’t always fair. I get it that sometimes disgruntled employees post things about your company that aren’t right. But, these reviews are how job seekers decide whether or not your company is worth the trouble.
Bottom line: treat other people the way you want to be treated.
Job searching is one of the most personal impersonal experiences there is. As a job seeker, you pour your heart into your cover letter. You customize your resume. You sit in agony at each step of the process, which can drag out for many months. Along the way, you may encounter many tests of your abilities.
In addition to a phone screen, multiple phone calls, in person one-on-one interviews, and panel interviews, you’re asked to do even more. You may be asked to take a personality test to be sure you’re a cultural fit. You may need to take an IQ test to be sure you’re smart enough for the job. You might be asked to create and deliver a presentation. Or, you may be asked to create a 90-day plan. You may be asked to do a sample assignment. You will probably be asked to do a background check, submit references, and possibly go through a drug test.
And, you’ll be doing all of these things just under the radar of your current boss. You know all along that if the boss notices you’re searching, you could be putting your entire career on the line. But, you do it anyway because it’s important and it’s the only way to truly grow your career.
After all of this work, very often the company drops you. But, you may not even realize you’ve been dropped because sometimes they don’t call. Other times, you find out you’ve been dropped when you receive an automated email rejecting you in favor of a “more qualified” candidate.
But, it’s not personal, right? It shouldn’t be, but it definitely burns. If you keep the right attitude, you’ll dust yourself off and keep going. You may even keep an eye out to see if the company you interviewed with has any additional job postings. You can’t let it get to you.
Similarly, job searching becomes a numbers game. If you really want to score something new, you’ve got to apply in bulk. You’ve got to interview at more than one company at a time.
This is where things get a bit ironic. Imagine that you’re having a positive experience interviewing. You’re finding success, but not at just one company – at two or three. Suddenly, you get more than one job offer and you have to pick one. And, the tables have reversed.
Interestingly, companies can take the rejection just as personally as job seekers do. They seem to feel that they’ve invested all of their time into a candidate who walked away. The friend you’ve made in human resources may not even respond to your email or phone call declining the offer. You’ve let them down.
Just remember, it’s not personal. Both sides are investing their time in the process. Both sides can walk away at any point. And, the job seeker isn’t the only one who shouldn’t take rejection so personally.
I hear from job seekers every day. You’re tired. You’re worn out. You’re disappointed. You didn’t get the job you really wanted. You were a great candidate and you cannot figure out what went wrong.
I’m with you all the way. I wish I could give you a big hug. Job searching is emotionally and mentally exhausting. Employers will run you through the gauntlet and may not even let you know when you weren’t selected. What is presented as a fair process is pretty much the opposite of fair. Job searching can be such an awful experience.
You’re so tired that you feel ready to give up. I’d encourage you not to. This is why. Looking for jobs is a numbers game.
Think of the process like this. First, you apply for a job. Then, you have a human resources phone screen. Next, you have a phone interview with the hiring manager. And then, you come in person to interview with four or five people. Finally, you get a job offer.
It’s a little like a funnel. The more applications you put in, the more phone screens you’ll have. The more phone screens you have, the more phone interviews you’ll have. The more phone interviews you have, the more in person job interviews you’ll have. The more in person job interviews you have, the more job offers you’ll get.
In the past, there were times when it was hard to find enough good jobs to apply for. But right now, we’re having the best job market in fifty years. Fifty. New jobs are popping up every single day. There are now enough good jobs to fill up your funnel.
My theory is this. If you apply to 100 jobs you’re qualified for, you’re going to get phone screens that lead to phone interviews that lead to in person interviews that lead to offers. By applying to 100 jobs, you’re not reliant on getting an offer for every single job you’ve applied to. You’ve got options. By applying to 100 jobs, if a few jobs get put on hold, it’s okay. You have choices.
When you’re looking for a job, both quality and quantity matter. Just because you’re a perfect match for one particular job doesn’t mean you’re going to get it. That’s why you’ve got to look at many jobs.
I know, this takes time. But honestly, a bit part of what’s exhausting about a job search isn’t the time it takes to apply. The exhausting part is feeling rejection on the one job you’ve applied to and then having to start all over again. You’d be amazed at how easy it is to keep searching when you’ve got fifty other options in the pipeline.
If you want to find a job in 2019, it’s time to make a new goal. Fill up your funnel with 100 good job applications. They will pay off.
I could write a book about the information I’m about to share. If you’re a parent with an adult child, this is for you. Before I go too far, let me say this. I know you love your child. I know you want them to do well. And when they’re struggling, you want to help. But, this is the thing. When it comes to your child’s job search, you are very likely hurting them.
From time to time, I receive a request from a parent. They want to speak to me about their (30 year old) child’s job search. This used to happen occasionally, but it’s becoming the norm. When a concerned parent reaches out, I respond with a friendly note saying I’d love to help and to please have the child contact me. Recently, a frustrated parent let me know that they are not a helicopter parent. Their child is just busy, and they’re (the parent) better at this.
I shared my experience with a few friends, and it turned out I’m not the only one seeing this pattern. One friend noted that parents call a university scholarship office. The university adds the child to a list – the “not a good candidate” list. I heard another story of parents calling in sick to their child’s work for them. A recruiter shared that parents call on behalf of their children regularly. Another friend shared that a parent asked to sit in on their adult child’s job interview.
These are all examples that should make any parent cringe. Please hear me when I say this. You are not helping your children. You are hurting them. People notice when you ask questions about your adult child’s career. And, you’re keeping your child from learning how to do these things on their own.
Companies take note and they don’t just judge you. They judge your child. They assume that your adult child is a coddled baby who is unable to function. They assume that your child should not be given responsibility. They assume your child will not be able to do their own job. And, they most definitely do not want to hire your child.
If you find yourself in a spot where your child is struggling, here are some ideas that will help. Talk to them one on one at home about their job search. Ask them where they’re struggling. Listen to their concerns. Talk to your child about the process of applying for a job. Share your experience. When they get rejected from an interview, offer your support and encouragement. But, do these things from the sidelines.
The minute you jump into your child’s struggling job search, you are certain to make it worse. People will notice, and they will make a point not to hire your child – no matter how talented they may be. Step back, coach from the sidelines, and allow your child to grow.
It’s the month of love! Happy Valentine’s Day! Every year, I write a column about why it’s important to love your job. This year, let’s look at it another way. If you don’t love your job, it’s time to break it off. It’s time to end that toxic eight hour a day relationship. You wouldn’t put up with it in a romantic partner. Why are you putting up with it at work?
I know, it’s hard to do. Your job has been so reliable. It’s stable. You don’t want to be left in the cold with no job.
But, are you really happy? Does your job put you first? Or, is your job like a partner who’s draining your mind and your wallet?
You spend too much time with your job not to love it. In fact, you may spend more time with your job than with your spouse.
If you’re having cold feet about your job, this is the time to make a change. And, by this is the time, I mean – right this minute! The job market is the best that it’s been in an entire generation. Economists say that it hasn’t been this great since the late 1960s. New jobs are showing up every day on the internet. They’re showing up every minute.
You’ve probably heard that old saying. People don’t quit companies, they quit bosses. It’s true. If you don’t love your company or your boss, do yourself a favor. Look and see what’s new in your job field. You may be surprised.
Make a list of all the things you want in a job. What would make you really love your work? Do you want to work for a great boss? On a great team? Do you want to work on a product that you can get behind? Are you looking for a company with integrity?
Write down your goal list and start looking for it. What you’re hoping for is out there. Don’t stay committed to a company that’s not committed to you. Look for something better, something more fulfilling. Make your happiness at work a priority.
Breaking up with your job isn’t as hard as it sounds. The first rule is, don’t tell anyone until you’ve secured a new job. Once you’ve found a new job, wait until you’ve accepted it in writing to tell your company. Start with your boss. Thank them for the opportunity and let them know you’ve found something new. Give at least two weeks of notice, but not more than four. Things can get stressful if you give too much notice. After you’ve shared your news verbally, confirm it in an email to your boss. And, come up with a plan about how and when you’ll share the great news with the larger team.
Before long, the breakup will be complete. And, you’ll be off to a bigger and better opportunity that you love!