The recruitment process turns into “The Hunger Games”

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Personal productivity updates

“How much is too much?” My exasperated friend talks about job interviews. She is looking for a new job. When we spoke, she had gone through five interviews for one role and was about to have the last one.

Another person I know has had eight separate maintenance stages at a global tech company. Apparently that’s just the norm for these roles.

Searching for a job is a frustrating and tedious activity, but in recent years the recruiting process has reminded many of us of that teenage classic, The hunger Games. But rather than the fittest and smartest survivors, they are the people least exhausted by the process.

Applying for a job now begins with rewriting and updating your CV, sending out tailored cover letters for each individual position, researching the potential employer and initial screening over the phone and online testing. . All of this happens before the maintenance process begins. This part is likely to involve hiring managers, team leaders, meetings with potential colleagues and interview tasks.

We’ve long accepted that looking for a job is a full-time job in and of itself, but some companies take it to a whole new level which lasts for months and often sees applicants ghosted or left hanging for weeks. With a record number of people leaving their jobs, a study by Personio, an HR software provider, found that 38% of employees in the UK and Ireland plan to change jobs within the next year. It’s safe to say the hiring process is overdue for an overhaul.

According to Glassdoor, the UK workplace assessment site, we spend an average of 27 days in an interview process when we apply for a job. Considering that people change jobs, on average, six times in their life, this equates to 162 days spent in the interview process. The average duration of the hiring process in the United States is slightly shorter, at 23.8 days, which is comparable to the global average.

In recent years, more and more recruiting horror stories have been shared publicly (there are some interesting examples on LinkedIn) so we can see how some companies are unfairly taking advantage of the power imbalance in the search process. employment. There have been instances where companies have requested interview preparation which could include developing a “marketing plan for our new product line”. Although disguised as an “interview task”, this mission carries a high probability that recruiters will take the ideas of candidates without offering them the position.

And as we embrace a hybrid work culture, more companies will use a mix of virtual and in-person interviews. My fear is that some are using this to disadvantage job seekers.

Finding high quality candidates with the right skills is no easy task. The point is, we need a fairer middle ground where candidates are not tired of the process. Most people manage their current work schedule and apply for a new opportunity – it’s not an easy juggling act.

My friend confessed after her last interview that she was not convinced the new company would be able to meet her salary expectations or even her current package. No one had mentioned the salary and she did not feel confident to ask questions about it. And that’s the worst part of this broken system. The majority of jobs list a “competitive salary”. If you’re asking for 10 years of experience and qualifications, the least you can do is disclose a salary scale. Too many companies keep this a secret until the end and then say they can’t meet candidate salary expectations.

We need a shift to transparency from the start. Only then can potential candidates decide whether or not to participate in multiple rounds of interviews.

For too long, the hiring process has been one-sided, allowing employers to drive the process, many of them taking advantage of candidates’ desire to appear enthusiastic and willing. As we all take advantage of this time to think and pause, I hope employers take a step back and analyze their hiring processes.

I look forward to the day when job searches will feel like a two-way street. We are the talent, after all. You may be interviewing me, but I’m interviewing you too. Recruiters often seem to forget this.


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