“Follow the rule candidates” – Are you being found or even being looked for?

“Follow the rule candidates” – Are you being found or even being looked for?

Courtesy: Ron Cottick, Author

Author Website: http://informationexchangegroup.com

There is a job posted online and you are asked to apply directly online for the position. You provide profile information, your cover letter if you have one and your resume. That application will end up in their database and you will be flagged as an applicant for the position. This is what happens whether you apply for a corporate position through a corporate web site or a corporate or non-corporate position through a staffing firm or job board. Anytime you “follow the rules” of applying to a position online you generally first go into a database. Although a Recruiter or Human Resource individual will possibly get some kind of notification of the application, there is no guarantee they will. And if they do, they will have to retrieve your application. No guarantee there either.

Recruiters and/or Human Resource individuals will likely have to go into the database and retrieve candidates who apply for positions. Many times the database is not user friendly and takes more time to work with and retrieve candidates from than the time it takes to go to user-friendly resume databases and search for candidates. Consequently, candidates many times get overlooked in the database because the database is not being used effectively. It takes more time to use and find candidates than just going out and finding candidates through other means. It is not the candidate’s fault but the fault of a feature rich database system that was so feature rich it creates more work to utilize it than the advantage of having it.

Ever work in an environment where the tools provided to you by your management were to be the best in the business but in real world practice that was not the case? The developers forgot to ask the users what they thought was best and built featuring rich applications that end up not following a KIS (keep it simple) methodology. The application becomes more trouble to work with than it is worth. And, could it be that management may be a little out of touch with what it takes to get results? That is what many of the database users experience. Thus, the databases are not effectively utilized and candidates often get overlooked. Not ideal and definitely not what was intended.

Aside from the fact that some applications are difficult to use when applying online there are some questions that require answers in order to submit the application. Companies want to capture as much information as possible but are inadvertently discouraging candidates from doing online applications. Many of the questions are for gathering statistical information for reports required by the government. Companies are required to report all kinds of information to the government and job applications are a good source for information. Candidates are not always interested in satisfying EEOC requirements answering those kinds of questions on online applications. Because of all this, many candidates do not do online applications. They object too much of the required information to apply. Recruiters and Human Resources know this and this is another reason for them to just do their own searches, to find the candidates who do not apply online. Instead of going through the unfriendly database and then online resume databases it is easier to just go to the online resume databases.

The evolution to all this started some time ago. With the advent of job boards, and, the more prevalent use of email, jobs have become easier to fill. Processes have become more impersonal and mostly hands off. Corporate Human Resources has come on the scene and become well defined. There is more and more outsourcing going on. All the technology and advances in the use of automation have led to Recruiting Process Optimization (RPO). It is more efficient for a company but has led to a more impersonal experience for the candidate. It seems you cannot get anyone’s attention or communicate with anyone. That is partially the intent as well.

Now that you know what happens many times with the online job application process you can better understand the frustration many candidates have after doing one. You may have heard comments such as “I never hear back from anyone”, “I never received an email acknowledging receipt of my application”, “I was required to enter too much personal non-relevant information”, etc.

How does that happen? Well I get back to KIS. I believe that some of the designers of said systems lose site of the practicality of use in the real world. When this happens there is loss of efficiency in a system that is supposed to promote efficiency. The mind set is also to capture all sorts of information for tracking purposes, satisfy requirements, etc, etc. The application becomes convoluted trying to do too many different things and its purpose becomes diluted.

The good out of this could be that candidates may be forced more into a proactive mode of job search than a reactive mode. Applying for jobs online is reactive. Being proactive will sharpen the search skills and push you into new technique. Social networking is an excellent example. If corporate databases worked well, and some may, you could effectively cover both the reactive and proactive processes and enhance the results.

A candidate’s ability to focus on the effective use of the tools available to them, keeping an eye on the ball and cutting through the fluff should result in a greater outcome. Working the reactive side of the equation will result in finding positions that require a “Follow the rule candidates” approach whereas working the proactive side will result in finding the best “outside the rule” positions. Proactive, reactive, work them both for the best possible outcome.

Article courtesy of the Recruiting Blogswap, a content exchange service sponsored by CollegeRecruiter.com, a leading site for college students looking for internships and recent graduates searching for entry level jobs and other career opportunities.

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