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Does HR hate job seekers?

Jul 11, 2022

If you are a job seeker, it might feel like the HR department hates you.

 After all, they certainly aren’t treating you like a friend!

 Well, HR doesn’t actually hate you, but they do have some procedures in place to keep the relationship a little cool.

 Keep this simple fact in mind: HR is expected to cut 95% or more of all candidates that apply for any given job. If that sounds like a lot, think about it: If 100 people apply for a job, there’s no way that the company will even interview 20 of them. At most, it will be 10. It’s much more likely that they’re only sending five of them to meet the hiring manager.

 This is exactly why they establish processes and procedures to remain non-biased and try to be as fair as possible. But unfortunately, these impartial systems often catch qualified applicants as well as those who don’t fit the bill.


Radio silence

Sometimes HR won’t even send a simple acknowledgment that they received your application. Well, if they don’t set up their applicant tracking system (ATS) correctly initially, you may never get those automated notifications.

 Let’s face it: HR people are not IT people. They may be too busy to go back and fix a technical error, or they may not know how to do it.

 After the job is filled, rejection emails are delayed for the same reason- plus, it’s cheap to be rude. Replying to all the candidates takes time, even if it is an automated system. 


 Old job postings

Sometimes you may run across a job that was posted over a month ago. Is it too late to apply?

 Well, yes.

 Usually, at that point, HR is already deep into the interview process.

 The fact is that HR leaves those old jobs up on their website until the new person’s first day on the job. That way, if anything happens to that candidate, they can just go back to the original people who applied and not go through the entire process of reposting the job. That costs the company both time and money.


Lack of constructive feedback

Yes, I know other career coaches told you to ask the HR department for feedback on why you weren’t selected, especially if you got an interview.

Unfortunately, HR will rarely provide this insight.

Sometimes I think HR’s initials should include “CYA.” You know what that means: “Cover Your… Assets.” It’s their job to protect the company’s interests. If they give any feedback whatsoever, it could bite them in the “assets” and possibly open the company up for lawsuits or EEOC actions.

 Even if the company didn’t do anything wrong, HR and recruiters usually have a standing policy against providing feedback.


Be HR friendly

While HR doesn’t hate you, they are certainly not your friend. It is their job to cut you, not hire you.

 It is your responsibility to make your resume as HR-friendly as possible. Use relevant keywords, layer in significant achievements and responsibilities, and follow the directions in the job posting. 

 Want to get some actual feedback on your resume or your job searching strategies? Sign up for a complimentary consultation with one of our career coaches:

Wondering how effective your job search is? Schedule a complimentary 30-minute consultation with one of our career coaches, Donna Shannon or Dia Kline

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