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The Rejection Letter. Hiring with Heart.

Are you responsible for hiring?  Can you remember what is was like when you were looking for a job?  Yes, it may be uncomfortable and most people would prefer to avoid the thought of being unemployed.  However, it is important in order to identify and enhance a key area of the candidate experience; the rejection letter.  

Reflection on Rejection

Reflection on Rejection

Almost 60% of job seekers report having a poor candidate experience. (Source: Future Workplace and WorkplaceTrends.com)

Many candidates report no follow-up or acknowledgment of their progress during the application or job interview process. 

Additionally, many job seekers have been frustrated by the “cookie cutter” automatic reply that has little or no empathy or understanding of their experience in the process.  It is not uncommon that a rejection letter is received immediately (as little as 20 minutes) after spending time applying online and in the worst case scenario, no feedback or followup after preparing for and executing the phone screen or face-to-face job interview.

With the use of applicant tracking software and standard generated replies, it appears something has been lost;  hiring managers and organizations have failed to put themselves in the shoes of the job seeker.  Hiring with Heart™.

While it is true that everyone must be treated equally and with no hint of discrimination or bias in the hiring process…does it mean that solutions cannot be formulated to meet compliance and enhance the candidate experience while leaving your company brand in good standing with those seeking to be a part of your team? 

The team at the  Society for Human Resource Management offer several resources and tools for crafting thoughtful responses using the Interview Rejection Letter or the No Interview Rejection Letter you may find the templates of value and here is one example from their site:

Dear [Insert Name]

It was a pleasure meeting with you to discuss your background and interest in the [Job Title] position within our organization. We appreciate your time, attentiveness and patience throughout the interview process. We did have several highly qualified candidates for the position and it has been a difficult decision, but we have chosen to pursue another candidate for this position who we feel is best qualified.

We value your interest in [Company Name] and we wish you good luck in your future endeavors.

Sincerely,

[Name]

[Title]

[Company Name]         (Source: Society for Human Resource Management, May 2016)

Final Thoughts.  Delivering rejection can be difficult and uncomfortable and the idea of hiding behind technology may be easier to manage than seeing people for more than a bullet point or task…isn’t time to rethink the conversation as shifting talent markets and increased competition make it more challenging to engage qualified candidates?  

Are you a job seeker?  Do you have a story regarding your experience with rejection in the hiring process?  If so, share, and help hiring managers understand the value of Hiring with Heart™.

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The Talent Gap. Who is to Blame?

Is it a lack of qualified candidates or is it a lack of talented and skilled labor?  As of today, there is no shortage of talent in the jobs marketplace.  However, there is a shortage of  conversations centered around a resolution.  Who is to blame? the employer? the job seeker?  This question demonstrates today’s struggle employers and job seekers are experiencing when engaged in the masterful shell game; hiring and getting hired. 

What can be done?  Businesses and organizations need to effectively employ legacy or institutional  knowledge transfer of more seasoned workers onto new and emerging talent within their organizations, construction and other skilled trades need to amp up apprenticeships to leverage the ability for knowledge transfer before it is too late, and educational institutions need to begin forging new concepts for career planning by offering coursework and learning that supports a brighter future for great possibilities with marketable skills that are in demand, now and in the future.

With an onslaught of retiring workers on the move, it is imperative that businesses create strategies to bolster continued growth into the next decade and that job seekers plan for a career path versus a J.O.B. (Just Over Broke).  

Online Job Search

Looking for a Job.

Individual responsibility is a necessary requirement to defining a career pathway and seeking out resources, in the local community and remotely, that offer training and apprenticeships to prepare for future careers with emphasis in technology, skilled trades and beyond.   

HR executives and hiring managers claim it is the lack of qualified candidates. Job seekers claim it is a lack of good paying jobs and difficulty uncovering viable opportunities. Both are correct and in most cases, the employer and the job seeker, are to blame.

10 Reasons Employers and Job Seekers Stand in Their Own Way:

1. Candidates applying for job opportunities that they are clearly NOT qualified to execute. 

Tip:  Technology is used to process online job applications.  Robots “read” resumes.  If your resume does not feature specific required qualifications you will receive a rejection email in your inbox.

2. Resume’s that do not build value or demonstrate the ability to fulfill the requirements featured in the job posting.

Tip:  Make the investment and hire a qualified career coach or use online resources to ensure your resume is properly read by the software “robots” used to filter resumes in online application tools and that is easily read when sharing or supplying manually through email or other channels.

3. Failing to use a cover letter that connects the resume and work history to the job qualifications and requirements in the job description. 

Tip:  Less than 30% of job postings require a cover letter, however, that doesn’t mean you should not have a cover letter.  What you should know…keep a cover letter to one page, focus on three to four key skills/abilities featured in the job description and match to your qualifications.  Be specific and avoid oversharing personal information, many people have talked themselves OUT of a job by revealing too many personal details.

4. Candidates with “one size fits all” generic degrees or a background with no specific direction or focus. 

Tip:  If you don’t know what you want to do or where you are going on your career pathway; how can an employer understand your value and where you fit?

5. Employers in need of candidates with Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math (STEM) skills or skilled trade background and the selection of qualified individuals is limited.

Tip:  Attract motivated, reliable, and dependable candidates with the possibility of learning new skills or a trade by investing and spending the monies necessary for engaging potential new hires.

6. Candidates not engaging the necessary planning and preparation for job interview success; “just showing up” is NOT enough.

Tip:  Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance.  Behavioral interviews are most common and understanding how to respond to job interview questions using the proper formula, with practice, will help hiring managers understand your ability to do the job.

7. Employers looking for “Superman” when “Robin” will do.

Tip:  Is there potential?  Potential is a key factor when evaluating talent.  Does the candidate have the POTENTIAL with existing abilities to be “upskilled” into a role versus waiting for the perfect hire?

8. Candidates failing to execute a resume that is adaptive for upload and filtering by Applicant Tracking Software (ATS) and the lack of keywords sprinkled throughout the document in order to “get found” to “get hired”.

Tip:  Follow directions.  If a job description REQUIRES a Bachelor’s degree, your resume must meet the qualification.  If a job description PREFERS a Bachelor’s degree and you have an Associate’s degree, you can apply for that job.  REQUIRES vs. PREFERS.

9. Employers failing to be specific and clear as to required and preferred skills in the job description.

10. Employers poorly trained on appropriate interview techniques and strategies to uncover qualified candidates for hire.

These are just a few examples that stand in the way of good employers finding good employees that are eager to be of value and purpose in your organization.  Good luck!