News bulletin from the recruiting industry to job seekers everywhere - they are in a "war for talent." Yes! Really! They are completely serious about this! They are working hard every day, trying to figure out how to attract (and, even, to keep!) great employees.
Why do I think this is true? Recently, I attended a national conference for recruiters - over 1,000 of them, I think - corporate human resource staffers and corporate recruiters, mostly, but also others in related jobs and industries. And this was the unofficial theme - The War For Talent!
One of the biggest names in accounting has actually put together a computer game they are distributing to high schools so they can get the kids interested in accounting (probably not the first career on many lists of dream jobs). It also enables them start determining the potential accountants from the potential artists, writers, athletes, or others who don't have the characteristics of a good accountant. I'm not sure how they figure that out, but they are very serious and sincere. And the students seem to love it. The company now leaves the game on all night, rather than shutting it down after "bedtime" so that students can play whenever they want to play. With the cooperation, obviously, of the schools, the teachers, and the parents. Wow! Very impressive. Kind of desperate. And more than a little scary. To me at least...
What "War for Talent"? Where?
The War is here in the good old USA. You're stunned (unless you are a corporate HR manager). I know - I was, too! Going by the way that average job seekers are treated, the war for talent must be a truly "covert operation." Even the CIA and FBI would be proud.
If there is so much competition for good employees, then, please, employers, do the following:
- Don't ignore resumes and job applications or the people who have sent/submitted them.
RESPOND! When a resume is received, it would be nice to let the sender know that. You don't have to instantly make a job offer. Just let the applicant know that you received their resume and are proceeding with the hiring process. It used to be called "common courtesy" but it's not common any more.
- Attach a name and phone number to the job posting so job seekers can talk to real people about the posting.
More often there is a note on the posting that says, "DON'T CALL!" Why not? If you are SO interested in hiring good applicants, in winning this war for talent, communicate with that talent or risk losing them to your competition.
- Don't put applicants in voicemail jail.
Answer the phone. Be nice (or at least polite). Job seekers are people, too, and, wonderful as you are in your job, you may be a job seeker someday, too. Layoffs happen ALL the time. If you haven't experienced that particular career transistion, consider yourself lucky. But, just don't consider yourself "safe."
- Enough of the "active" vs. "passive" applicant garbage.
Just because someone is currently employed (and, therefore, a "passive" applicant) doesn't mean they are actually good at their jobs, very desireable employees. Think of some of your fellow employees. All of them sterling corporate citizens, dependable and hardworking, too? No? Hmmm.... Isn't that interesting...
Remember, the layoff fairy could tap you on the shoulder with his/her magic wand someday, too, dumping you into the deaded "active" applicant pool. It doesn't mean you were bad at your job, just badly positioned when the axes started to fall. It happens to other people too, all the time - imagine that. Then imagine becoming instantly less qualified or desireable than some of the idiots you know who have jobs? Make sense? NO!
- And, last but NOT least, don't require an applicant to put their SSN on their application or resume!
You don't need that information until you hire them! Is that data perfectly protected by everyone in the company? No, probably not! Why assume the risk of hurting so many people for no good reason! Why assume that liability? Dumb. Dumb! DUMB!
Beside, smart applicants won't give you their real SSN. And, they are doing it out of self-preservation, not because they want to lie on their application.
What Goes Around Comes Around
The applicants ignored or badly treaded today are people who may be the customers, shareholders, competitors, and business partners of tomorrow, or (maybe worse!) the bloggers, YouTubers, etc. of today.
Think of all the companies who've had their reputations shredded when the reality of how they operate becomes public. What kind of impression are you leaving when you stiff arm job seekers? What kind of reputation is your company building for the future?
As our mothers tried to teach us when we were little kids, let's play together nicely. Use what is known as "common courtesy" and the work world will be a nicer place for all of us.