What Job Hunting is Not

There is one thing I love to do each week – sit down on a Sunday morning, with most of the family still in bed, my youngest on the couch watching cartoons and me reading the Sunday paper.   It’s one of those small things in life I really like to do – my wife tells me it reminds her of her father – it probably reminds me of my father as well.  Diet Mt. Dew, Cinnamon Pop-tart and the Paper – the perfect Sunday morning.

This Sunday I actually read a column of a local writer that was really good – it was from the heart, you could tell his passion – it was about his own job search.  Job Hunting Leads to a State of Confusion – went through his most recent frustrating job search to find his current position he loves at the local paper.   It had been 20 years since he had to go through a job search, and he believed in what he had heard from the “experts” over the past 20 years on “how to get a job”.  What he found was the exact opposite – and what most of us in the profession have known all along.  You don’t get a job by having the best resume, or following the online submission process, or even answering every interview question the best – you get a job by making connections with people.  After all the science and all the technology – it still comes down to relationships and making a personal connection.

From the article:

Work skills did not translate to job-landing skills.

The concept seemed counter-intuitive to me. In fact, it went against what I thought I’d learned about job hunting in my news-gathering days. Then, history of punctuality, dependability and going the extra mile were immensely important. Writing and communication skills couldn’t be emphasized enough.

I’d written the tips many times. Now all I had to do was make a compelling case to potential employers. I couldn’t have been more off base…

My work history appeared secondary and the interview process came off as impersonal…

Interview panels seemed weirdly focused on themselves…

Interviewers seemed strangely uninterested in seeing my work…”

Sound familiar?  It’s what we put candidates through, it’s what we force our hiring managers to do – impersonal, weird, strange.

Job hunting, when you have to be hunting (i.e., I don’t have a job and need one), sucks!

Job hunting is not fun.

Job hunting is not exciting.

Job hunting is not life affirming.

As HR/Talent Pros we tend to forget this little fact.  The fact that the people we are interviewing and putting through our “process” are in the most stressful part of their life.  It’s hard to be your best, when you’re most stressed.  Less hoops and more helps are probably needed.  Something for me to think about the next time I’m interviewing someone.


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