Career Confessions from GenZ is a weekly series authored by Cameron Sackett, a Sophomore at the Univesity of Michigan majoring in Communications and Advertising. Make sure you connect with him on LinkedIn:
When my Dad approached me with the idea of doing this series, I was skeptical because I don’t know a lot about business! I’m only in my 2nd year of college with almost no experience in the business world. Through this process, I’m learning a lot about business (I see what you did here Dad) and I’m able to start to form some opinions about business practices.
For example, let’s talk about candidate experience. I had never really considered how vital this was until I was applying for internships. Again and again, I would find myself getting the same automated email response after I applied saying “Thank you so much for applying! We can’t wait to get to know you better”. The same age-old response, time and time again. But, after weeks and weeks of waiting, I still hear nothing. Not even a rejection!
Now, I understand some of these companies are getting thousands of applications for these internships, and it’s probably overwhelming to contact every single applicant. On the other hand, I’m taking time to apply for this job that you’re offering and you should let me know whether you want me or not! Another thing that I understand is many times, the odds that I’ll even get an interview for a job are slim to none. Although I know these things, that still doesn’t stop me from forming an opinion about your company through this application experience.
Here’s an example of what I mean. I applied for a marketing internship at the T-Mobile headquarters. I got the same automated response and after months, I’ve heard nothing. This isn’t unexpected; I knew that this internship was probably highly sought after. What T-Mobile is forgetting in this process, is that many college students, just like me, will soon be on the market for cell phone coverage. Currently, I’m under my parent’s cellular plan, but once I graduate, I will have the ability to switch networks if I choose. Even a simple and concise “thanks but no thanks” note from T-Mobile would have helped me to form more favorable views of their company, but they didn’t even do that!
Here’s what I’m saying: if companies are so concerned with “candidate experience”, they should follow through the entire process, not just the beginning of it. Many of these companies are selling products that their candidates might purchase, and if they want their candidates to have favorable views of their company, they should treat them like the potential and valued customer that they are!
And yes, I know I’m a white male college student that has never worked in the business world and doesn’t know how things really are. But, I’m not claiming to be an expert! I’m just out here, trying to gain some experience and hoping to give some insight from an up and coming generation. Really, I’m just out here hustlin’ like everyone else (Now that’s a Tim Sackett phrase if I’ve ever said one. Next time, maybe I’ll include something about rap lyrics or hugging).
Okay – this is Tim back talking – So, TA Pros, are you surprised by what Cameron says above? Hit us in the comments with what you think!
HR and TA Pros – have a question you would like to ask directly to a GenZ? Ask us in the comments and I’ll have Cameron respond in an upcoming blog post right here on the project. Have some feedback for Cameron? Again, please share in the comments and/or connect with him on LinkedIn.
Besides being a Dad with a network, I thought the best way to get my son some ‘real-world’ experience would be to put himself out there as a writer! Let him know what you think and let us hear what you would like to learn about the next big generation entering our workforce!