Guest post from Ray Blessman
Over the course of my career, I have been exposed to many different hiring processes and approaches.
One organization that stands out in my mind combined a mix of traditional tactics like face-to-face interviews with more modern tactics that relied on technology. This employer was upfront about the fact that they were struggling to hire people and achieve their staffing goals despite the fact that their turnover rate was well below the industry average.
I interviewed with this company, and they boasted about one step in their hiring process, the background check. I was provided with a link to access a portal where I was asked to enter information, and then I was told to expect a response within 48 hours. I could imagine the sales pitch made to the IT department: "This tool will reduce labor requirements, and the applicant will appreciate that he or she limits the exposure to the personal information they submit." HR was probably not consulted and unlikely to have vetted possible unintended consequences.
When the hiring manager explained the background check process and provided the link to me, she also told me that the tool wouldn't perform well on a tablet or a smart phone. I couldn't help but think about the impression that comment made on me, and probably more importantly the impression it would leave with Millennial and Gen Z candidates who expect phones to be the platform of choice. Would any of them want to work for a company that couldn't manage the most basic of tasks?
When I attempted to provide the information requested using the device recommended, the dates were rejected, and my session timed out. This required the company rep to resend a link to me, and I feared that I was being perceived as ‘that guy’ that doesn't get things the first time. Thanks to some help from an IT-savvy friend, I realized that a different browser could make a difference, and I was able to complete the task on the second try. But I was left wondering how many other applicants just threw in the towel and went on to the next opportunity.
And the company (especially HR) is left wondering why they can't find more qualified candidates.
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