I would venture to say there are a plethora of topics for a citizen to be excited about in 2017. Whether your personal fire is lit by issues around free speech, European integration, robots taking over the world or another of the myriad of changes in the pipeline. I have noted in recent months an explosion in passionate and emotive posting on my social networks, an increase I have attributed to both uncertainty and change.
A talking point that continues to generate chatter with Groundhog Day like recall, is both recruiters and job seekers exchanging incendiary fire through LinkedIn status updates. Often sent with the precision of a British nuclear test*, it’s as baffling as it is consistent. This generally takes the form of a scatter gun, ‘RECRUITERS TAKE NOTE’ or ‘WHY DO JOB SEEKERS…’ etc. Even as I write this article, expecting common sense to limit these posts and the human goodwill of a Friday to intervene, another has popped up on my LinkedIn feed.
Ah…the daily present no-one wanted.
This has grown tiresome for many. As with all things, there does have to come a point where this should be consigned to history, which with your sharing is caring help, we can do with this article.
If you’ve worked in the corporate world for any length of time, you will have come across group politics, warring departments or colleagues who clash. This is often a very natural, very genuine, stag like face-off by two siloed elements of a business looking at a problem, or solution, from different perspectives and typically with divergent goals. This is not to be feared, and in many scenarios a very healthy and necessary process.
What is particularly intriguing about the recruiter v job seeker skirmish is that fundamentally both require each other to survive, and nothing is being achieved by these emotional outbursts. Good business thrives from the ability to challenge one another in a respectful and constructive manner, which I would say these exchanges achieve in a negligible way. So, what needs to be considered to explain this impasse, and what can be done to improve this relationship going forward?
Understanding digitisation as a part success, incomplete story
My own experience of recruiters throughout the years is that they are very dedicated, enthusiastic and hard-working contributors to the business world. Their calendars often read like the workaholic’s tome, and the numerous meetings that clutter their day would make even the most ardent executives eyes water. You must be equipped with many skills to both appease a client who is looking for an exceptional employee for their business and manage the aspirations and dreams of someone looking to progress in their own career.
Digitisation of the working day has without doubt enabled the recruitment officer to achieve more in their time at the desk, with websites such as Reed, Jobsite and others providing candidates on demand with a few clicks for those armed with the knowledge of what they’re looking for. The emergence of multiple contact points including social media and e-mail to name just two ensures that contact in nearly all circumstances can be established.
As is so often the case, whilst the technology has enabled benefits such as quicker candidate discovery, it also presents a new variety of challenges. Due to the time-saving ways with which one can put themselves forward as a potential, recruiters are often inundated by keen, genuine prospects. Whilst technology has fully enabled a 24-hr workplace, it should be remembered that it hasn’t provided a magical extra few hours to the clock for workers to accomplish things.
New technologies will eventually ensure that the greatest gripes of those seeking employment such as, not receiving a response and not receiving feedback will be eliminated. You just need to sit tight and encourage the proliferation and uptake of such systems in recruitment.
Understanding Job seeking as a full-time job
I have great empathy for those wilfully seeking employment. Often the challenge incorporates far more than what meets the eye for a casual observer. Those who have left previous workplaces either under duress or through no desire of their own may be dealing with challenges within their own emotional state. Those who have suffered long-term unemployment will also be dealing with a variety of challenges that comes with the stigma.
Job seeking is a full-time job these days. It is no longer the expectation that you stand in a queue down the job centre to outwardly show your willingness to gain employment. You will need to sign up to a manner of websites, field calls like a ninja, edit and craft CV’s and covering letters to seek out opportunities wherever they lie, 24/7. This is to overlook the digital skills required to carefully craft your job search alerts with the precision of a technology engineer so you are not bombarded by every job in the surrounding area and can find something befitting of your skills.
Accomplished that? Well don’t put your feet up just yet. Prepare yourself for round two which is no less challenging. Family and loved ones will want to be kept updated with what can at many times feel like slow progress. Society is not at the state where jobs are created specific to the individual, so prepare yourself to report on the hits, the misses, the excitement, the disappointment and the meetings that ensue. It is imperative that you keep motivated and maintain a positive mindset encompassing a sense of humour.
Everyone, more likely than not, is trying their best
All of us are guilty of becoming worked up in certain situations, particularly if you think someone could be offering or doing more than you presume they are doing. What I would encourage you to do, either if you are a recruiter or job-seeker is ensure you take a moment to understand and agree your expectations with each other at the start. This may require you to lower your expectation, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. Understand that humans have nuances and in your own ways, you are doing your best to help each other.
If in doubt, it’s never a bad thing to use a rule from one of the social media policies I created. Before you post, particularly on a professional network, read it, read it again, read it AGAIN. Are you offering something positive, helpful, constructive or entertaining in your exclamation? Could you clearly state what that is to your boss or a prospective boss? If not, delete and go to the pub, you should finish for the day 😊.
There we go, done…that wasn’t that painful, was it? Let’s just be a bit more respectful and realistic.
Chris Barnard is Managing Director of FeedbackFans.com. Feedback Fans is part of a collective of global technology companies working towards a common goal of improving experiences that include: retail, leisure, finance, education, gaming and business services. By developing unique state of the art solutions and environments, and combining this with strategic execution, we ensure our clients and users prosper in the digital age.