Where did the ‘human’ go in Human Resources?

Where did the 'human' go in Human Resources?

Take a common scenario like this. A candidate searches for a job. In this particular example, let’s say they find their dream role on LinkedIn. Like many job ads these days, there is no contact detail on the bottom of the ad to which candidates can direct queries.

Being proactive, they send an InMail to the person who posted the job, enquiring about the role, trying to tee up a time for a telephone discussion.

A day later the candidate notices that the job ad poster has viewed their profile. Encouraged by this and expecting to receive an imminent response, the candidate waits, as they’re keen to discuss the role before sending their application into a potential database abyss.

Several days later, they receive an InMail credit from LinkedIn as the job ad poster has chosen not to respond to them.

Unimpressed by the job ad poster’s ignorance and against their better judgment, they apply via the link in the ad, as they really like the sound of the role. This takes them to the company’s website. The system is clunky, their CV doesn’t upload and populate the system properly and they spend an hour reformatting and completing pages of forms.

Finally, their application is submitted. They receive a system-generated email, the last sentence of which informs them that only successful applicants will be contacted, with no indication of the timeframe in which this may, or may not, happen.

The candidate never hears from this employer. Understandably, their experience and view of their employer brand is pretty poor. These feelings are magnified, particularly as the employer’s career page on LinkedIn contains grandiose statements from it’s Leaders about how they want to attract and retain the best people to join them on a journey of achieving their vision through aligned values. Really?

So what do Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Candidate Management Systems and other channels to source and manage candidates have in common? They’re pretty much faceless, can be used as a shield for human contact and can leave candidates leaving feeling cold and overlooked; depending on how they’re used and by whom.

Of course, the experience of this candidate, regardless of what system or process the organization uses to engage with them, will ultimately be determined by the quality of the recruiter and their ability to ‘live the brand’ for which they are an ambassador. The recruitment and employment industry could really benefit by putting the ‘human’ back into human resources.


Looking for a job? Connect with a human on Firebrand Talent’s website

Additional reading:

Is HR Social-able?


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