My job search: the ups and downs of my experience as a candidate

My Search Begins

Before starting at Mighty Talent Group, I spent about a year looking for a new position. I was in a job that didn’t challenge me, and left me feeling very unfulfilled at the end of my days. I decided I needed to move on and find a job that inspired me and helped me grow both professionally and personally.

The job I had paid well, I had co-workers that I genuinely enjoyed working with, and was at a company that offered amazing benefits to their employees. Because of this I spent my time searching only for the perfect jobs that would be worth leaving my current position for. I was picky about the jobs I applied for, only applying to about three or four jobs a month. These jobs I applied to were perfect. They were everything I wanted in regards to job responsibilities, company size, benefits, commute, and management style. I passed over positions that were unclear about day to day responsibilities and generally moved on if there was no information regarding the company itself and its core values and beliefs regarding management and employee appreciation.

My #1 Candidate frustration

Much of my frustration in the application process came from extremely lengthy applications that just asked me to repeat information that was available on my resume. I am all for highlighting important information from a resume, but if I’m going to spend over an hour applying for a position, I feel there are better questions and details to be obtained than simply copy pasting information. There are so many questions that could have been asked in these applications that would have helped the recruiter or hiring manager ascertain which candidate would be a better fit, and it felt like a waste of my time and theirs. Below are a few questions that I feel could be a game changer on any application –

  • What specific skills or experience make you believe you would be the best fit for this position?
  • What are your long term goals, and how does this position fit into those plans?

My #2 Candidate Frustration

The second frustrating thing about applying to these jobs was the shocking lack of response. As someone who has helped in the hiring process in the past, I understand the amount of applications that filter in after posting a position. It is unrealistic to hope that you hear from every job you apply for, but with today’s technology there are ways to automate some of the communication. Even a generic email stating your application went through correctly can go a long way in boosting a candidates morale.

Communication and Closure

Once a recruiter or hiring manager reaches out to a candidate, there should be an expectation of closure. If there is a moment when the manager or recruiter decides the candidate is not a fit for this role, they should make it clear that the person is no longer being considered for the job. Communication with candidates, even when it’s a “no”, is the most important piece of the hiring process. You never know who the person will speak to or what they can post online that may damage your company’s reputation, or what other roles you may be hiring for in the future that would be a great fit for this candidate.

While looking for a new job, I had some great experiences, as well as some frustrating ones. I met some really honest hiring managers, and great recruiters that actually cared about what I wanted, and were very clear when I was looking into roles that would not fit my needs. The honesty and genuine desire to help me find a role that fulfilled me from almost everyone I encountered shocked me. With time and much patience I was able to find a new role that suits me perfectly. I am completing tasks that I have been comfortable with for years, as well as learning new things every single day. I learned so much in my journey to find the right position, and so much of that is attributed to the kindness and understanding of others.

If we can all take a step back and look at every aspect of the hiring process through an applicant’s eyes, the process will be more enjoyable, lead to better, more qualified hires, and happier employees in the long run. The main component to focus on is communication and feedback. Each candidate brings you possibilities or referrals and word of mouth promotions, so recruiters, hiring managers, and hiring companies have a responsibility to be honest and respectful with each possible candidate.

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