What The Job Seeker Should Know About HR

Maze Find A JobHours spent perfecting the resume, researching companies, practicing interviews, networking and submitting the resume to your target companies – and maybe even some non-targeted firms. Hours, days, weeks waiting for a response – any response outside of the automated email from the potential employers. Why haven’t they called or emailed? What is wrong with them? Can’t they see I am the PERFECT fit?!?!

There is no simple answer to give jobseekers about the internal HR or recruitment functions of companies. Prior to the great recession HR departments at larger organizations down to mid-size companies most likely were staffed with dedicated HR Generalists and Recruiters. This allowed for the workload to be split and the recruiters would be focused on finding talent for their company. Now the continuous stream of reorganizations with (what feels like) almost every company the HR departments have been decimated. Where a department once had resources for recruiting, employee relations, benefits, compensation, generalists, managers and directors have now been reduced to generalists handling the majority of the work while they have seen their peers laid off. The larger companies may still have resources dedicated to each function within HR but the staff levels are much smaller with the remaining employees carrying heavier workloads.

Every organization is set up differently from who performs specific duties to systems and processes. When applying to a company it will be difficult to know who might be looking at your resume. Here is a small sample of the different approaches within companies:

• RPO – Recruitment Process Outsourcing – this model is typically used within larger organizations for the “high volume” roles that are heavy on transactional interaction. For example call center positions or front-line retail roles. In this model, the company has outsourced the recruitment function to a staffing firm or vendor that specializes in volume recruiting. A job seeker’s resume may never be seen by an employee of the company or spoken to by one until the in-person interview stage.
• Spaghetti Against the Wall – obviously not an official methodology but a phrase used when company recruiters who forward all resumes to the hiring managers for review and wait to be told who to call. In this model, only a small number of resumes get reviewed with an even smaller amount being called for a pre-screen. The recruiter or HR Generalist may also be supporting multiple departments with 25 – 30+ openings and performing all the administrative tasks associated with processing new hires. In some cases, the person reviewing and forwarding the resumes has minimal to no recruitment training.
• Dedicated Recruiters with support staff – this approach is most beneficial to the company and job seeker. The recruiter has a viable workload of open positions giving them time to effectively review resumes, call candidates and conduct a solid pre-screen. They have an excellent working partnership with the hiring managers and a deep understanding of the business. The Recruiting Coordinator handles the administrative tasks helping to ensure that the candidate and hiring manager have a good experience. Top talent can be culled from those that apply as well as those the recruiter has sought out through other channels. This should help bring in talent that, in theory, will improve the overall performance of the company with reduced turnover.

In today’s environment it is hard to know what type of approach a company may have with their HR department. Understanding that HR departments are varied and operating with reduced staff without any reduction in workload can explain why a jobseeker does not receive a phone call. Knowing that the person who does call may not be a well qualified recruiter but purely conducting a high level screen for fit will help set expectations. Lastly, as hard as it is to do so, try to envision the HR person dealing with an elevated amount of stress and frustration just as the HR person should try to do the same for the job seeker on the other end of the line.



This post was originally created for the job board Jobsite – now defunct.
Copyright: iqoncept / 123RF Stock Photo


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