Dear Virtual Human Resources Recruiter:
Wow. You’re a tough nut to crack. Do you know that? Recently, it occurred to me that the last time I had to actively look for work, all I needed was a pen and the most recent edition of the Chicago Tribune‘s Classified section. I’d type up a cover letter and resume, print it on fancy paper stock with an envelope to match, and then send it directly to the hiring manager or the human resources department. Regardless of the recipient, I innately knew that it would fall in the hands of a living, breathing HUMAN BEING.
Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve sincerely enjoyed work. I sold lemonade, handmade drawings, and rocks from my driveway. I babysat nearly every potty-trained child in my neighborhood. I sold fast-food and bussed tables (which, in and of itself was quite a humbling experience). Throughout college, I waited tables to cover my living expenses while taking a full load of courses in order to graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in four years. I’ve never been afraid of hard work. And, I did whatever it took to get the job done – coming in the office on weekends, working extra from home, staying up late. I’d be exhausted, overworked, and underpaid. But, I never missed a deadline. Ever.
But, of course you wouldn’t know that. How could you?
The day I made that fateful decision to stay at home – soon after my son was born almost a decade ago – I knew that returning to the workforce full-time would be an uphill battle. Meanwhile, I embarked on a role in which I had absolutely no experience, no training, and no “support staff”. The learning curve was steeper than the Cliffs of Moher. And, to top it all off, I suffered from post-partum depression (yes, anyone who’s had it can vouch that it is a real, debilitating condition). Thankfully, I did get help and felt better after a few weeks. But, for those first few months of being a bona fide SAHM, I heard it. The question guaranteed to make every exhausted, overwhelmed stay-at-home parent cringe. “So…what did you do all day?”
In the past, I had been blessed with job opportunities that found me – instead of vice versa. Now, I feel like this digital world is doing its best to wad up each and every one of us – along with all of our qualifications and achievements – and stuff us into convenient little air-tight packages stamped with customized SEO keywords. And we’re suffocating in the process.
Imagine this, Virtual HR: You come across a candidate who appears perfect online. You notify a human to schedule an interview and block off an hour or more of the hiring manager’s time to meet this person. But, as it turns out, this candidate really isn’t qualified. Or worse. Everyone who’s involved in the hiring process won’t ever get that time back. And, as they say, time is money.
Now imagine carelessly passing over the perfect candidate – the one who could really take your company to a new level – just because he or she included the words “lead” instead of “managed” or “composed” instead of “wrote”.
It happens all the time.
At the end of the day, the livelihood of your business isn’t driven by a set of black-and-white algorithms. It’s living, breathing humans who make it happen.
So, which potential star employees are you rejecting because you’ve got your digital blinders on?
Think about it.
Frustrated Job Seeker