It's Not You-It's a Negative Flawed Process. Deal with it Positively

Tom Dimmick, seasoned HR professional turned Third Party Firm owner of DK Search, and I were having a discussion about the recruiting process and what it really is to most job seekers. As well as everybody involved with the mess.
After 25 years in corporate HR Tom speaks from both the internal and external viewpoint.

Tom’s take on the recruiting process and why it will never be a totally positive process no matter how many cows we give away, what kind of system we use or how hard we try to “engage” and treat our candidates with the respect and value they deserve.

Tom says:
The recruiting process is a negative process. The process always begins with more candidates as inputs to the process than there are offers of employment as outcomes to the process. We can call it "selectivity" or "winnowing" or "narrowing the field" but the results are the same; the rejection of some of the candidates in the field. However; it is my opinion that there is a deeper meaning to this as well and it is an important one for candidates to remember.
First, this process does not always result in the best candidate being selected. There are a whole host of good reasons for this to occur. There could be relocation issues or compensation issues or other financial issues. Beyond these very reasonable issues are reasons that are less objective and sometimes just plain foolish. There are issues of nepotism and biases of all descriptions. Simply put, the best candidate is not always the candidate that ultimately gets the offer.
So what does this mean to all the candidates out there? What can they learn from this process? In my opinion . . . very little. Too much is hidden from the candidates' eyes and what they do see is often vague and without clarity.
What should they do? If the process is flawed and the outcomes lack clarity what should a candidate do? Accept the rejection as just that, the result of a flawed process with vague outcomes. In short, they must never . . . and I mean NEVER . . . take it personally. Like a golfer, the candidate must put out of his or her mind the last shot . . good or bad. Maintain enthusiasm!! From a candidate's viewpoint, it is a numbers driven process, the more resumes sent, the more recruiters contacted, the more interviews conducted, the sooner the next offer will be presented and you can never let the bastards see you sweat.

Sandra says:

How can anyone disagree with Tom’s take on a flawed process. I think it’s much the same for recruiters both internal and external. It’s always going to be negative, unless or until there are 10 jobs for every person on the planet. I’ve been around a long time and even in times of very low unemployment the process is based on more “no” answers than " yes" answers..
There will never be a time when we can provide total clarity to candidates for all the reasons that employers and recruiters talk about over and over. No matter how much a candidate wants to know the inside scoop on why they didn’t get a job. Everybody on the recruiting and hiring side of the desk is protecting themselves from negativity. Potential lawsuits, bitter feelings if the real truth were known, avoidance of knocking a good candidate in the dirt when they did something in an interview that should not have been a deal killer but it was because of one picky hiring manager. Am I going to tell a less than attractive candidate that they didn’t get the job because the hiring manager thought they were butt ugly. Of course not, they can’t do anything about it. The next hiring manager may be double dog ugly and think that candidate is a doll.

Dealing with a negative process on all sides is what we do. What our candidates do. What our employers do. In a perfect world everybody who applied for a job would be hired. Every candidate we submit would be hired. There would be free love and nickel beer and enough for everybody. It can’t happen. Even the most positive candidate experience becomes negative if the wonderful experience results in a “sorry we went with another candidate”.

There are processes like having surgery that will never be positive but we do them because eventually having endured the process we will hopefully feel better. There are a lot of processes that are painful when they happen. Recruiting and job seeking is right up there with having teeth filled or child birth. It’s a bitch while it’s going on but when it’s over and you are the candidate who gets the “yes” or you are the recruiter who fills the job the pain is soon forgotten. We don’t take the pain of other processes personally so we have to encourage our candidates and ourselves to regard the flawed negativity of the recruiting/hiring process as one of those things we don’t like to go through but if we want a job or a candidate placed it goes with the territory.

Not only should we not let the bastards see us sweat , we can’t let the bastards get us down. The problem is that there are no bastards to fight. It’s not you it’s the process. Pick em’ up, get over yourself and GO!

If you have the solution to taking the negativity out of job hunting or placing people in jobs, let’s hear it. And if you say social media your hard drive will crash , your refrigerator will quit running and either you are your spouse will be pregnant with Octuplets.

Views: 1552

Comment by Amy Ala Miller on November 2, 2011 at 3:12pm

two of my favorite RBC contributors and this is a perfect example of Why.  Well said you two!  Thank you I couldn't agree more!

Comment by Tom Dimmick on November 3, 2011 at 5:52am

Thanks Sandra for your usual polish.  I hope this helps some struggling candidate/recruiter/hiring manager when the day looks dark and the nights are long.

Comment by Fraun Gray on November 3, 2011 at 9:47am

Bravo!!! The truth shall set you free!

Comment by Alan on November 3, 2011 at 10:09am

Nailed guys but next time don't beat around the bush ...

Comment by John Comyn on November 3, 2011 at 10:18am

So true & well said. Top performers are able to handle emotional disappointments, bounce back from losses, and mentally prepare themselves for the next opportunity to compete.

Comment by Candace Nault on November 3, 2011 at 6:38pm

Excellent post, thank you!!


Comment by Sandra McCartt on November 3, 2011 at 10:39pm

Thanks for the reads and the comments.

@Fraun there is more truth in your comment than at first glance.  Are we not glad in the final analysis that we have the freedom to say "No".  No, that candidate is not a fit.  No, i really don't want that job.  No damn  way am i going to recruit more candidates..Uh does anybody know anyone.


@ Alan thanks  from bofus.  See the deal is Tom and i are both of the Viet Namn era.  He was  over there in that mess and i was  wearing one of those MIA bracelets for the 50,000 of our guys who didn't come home.  After that we still think of Jane Fonda as Hanoi Jane. That goat f#$k  over we were never encumbered with beating around bushes or political correctness ever again.


@John  Great point. That's  called emotional maturity.  It's what winners have that losers don't have.


@Candace, Thank you , i hope as Tom says, if you were having a bad day that you leaned back and thought.  "Hey it's not me, it's not my client , i just live in the land of No.  Fine then, at least i know where i am and i'm not alone.  It just is what it is.  One thing about it we all hear No so much that when we hear yes  it is sure a rush.  One yes will erase a whole slew of Nos.


@Amy we love you too.  It's younger recruiters like you that reassure us antiques we are in the right business.

Comment by Tiffany Branch on May 5, 2014 at 4:10pm



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