Do HR departments really hate job seekers?

grumpy HR business woman pointingIf you’re looking for work, it might feel like the Human Resources (HR) department is your sworn enemy.  They can be non-responsive to your application.  They don’t offer feedback on why you weren’t selected for a job.  And worst of all, sometimes you don’t get any acknowledgement that they even received your resume.

Keep this simple fact in mind: HR is expected to cut 95% or more of all candidates that apply for any given job.  It is not uncommon for HR to receive 300-500 applicants per job opening. This means that they must rely on procedures and screening tools just to get through the massive amount of applicants for any particular position.

It’s not that they hate you.  They need to detach personally in order to get their job done.

Radio Silence

“Radio silence” – such as the lack of any communication – is a product of both detachment and time saving devices.  Often times, if HR doesn’t set up an automatic reply email in their Applicant Tracking System (ATS), they won’t have the time to reply to each and every submission.

After the job is filled, rejection emails are delayed for the same reason- plus, it’s cheap to be rude.  Replying to all the candidates means taking time, even if it is an automated system.

Many departments like to keep the job open, at least until the first day of the new person.  This way, if something happens to their top candidate, they can revisit all of the applications in the ATS.  It is cheaper to go through previous applications a second time, rather than repost the job on Monster or CareerBuilder.

No friends here

While HR doesn’t hate you, they are certainly not your friend.  It is their job to cut you, not hire you.  Keep this in mind whenever you apply to a job.  It is your responsibility to make your resume as HR friendly as possible.  This includes using the right key words, being relevant to the job and following the directions in the job ad.  And of course, send a copy of your resume and cover letter directly to the hiring manager.

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