What Job Seekers Want from Recruiters

Job seeking isn’t easy and can almost seem like a job in itself. It can be even more frustrating and stressful if there is miscommunication or lack of communication between seekers and those recruiting for the job openings they’ve applied to. After talking to a group of seekers, I would like to bring up some issues that they would like to see resolved. (Don’t worry, Recruiters. I’ll be sure to tell your side of the story tomorrow.)

A few individuals told me about what really grinds their gears during the job hunt, which is as follows:

No response from recruiters. Many job seekers realize that job openings could stay open for several weeks or several months. They’re also aware that they may not be selected from the hundreds of resumes that are received. However, never receiving a confirmation on the status of their application can cause unnecessary anxiety and false hope. They would sincerely appreciate recruiters updating statuses in the applicant tracking systems. Or, they would be fine with a generic e-mail sent to applicants giving them a status update or to tell them that they were not selected. This could allow them closure on the subject.

Recruiters that don’t seem to listen. If a candidate speaks to a recruiter about their work experience and what they need/want for their next job, they typically expect the recruiter to listen. Nothing is more frustrating than having a recruiter contact you about a job that is irrelevant to what was discussed, such as: a job not paying enough to cover bills; a position that you specifically said you wouldn’t like working in; or a location that is out of your maximum mileage to travel. This situation could cause candidates to lose trust in a recruiter and the company that the recruiter is from. Additionally, it could make candidates feel offended if a recruiter seems to only call them about positions that are below the candidate’s experience and expectations.

Recruiters that do not respond to e-mails or calls. This is a peeve that is especially true for candidates who have already interviewed. It’s understandable that a decision may not have been made about the job opening, but if a candidate calls or e-mails you to check in, take a minute to give them a response even if there are no updates. Recruiters are busy and swamped, but I often wonder if they can lighten their load by giving a first time response versus someone constantly contacting them until they finally get a reply.

Recruiters who don’t have enough information. Candidates are looking for jobs for a reason: they’ve lost their job; they’ve been terminated; or they’re looking for a better opportunity. Regardless of the reason, they’re all looking for a better situation than the last one. In order for them to feel comfortable about taking a new position, they’re going to want the most details possible to determine if it would be a good fit. It can be exasperating when a candidate asks a recruiter the details of the duties, company, company culture, expectations, and so on and the recruiter cannot answer it. Although this is not always the recruiter’s fault (hiring managers and clients could be a pain to get information from), it is still just a negative experience all together and could cause candidates to pass on a good opportunity or take a position that is completely wrong for them.

Although there were plenty of other things mentioned to me, these seemed to be the main trends. Now, this is in no way meant to attack recruiters- I’ve been one before so I completely understand that sometimes these issues are out of your control. However, job seekers would like to bring these things up in hopes to educate recruiters on what it is like to be on the other side of things. They hope that providing these details could help recruiters and job seekers find a way to compromise and also make the job seeking/job filling experience more rewarding.

Micromanagement Kills Productivity

The other day I had posted a conversation on Ted.com and was delighted to get an interesting comment. This individual had mentioned that her ideal employer would be one that explains why we do certain processes. Also, another ideal quality would be an employer that does not micromanage. I was so glad that these things were brought up because it is a subject that my peers have passionately discussed in the past. Why do managers think that micromanaging is actually helping? In reality, it does more harm than good.

To start, I’m going to dive into this post by discussing the first part of this person’s comment: why the company exists and why do we do the procedures. Nothing is worse than being trained by someone who only shows you how to go through the motions but doesn’t give an explanation. It is important for employers to train in a way that allows employees to get a full understanding of why they do certain things and how it impacts the business. If all an employer does is train an employee how to do “A. B. and C.” and nothing further, then the employee’s thought process most likely will end there.

A good training program should almost be like a story. For example, a trainer should show an employee how to do “function A.” but also explain what that function’s purpose is and why it’s important to the company. Giving this background and additional information will allow employees to have a clearer picture and retain information easier. Additionally, giving employees those details can allow them to be innovative. If an employee truly understands why they do specific tasks, they may be able to figure out a better and more efficient way to get to the end result. Essentially, you’re allowing employees to have the knowledge and ability to take their job duties a step further.

Once the employees get the swing of things, managers need to learn how to loosen up on their micromanagement. It is perfectly OK to mentor them this way in the beginning since new hires are bound to make a few mistakes through the first few months, but managers need to eventually give them room to do their job without breathing down their necks. Micromanagers feel like they need to be in control of things because they believe that is the only way they can ensure results. Contrary to their belief, it actually kills productivity rather than helps.

These employees were hired for a reason: they are competent; they are educated; and they have experience. In other words, this isn’t their first rodeo. Once they learn the basics of how your company works, what the processes are, and what the expectations are, then they should be good go. If they are micromanaged after that point, it can cause a few issues:

• Employees will be distracted by constant monitoring.
• Employees will feel like they aren’t trusted by the employer.
• It will cause stress and frustration.
• It will limit employees’ feelings of empowerment, accountability, and responsibility.
• Micromanaged timelines may actually slow down efficient employees.
• Constant updates and status meetings will take time away from the actual task at hand.
• It will kill employees’ drives to be creative, innovative, and find better solutions.
• It will make employees question their abilities and limit their professional growth.
• It will make employees feel disrespected.
• And—it’ s just generally suffocating.

When I was recruiting, I used to hate it when I received a job order alert, and within a minute my manager was hounding me about filling the order. At that point, I had barely even got time to read the job requirements before she was down my back. (I often wondered if she had some sort of super power to read the e-mail and get to my desk that fast). Anyway, she started to come off hostile by doing this and employee morale went down tremendously. The stress from being micromanaged caused employees to be unhappy at work to the point where absenteeism and turnover became high. Without these employees present, the company lost a lot of business because there wasn’t enough manpower to keep them competitive.

If you want employees to be happy and engaged, then give them the freedom to do their work. They are capable professionals. The best thing a manager can do is to give employees clear goals and timelines then allow them to work on it without having their every move observed. Even without micromanaging, managers can still make themselves available to the employees if they have questions or need guidance. Perhaps this is a suggestion to keep both ends happy?

If you’re a micromanager, please try to loosen up the control a bit. Your employees will appreciate you for it and you may end up discovering that giving them the empowerment will allow them to be more productive. Giving them the “why” in their training can allow them to be exceptional employees without the need for hand-holding.

Forbes-How to Manage a Micromanager