Why Companies Should Re-Evaluate Their Human Resources Department

For someone who’s been dealing with human resources too much lately, especially at 23 years-old, I’ve started to deeply reflect on their department. Even though our world has evolved where we have job resources like LinkedIn, Indeed, (the OG) Monster.com, Ziprecruiter, etc., it’s not so easy, especially when there’s people working in human resources that seem to not care about bringing talent into their company’s door.

To me it seems as if they are just working day-to-day, trying to get through the week. The term “ghosting” has become relevant in the dating scene but recently, it seems that it’s become relevant in the professional world as well

Just to give you some background, I majored in Communications and specialized in advertising, journalism and public relations but wanted to pursue public relations. Some PR firms and agencies require an AP writing test, while others just want to see if you can write.

One time I didn’t get a job because I didn’t pass the “writing test” for an entry level job, after taking the bus from Maryland (where I went to college) to NYC for an interview that lasted 90 minutes. I had to reach out twice before they told me I didn’t land the job because I failed the test. They knew I was still attending school and located in Maryland so I thought that by making the trip, they’d appreciate my work ethic of being a go-getter. Nope.

Human resources and/or companies alone need to stop acting like an entry-level position is similar to running the company. You realize that no matter what field it is, management is going to have to train you or give criticism in the beginning. Every company has a way of doing things. If they didn’t like my writing style, they could have molded me into their dream employee no? Not to mention AP style changes every year and everyone that works in the industry carries the updated stylebook with them so what’s the point of memorizing it? If you can draft a creative, enticing pitch or press release in my field, that’s all that matters!

Also if you’re going to give a test, use it to see where someone’s skill-set is, or at least issue it before the candidate travels and wastes money on the interview. Yes, any opportunity is worth trying but if the job is contingent on a test, please provide it before making a candidate come in.  I’ll still never forget when the Account Executive that I interviewed with asked where I was coming from and after I answered his response was, “You came all that way for this? Wow you’re persistent.” Yeah I was, yet you still didn’t give me the position? Laughable.

Let’s talk about the time I interviewed for a position when I was looking to switch agencies and it went well since I had some post-college experience under my belt; I brought my portfolio, writing samples, talked about my achievements at my current role. There was no reason to not take a chance on me. I met with my potential supervisor and after was supposed to meet the in-house HR person who recruited me for the job but “she was too busy”. I went to go follow up with her the next day and I was told that she is no longer with the agency anymore. The company then just voided my interviews and expected me to interview for a different role that was lower pay. Another waste of time. I mean how do you bring someone in to the office for a job then act like it didn’t happen. A joke.

OR let’s not forget when I went through rounds of 30 minute phone-call interviews then went in-person to speak with three or four people for 30 minutes each as well. I get the email the next day saying, “Thank you for following up with me. At this time, the team has decided to move forward with an internal candidate. We wish you the best in your future ventures.” An internal candidate? If that held true, maybe next time you should open it to internal candidates first.

This might sound like a me-problem but people I know also have run into problems with human resources. My boyfriend was trying to secure a job post-graduation at top financial companies. After getting his resume in front of someone’s eyes through a connection, since we all know that resumes get lost online through Workday or whatever platform, they let him come in for an open-house type of meet-and-greet for the position. After meeting him and the event going well, they said they couldn’t give him the job because when he applied, they gave him a test that he didn’t pass. However, they ended up voiding it. That sounds like an internal miscommunication problem that hinders a lot of people from an opportunity. Again, what do these tests accomplish? Imagine how many people experienced this type of scenario because of a test, when in fact their work personality and behavior actually makes them a great potential employee.

Human resources need to embody what their company is and if they aren’t communicative with a potential candidate, it truly shows the work environment & culture there. If a HR employee isn’t communicating in a timely manner or not prepared, it’s a huge turn off. To be honest, looking back, I am sort of happy I didn’t get the opportunity because they seem unorganized. I even had numerous preliminary phone interviews where the HR coordinator didn’t even know what I was talking about; he/she wasn’t familiar with the field. It seems as if they are just trying to get people on the calendar and show their employer that they’re doing their job.

Additionally, ghosting is unacceptable. One time, when I was desperately looking to leave my current employer, a talent coordinator reached out to me via LinkedIn regarding an opportunity at my dream company. I had a chat with the woman that went well and after that, I followed up numerous times via LinkedIn and email. No answer.

It is totally unreasonable for that to happen. A professional opportunity should be what it is – professional. Right now companies and their reputation and image within the public are critical according to Edelman’s 2019 study. Yes, that case study is in terms of how they operate and building trust based on their corporate social responsibility, however with LinkedIn as a popular platform and even Glassdoor gaining popularity, one bad review or mention of bad company culture can ruin a brand’s image. People are starting to become very vocal on LinkedIn about job searches and how their experience was with a company’s interview process.

One bad scenario won’t necessarily ruin a company but when those start to generate over and over, it could be a total nightmare. Especially right now is when companies and human resources need to step up about how they operate. If someone was furloughed or let go and in dire need of a job, if a human resources representative doesn’t do their part to be communicative or wastes someone’s time, it just screams disrespect and could look terrible for a business.

It’s time for companies to switch up their reputation plan by taking a look internally and fix the problem before issuing a public relations campaign to make them look good externally. Who are you hiring to hire in the future? Are they trained and being professional with the public? In reality, the first interaction individuals and consumers have with any corporation and company is through human resources. Therefore, when someone receives an opportunity for a job at a company – it’s show time baby.

Published by Ariana Lena

Renewing my passion for writing & finally putting my journalism degree to work.

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