Your Job Search – The Vanishing Role of HR

You’ve seen the advice about not dealing with the human resources department at companies you’re targeting in your job search, and there were good reasons for the advice. Now the situation has worsened, according to Ask The Headhunter’s Nick Corcodillos. He never pulls his punches; however, his latest blog post, “The campaign to kill HR,” really hammers companies for the way they are (not) using HR.

If you’re planning a job search, this subject is one you need to pay attention to. Failure to take it into account could make your job search path harder. When companies say they want well-qualified candidates, do they put their money where their mouth is?

Why HR is Bad for Your Job Search

I could give several reasons. First, I want to share a taste of Corcodillos’ post:

“ZipRecruiter, Indeed, LinkedIn and a league of database companies have succeeded in killing HR’s recruiting role — and the initiative of hiring managers.

“Stripped of the function that once gave HR bragging rights for a company’s most competitive advantage — hiring great workers — HR now serves as little more than the fire hose that overwhelms companies with millions of inappropriate incoming job applications, and as the spigot that pours billions of corporate dollars into the pockets of database jockeys who know nothing about matching real people to real jobs.”

As I understand it, one of the reasons the companies mentioned are “killing” HR’s role is that they make more money when they DON’T generate high-quality job applicants to fill client-company openings! They get paid whether or not companies get strong applicants, so they have no incentive to improve their pathetic record. And they can’t point to any substantiated record of producing that level of applicants.

Reasons to Avoid HR

Although I know there are smart, capable HR professionals “out there,” they don’t necessarily hold positions of power within their companies. That could mean they follow a routine recruitment process that doesn’t do you as the job seeker any favors.

In other words, their process is not intended to help you reach the people you need to reach in order to increase your chances of an interview that could lead to a job offer you would want to accept. Increasingly, it’s an automated process that makes job seekers jump through hoops without ever talking to live human beings.

You probably can’t control the growing role of the database companies. That’s in the hands of the companies who continue to employ their services despite incredibly low ROI.

What you can do is continue to work on sidestepping the HR hiring blockade. Unfortunately for any hope you might have cherished that you could conduct a productive job search without working hard at it, avoiding HR requires effort. Despite the barriers companies keep erecting in your path, your best bet, by far, is to find out how to reach the hiring manager(s) you need to get in touch with.

Of course, you also need a good story to tell once you get there and a solid case to make for the value you can offer employers, but that’s a topic for another blog post.

If you want a fulfilling job and career–want to do what you do well, in an environment that values and supports it–you need to steer clear of the “easy” route that takes you through HR and actually isn’t all that easy. It’s like the old cliche: “What’s worth having is worth working for.”

 

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