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Hiring is Complicated!

Civil Rights Act of 1964

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A few things job seekers need more info about is how companies recruit and hire.  I used to recruit and hire employees for a variety of firms nationwide and internationally. There are several factors that regulate the way companies hire – and I am considering companies of over 50 professional employees for the sake of this blog post. Most companies have a Human Resource office or Personnel Department. While many employees are familiar with the some of the functions of the HR office — recruiting, payroll, benefits and terminations — HR also plays a critical role in the overall business strategy of the company. There are two major functions that the HR office does that job seekers would benefit from knowing.

1. Talent Acquisition

HR is responsible for budgeting, recruiting and filling all the positions in the company. They create budgets based on labor and burden costs, recruiting, training, taxes, etc. They analyze work flow, anticipate work, and contribute to strategic planning to meet company growth goals (or plan targeted reductions). Talent Acquisition goals are to fill high-level positions with top candidates; often they are “poached” from other companies, and have associated costs of signing bonuses and premium benefit packages. Poaching is labor intensive. Cheap? No. Necessary? Mostly. Typically, companies do not hire their top talent from job boards.

So, what does this mean to the job seeker? Unless you are in the fortunate “poached” category, you are trying to get a job by traditional methods, including applying online. Companies save substantial amounts of money in the recruiting process by using an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to filter out 95% of the resumes they receive. Otherwise, they would have to pay an employee to MANUALLY sort through 1,000’s of resumes per year. Once the software filter identifies 20 good matches, the search is almost over. So, you can see the odds are against you for obtaining employment via the ATS. Spending an hour filling out your life-story on an automated applicant system is a BIG WASTE OF TIME!

2. Legal Compliance

One of the major functions of HR is to provide legal advice and enforcement in employment law for the company. There are many, many Federal and State employment laws, and International employment laws protecting “foreign skilled workers”. Lawmakers write the laws, and HR monitors and enforces the law! In hiring, companies are not allowed to discriminate based on race, religion, age, gender, ability, etc. Read more on the Title VII,  in the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  It is an amazing piece of legislation, and trust me, most countries have no such thing. In the US, there are also sexual and hostile workplace harassment laws, and laws for hiring minorities, vets and women if the company receives Federal or State funding.

LAWS dictate hiring. Companies need to comply, so they implement screening methods as a way to eliminate any possible discrimination in hiring lawsuits. If you have a picture of yourself on your résumé (for the US), most likely, it goes straight into the “no” pile because could be a possible source of discrimination by the company.

If you’re spending your job search time endlessly uploading your photo résumé into Applicant Tracking Systems, the longer it will take to find a job. Try Linked In, or the phone instead.


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