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The Flip Side of Applicant Tracking October 5, 2009

Posted by Darwin in applicant tracking.
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1038728_ladyThe situation is all too familiar:  a job seeker gets their hopes up about landing a position with a company, only to never hear back from the them.  About three years ago I experienced this situation and wasn’t willing to wait anymore.

When I first moved to San Francisco, I applied for a job at an *unnamed* internet start up,which was backed by a major venture capitalist who had his hands in several other successful projects.  I made it through the Craigslist resume cattle call and was actually scheduled for an in-person interview at a North Beach coffee house.  The interview went great and the company representative told me that I’d hear from him within the week.

Of course, I didn’t hear from him within the week, or even the month.  After several weeks of waiting, I sent an inquisitive email and placed a polite phone call and still had no response.   After more than a month, I’d pretty much given up on the job, but felt cheated out of a simple “yes or no” answer.  I decided to take action.

I did a bit of Googling and found out that the company’s primary investor, a notable VC, had an ongoing blog about the industry.  I decided to post a written  ‘plee’ as a response to one of his posts, saying that it was unprofessional (and rude) for his company to leave people hanging.

Amazingly, within one day I received a call from the interviewer, saying that they had gone with someone else for the position.  I imagine he had received a message from one of his higher ups telling him to get back to me (or else).  Even though I was out of the job, I still felt vindicated on a number of levels.

Unfortunately, as job applications become increasingly automated, job seekers often find themselves facing a similar waiting game.  Very often job applicants are casually discarded, never hearing back from a company they had interviewed with on several different occasions.  It isn’t realistic to expect everyone in job limbo to try to reach the top of a company’s management structure like I did.  So how can we improve this crappy situation?

On the hiring side of things, it’s fathomable though not forgivable, for these job snubbing situations to happen.  Some companies process thousands of resumes and applications over a short period of time and simply don’t possess the resources to keep track of the incoming applicants.   A forgotten job applicant could be the result of  getting lost in the masses.  Fortunately, there is a solution that can help both the applicant and the company:  applicant tracking software.

Cutting edge applicant tracking software now allows a business of any size to effortlessly manage, organize and track applicants online.  Applicant Tracking software is greatly advantageous for a business’s hiring process: allowing pin-point analytics, resume sharing tools, and ongoing candidate status updates.   Applicant Tracking software not only can greatly improve a company’s hiring process, but also make sure that job applicants are never again left in the dark.

I’d like to think that if my *unnamed* company had been utilizing an applicant tracking solution, they would have been reminded to be courteous even to those un-hired applicants.

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