Want to get a job? Circumvent HR.
➔ First, let’s make one thing perfectly clear. All companies are different. They do things differently. The people in them do things differently. Conclusion: Not all HR is bad. On the other hand…
You must understand. HR plays a very definite role in every company… and none of those roles have been designed to help you get hired there.
Is there another way?
Oscar Hammerstein said, “Let’s start at the very beginning – a very good place to start.”
If you’re unlucky, your first contact with HR is the dreaded ATS – Automated Tracking System. Definition: a computer system deviously designed to eliminate all who apply there. So your first chore is to circumvent (there’s that word again) the ATS. Depending on the company, that may be easier than it sounds. Through LinkedIn you should be able to find someone in that company whose path you crossed at some point in your professional life. If not, fake it.
Through that contact you can get your resume in front of an actual human being (which is a life form with which the ATS is totally unfamiliar.) From there you may be uncharacteristically fortunate enough to land an interview. If you’re more typical than you care to believe, it will probably be the first of several interviews. If you’re truly fortunate, only one of those interviews will be with someone from HR.
But you’re not out of the woods. Which leads us to the inspiration for this article. A woman who endured four interviews with one company only to be told… nothing. The 21st Century word for this practice is: ghosted. Four separate interviews with four different people and none of them had the professional courtesy to send her as much as a go-to-hell letter (or email – after all, this is the 21st Century.)
When you get to our age, you think you’ve heard it all. Wrong. The HR Department couldn’t respond to this woman who invested the better part of four days of her life into their game of charades because apparently they were too busy re-programming the ATS.
After thankfully not getting that job, she went to a company with less than 50 employees who had the good sense not to invest in an ATS. She was hired on the spot.
That’s the America we grew up in.