Episode #75 – Why Acting Like the Hiring Process is an Inconvenience Can Hurt You

Sharita: Welcome to “The Animal Health Employment Insider,” Podcast brought to you by The VET Recruiter. In this podcast, search consultant Stacy Pursell, founder and CEO of The VET Recruiter, provides insight and practical advice for both companies and job seekers working in the Animal Health Industry and Veterinary Profession. The VET Recruiter’s mission is to help Animal Health Companies and Veterinary Employers hire top talent, while helping Animal Health and Veterinary Professionals attain career-enhancing opportunities that increase their quality of life.

In today’s podcast, we’ll be talking about how acting like the hiring process is an inconvenience can hurt you as a candidate. Stacy, thank you for joining us.

Stacy: Hello, Sharita. I’m glad to be here with you again today. It’s been a couple of weeks since we recorded our last podcast together.

Sharita: Stacy, are there actually candidates out there who act as though the hiring process is an inconvenience?

Stacy: Yes, and it happens more than you might think and in more ways than you might think. One of the reasons for this is the current job market. There are plenty of job openings and employment opportunities in the marketplace right now, including in the Animal Health Industry and Veterinary Profession. Unfortunately, that leads some professionals to mistakenly believe that they can take parts of their job search or the hiring process less seriously. In fact, there are a few professionals who don’t take any of it seriously. Thankfully, those individuals are rare.

Sharita: Do you have some examples that you’ll be sharing with us today?

Stacy: I absolutely do, although I’ve shared one of the examples on a previous podcast.

Sharita: You did?

Stacy: Yes, and that example involved candidates who respond with “See my LinkedIn profile” when someone—such as a recruiter or hiring manager—asks for their resume. This is an example of a person who is acting as though the hiring process is an inconvenience to them, that they can’t be bothered with the simple act of emailing a resume. If a person is serious about their career, they should have an updated copy of their resume available at all times. Then, all they have to do is compose an email, attach the resume and hit the “Send” button. That takes nearly as much time as saying, “See my LinkedIn profile.”

Sharita: And there’s a negative connotation that goes along with saying, “See my LinkedIn profile” instead of just sending a resume, isn’t there?

Stacy: There is. If you try to use your LinkedIn profile in place of your resume, you run the risk of bringing your credibility and your candidacy into question, and you don’t want to do that. That’s a risk you’re taking, and why take any risks with the hiring process or your career? That doesn’t make sense.

As I’ve stated before, I recommend updating your LinkedIn profile at the same time you update your resume and keep them both consistent. The resume is still a vital part of the hiring process, and it should not be dismissed, especially if a recruiter or a hiring manager has asked you to send your resume to them.

Sharita: Stacy, what other examples do you have for us today?

Stacy: The other examples I have involve the job application.

Sharita: Do you have a case study involving the job application?

Stacy: I do, indeed.

Our recruiting firm had a candidate who interviewed very well with a company. The hiring manager was interested until they asked the candidate to fill out the employment application.

Unfortunately, the candidate only filled the application out halfway, leaving many questions blank.

Sharita: The candidate left questions on the job application blank?

Stacy: Yes, they did. They may have thought that the application was only a formality. They may have thought that their performance during the face-to-face interview had already secured a spot for them on the short list of final candidates.

Sharita: I’m going to guess that was not the case.

Stacy: No, that was not the case at all. That’s because the hiring manager said they were looking for someone who paid attention to detail. So the partially completed application with the missing answers was not a good sign and it did not bode well for the candidate. Just like that, the candidate went from being a potential frontrunner to the back of the pack.

Sharita: So what ultimately happened?

Stacy: Not surprisingly, this candidate did not receive an offer of employment from my client.

Sharita: Do you have another case study involving the job application?

Stacy: I do, and it combines the first two examples that I’ve mentioned so far. I once had a candidate who wrote “See resume” on the job application. They didn’t fill out any of the fields, they just wrote “See resume.”

Sharita: You’re kidding?

Stacy: I am not, and this has actually happened more than once during my recruiting career. As you might imagine, this did not enhance the person’s candidacy in the eyes of the hiring manager.

Sharita: I can certainly understand why that was the case. Where is the disconnect for some candidates when it comes to the job application and the hiring process?

Stacy: I’ve mentioned this before in our newsletters and blog posts, but a candidate is evaluated throughout every step of the interview and hiring process, and that includes both the submitting of the resume and the filling out of the job application. It doesn’t matter if a candidate believes that those are both minor details. If the hiring manager believes that they’re important parts of the process, then they ARE important parts of the process.

Sharita: How should candidates view these parts of the hiring process? They obviously should not have a lax attitude about them.

Stacy: Professionals in the Animal Health Industry and Veterinary Profession should not view submitting their resume or filling out the job application as an inconvenience. They should view them as an opportunity to yet again show the hiring manager and the recruiter that they are the right person for the job!

Sharita: This is all tied to personal branding, isn’t it?

Stacy: Yes, it absolutely is, and one of our more recent podcast episodes was about personal branding. One of the goals of personal branding, of course, is to brand yourself in the most positive way possible. So while a candidate might think that submitting their resume or filling out the job application is a waste of time, it certainly is not. It’s not a waste of time from the standpoint of the hiring process, and it’s not a waste of time from the perspective of personal branding.

Sharita: Stacy, what are hiring managers wanting to see with the job application? What are they looking for?

Stacy: They’re looking for a number of things, actually. They’re looking for attention to detail, the ability to follow directions, and the accuracy of the facts provided on the application. Most of all, though, they want to gauge the candidate’s desire for the job.

Sharita: Their desire?

Stacy: Right. All hiring managers want to hire candidates who have a desire to work for their employer. In other words, they want to hire people who want to be hired! They’re not looking for people who only have a casual interest or someone who is viewing the employer’s interest in them as an inconvenience—and that’s how it comes across. When a candidate completely and thoroughly fills out the job application, they’re showing the hiring manager that first, they’re professional, and second, they have a desire to be seriously considered for the position. “professional” is the key word here.

Sharita: Stacy, this also touches upon something that we discussed recently: making assumptions.

Stacy: That’s also correct. Making assumptions is a poor strategy in life, and that also applies to a person’s professional life. Even if you have a stellar resume—and you submit that resume to the hiring manager or the recruiter—and even if you “wow” everyone during the face-to-face interview, you can’t assume that you’re a “shoo-in” for the position. You can’t assume that you’re going to get the offer of employment. I can’t tell you how many candidates through the years have assumed that they would get the offer, and then they were surprised when they did NOT get the job offer.

Sharita: You were probably not that surprised, though, were you?

Stacy: I was not, and now almost nothing surprises me! I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. I just know it means that I’ve been around long enough to see just about everything in the interview and hiring process.

Sharita: Stacy, we’ve also talked recently about “ghosting” on the offer of employment, where a candidate receives an offer and then just disappears. Would that fall into this same category?

Stacy: No, that’s a bit different. Candidates who “ghost” on the job offer aren’t just treating the hiring process as an inconvenience. They’re treating the hiring process and the professionalism that an employer has shown them with disrespect.

And keep in mind that “ghosting” on the job offer is just one form of “ghosting.”

Sharita: What do you mean?

Stacy: You can also “ghost” on a phone interview or a face-to-face interview.

Sharita: You mean that a candidate agrees to a phone interview or a face-to-face interview, but they never show up and you’re never able to reach them again?

Stacy: That’s right. That actually happens more often than “ghosting” on an interview. But it falls into that same category of disrespecting the employer and the interest that the employer is showing in the candidate. The things that we’ve discussed today are not as serious as “ghosting.” They won’t “burn bridges,” per se, with a potential future employer or with a recruiter, but they can nullify your candidacy for a position and take you out of the running. They can make you appear unprofessional.

Sharita: Any final words of wisdom for our listeners?

Stacy: If you are a job candidate and an Animal Health or Veterinary Organization is considering you for employment, then you should take every opportunity to show that organization you are the right person for the job. They take their hiring process seriously, and so should you. Go above and beyond what is necessary to succeed.

Sharita: Stacy, as always, thanks so much for all of this great information today.

Stacy: Thank you, Sharita. I look forward to our next podcast!