Recruiting an employee is arduous for an employer as recruiting eats up hours of staff time and energy. From planning the employee recruitment to interviews and the selection of a superior employee, current employees invest time and energy to select the right employee.
A well-prepared, qualified job seeker can increase their likelihood of landing the job by avoiding these job seeker behaviors employers hate. Employers magnify their chances of hiring a superior employee, when they avoid job seekers who exhibit these ten fatal errors, what employers hate about job seekers – or ought to.
Job seekers apply indiscriminately for jobs that don’t match their skills and experience. Employers are spammed by unqualified and marginally qualified people who apply for each posted job. Yet, reviewing every resume, hoping for a gem, the interesting applicant who doesn’t quite fit the hiring profile, is critical to find superior employees. So, the employer is stuck evaluating them all; and this means - they are all gone - in 30 seconds.
Job seekers don't follow instructions about how to apply for the job. If the job seeker fails to follow instructions, their application may never reach the people with the power to hire. Failure to answer questions about salary requirements, for example, may relegate their application to the “no” pile. Worse? A job application that fails to follow directions is not considered a valid application and need not receive consideration for the position. Employers must evaluate whether the job seeker’s behavior will be acceptable in their workplace.
Job seekers present their credentials unprofessionally. Their resume and cover letters contain typos, grammatical errors, incomplete thoughts, portions copied and pasted from prior applications to different employers, and details not requested for the current job. Recently, a governmental employer added the caveat that applications mailed in stationery belonging to the current employer would not be considered. The same applies to emailed applications from the current employer’s address.
Job seekers lie on their resume or bolster their credentials by blurring details or leaving out pertinent facts. In a recent SHRM study, 64% of HR professionals did not extend a job offer to a potential employee because their background reference check showed inaccurate dates of previous employment. Lies of omission or commission will haunt a job seeker. Commonly, employers consider lying on application materials grounds for dismissal – even years after the employee was hired. Employers should dig deeply to check the accuracy of applicant credentials such as claimed degrees.
Job seekers are unprepared to fill out the job application during their scheduled interview. This makes the job seeker seem unprepared. It holds up the employer’s background checking process if the job seeker is a viable candidate. Companies often use the application as a literacy screen so taking the application home is not an option.
In any case, employers can take no action until they have a completed, signed application that gives permission for reference checks. Plus, the job seeker’s signature attests to the veracity of the information they provide. Especially if you asked the applicant to arrive early to fill out the application – and most employers do – this lack of preparation is unacceptable.
Job seekers fail to research the company. In one recent interview for a software development company, the job seeker hadn’t visited the company website or become familiar with the products. How can a job seeker tell an employer how well he or she will fit the job and the company when the applicant didn’t even visit the website? In fact, how can the job seeker even apply? This is hardly the face to present to a potential employer. And, it speaks volumes for potential job performance. Or, it should.
Job seekers try to get to hiring managers in an effort to circumvent the hiring process. Read number two above. Then, ignore this advice provided by supposedly informed career professionals. Applications sent to hiring managers end up on HR’s desk. The note says, “I don’t know this applicant.” Or, the note says, “I can’t vouch for this person, but someone I know recommended him.” Rest assured, if a current employee is enthused about a candidate, the “right” people know. And, the job seeker doesn’t risk pissing off HR staff who move qualified applicants on through the review process.
Job seekers that “bug” hiring managers and HR staff quickly wear out their welcome. HR has a name for candidates whose calls, emails, and visits interrupt work and steal time and attention from overworked staff. They call them “stalkers.” These job seekers gain no points with the hiring decision makers – and this ought to be the consequence of such behavior. Get my drift?
Job seekers indulge in unprofessional interview behavior. Why would any serious job candidate blow their chances so badly when their foot is already in the door? Job searchers arrive late; dress improperly, reek of cologne, and sport dirty finger nails. They are unprepared to answer predictable questions. They chew gum, take calls on cell phones, and forget items they need in their cars.
One interviewee asked the employer the name of the company where he was interviewing; he said he forgot to read the sign on his way in. Another asked an interviewer if she wanted to see his belly scar to verify a boat accident was the reason for his unemployment. Smart employers notice and make appropriate hiring decisions.
Job seekers fail to practice common courtesy. They arrive late, fail to follow instructions, bombard employers with emails and calls, and talk down to lower level employees. Employers should consider courtesies such as thank you letters when making a hiring decision. Candidate behaviors do reappear in the workplace.