Great post, and Recruitfest was a tasty event for sure. It was very cool to be part of some really cool conversations and a groundbreaking event. One of my favorite parts of the day was the conversation around the “Candidate Bill of Rights” that you were a part of.
Personally, I do not care what it is called. Bill of Rights. Manifesto. Our Big Fat Hairy Promises.
I think that the conversation continues to reveal some ways in which the relationship itself is flawed. You mentioned in your post that some candidates apply for stuff they know they are not “qualified” for. On the flip side, candidates know that you post job postings with “qualifications” that are more about simplifying the process rather than improving the actual results. Is there a job that does not require a college education anymore? You know what a college degree means? It might mean a lot, but it also might mean absolutely nothing. I know some folk who spent 4, 5 or 6 years in college, got a degree and learned little more than how to hold a couch down.
My point is this. Employers talk shit about candidates. Candidates talk shit about employers. None of that accomplishes anything. This is my issue with the sentiment of “treating people like you want to be treated.” This is an arrogant perspective that assumes that you know (without knowing me) how I want to be treated. Guess what…you do not know how I want to be treated because you are not the one applying for the job…you come to this process with a completely different perspective.
Until we are talking to each other, we are just going to continue talking about each other. Change the nature of the relationship…make it a relationship of equals. I do not care about the tactics involved or the tools used, I care about the actual principles that guide the relationship. I am interested in things like choice, truth, transparency, and access. Those are the things that matter. How you deliver it can vary from company to company, but are you doing things to give candidates more choice in how the process (regardless of the outcome) plays out? So often we try to come up with a one size fits all solution and we should know better. Are we working to provide candidates with as much, real information as possible? For the most part, no we are not. We are doing everything that we can to simplify and manage the process on our end, often at the candidates (read client) expense.
I dig the idea of a Bill of Rights, Manifesto, Ten Commandments, or Proclamation of Ideals regarding the candidate experience…not across the profession, but on an organizational level. Put it out there. When someone applies for a job at your company, make some real promises about what that experience is going to be like, regardless of the outcome. I think that is the type of thing that sets you apart from the big smelly mob.