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When’s the Last Time You Applied For Your Own Job?

February 19, 2018

Not your actual job, but the one you’re trying to fill.

This question is for recruiters, HR folks, or anyone who’s hiring.

(And also for any hapless soul who lost his way on the internet and wandered onto this page. Welcome, hapless. Stay as long as you’d like.)

But seriously, how long’s it been since you sat in your candidate’s place?

  • Gone through the application process from beginning to end?
  • Started from an ad or job search and gone all the way through offer acceptance?

If it’s been a while, it’s probably been too long. We should regulary put ourselves through what we put applicants through. That’s how we make it better. If we’re drinking the punch we’re serving, then we’ll make sure it’s not flat, spiked, or lukewarm...ok, maybe spiked.

But here’s the point: to make a great end user experience, we’ve got to be end users. As you step into that role, here are some questions to be sure to ask along the way.

Would you ad-block yourself?

Assuming you’re running job ads, are they good enough that you want to see them? Or are they annoying? Or even worse, boring? That’s the trouble with most job ads: they’re so same-ol’ that no one notices. If they don’t spark your interest (without being obnoxious), try again.

Does your web page make you bounce?

That means leave, not jump for joy. Be honest. If you didn’t already work there, would your company’s career site or individual job pages hold any interest for you whatsoever?

  • Do they get your attention?
  • Answer your big questions and not bore you with little details?
  • Give you an easy way to apply or talk to someone?

Is your job description an Ambien prescription?

Does it make you snooze? Or is it more like laughing gas—full of goofy nonsense that’s only found in job descriptions? If it’s snoozy or goofy, rework it. Say what matters most. Say it fast, and say it like an actual human—the way you’d explain it in person.

Do you enjoy talking to yourself?

And listening? In other words, is your company interacting well with job seekers—by Facebook, phone, in-person, or however? These personal touchpoints will make or break you. And silence is about as bad as rudeness. Always give the courtesy of a reply.

Have you filled in the blanks and checked the boxes?

We’re talking about completing your full application. It’s the most tedious task in the process, but you can probably move it along by:

  • Removing some questions OR
  • Adding some tech to auto-fill info candidates have already provided in a resume or on LinkedIn.

Question your whole process like this, but then ask the bigger question.

Would you take your own job?

Hopefully, it's not in a dark tunnel.

If you were in the other person’s place—with their skills, experience, and circumstances—would you take the opportunity seriously? You can also ask yourself if it passes the friends and family test. If you’d have no reservations recommending the job to your mom, your kid, your best friend, or anyone you know and care about, then it’s a pretty solid gig.

If you have reservations, maybe it’s time for an honest management discussion.

Maybe you need to apply yourself to improving the job, not just the application process.

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