The Real Reasons Why Job Seekers Are Not Given Feedback

A common complaint and cause of frustration and irritation for interviewees is the absence of feedback after their interviews. It wasn’t always like this. In the past, it was standard protocol to provide feedback and constructive criticism to candidates. The hiring manager or human resources professional would diplomatically let the applicants know what they did well and the areas in which they need to improve upon.

The feedback was freely given with the best of intentions. The advice would consist of some positive aspects and, when justified, helpful critiques of the candidate—with respect to their skills, relevancy of their background and performance within the interview sessions. This would prove extremely helpful and productive if the person was invited back to partake in additional interviews. Even if the job seeker was turned down, they’d be provided with guidance so that they could perform better when they interview again somewhere else. The candidates could advantageously implement this vital information and constructive criticism.

This information relayed to candidates is important for them to conduct a self-assessment to ensure that they are presenting themselves in the best possible light. It’s similar to a batting coach in baseball who helps you improve upon your swing. His advice may not always be positive, but the goal is to make you a better baseball player.

Unfortunately, time’s have changed and this no longer applies to the present. In the current job market, feedback is offered sparingly—if at all. There is little-to-no feedback or constructive criticism offered. If you’re not accepted to proceed in the interview process, it’s rare to get a rejection letter or receive any input and advice from the company as to why you were unceremoniously passed over.

All the niceties and politeness are gone. You will now only hear from human resources if they want to move forward with you; otherwise, you get the silent treatment.

Here is why this happens.

Too Much Data

There has been a rapid proliferation of job boards, job aggregation sites (like Indeed and Glassdoor), Google for Jobs and corporate career pages. In addition to the ubiquity of jobs posted everywhere, everyone has a smartphone with them at all times. This combination makes it easy to search for jobs and easily apply. Many job seekers take the not-recommended approach of submitting their résumés for dozens of jobs—a large portion of which they’re not suited for, but want to give it a shot nonetheless.

Corporate talent acquisition and human resources professionals are deluged with résumés. Even with the applicant tracking systems that corporations have, it’s too much to handle. It becomes virtually impossible for the company to get back to everyone who submits their résumé. You may get a canned email response to your résumé or applications, but that’s about it. Don’t expect any meaningful color on whether or not you’re deemed a good fit for the job or company.

Fear Of Lawsuits

In today’s litigious society, companies are concerned about saying anything at all to candidates that could possibly be misconstrued. They are especially scared to give negative feedback to candidates out of fear that it might be misinterpreted as discrimination.

Something relatively innocuous said by an interviewer could be interpreted as sexist, ageist, racist or any other form of prejudice. Corporate executives are deathly afraid of costly, time-consuming lawsuits ensuing.

There is also the concern over a social media backlash because of something an employee said to a candidate. All you need is one disgruntled, denied job seeker to post his or her outrage on Twitter and it could go viral—irreparably damaging the company’s reputation. Not offering any feedback is a safer legal and public relations strategy for the company.

Stalling For Time

There is a belief by corporate executives that there is an abundance of qualified candidates. They erroneously believe that if the HR department waits longer, they will eventually find the perfect person suited for the role for a cheaper price.

They’ll keep you hanging on in suspense. The company doesn’t furnish you with an answer about your candidacy or offer a critique because you’re technically still in the running while they’re secretly holding out for a better candidate. They don’t want to say anything to make you bail out of the running—since they want to string you along and may ultimately want you if nobody better comes along. This is also a big reason why some interview processes tend to take so long.

Downsized HR Departments

The financial crisis wreaked havoc on all corporate departments, especially non-revenue-producing ones like human resources. Senior-level—higher salaried—HR people were downsized and replaced by more junior personnel.

Technology has also displaced many HR professionals. So, now there are fewer HR employees dealing with considerably more work. They simply don’t have enough time to respond to you and provide an evaluation and assessment of your talents.

New Expectations

The current generation of HR people only know the new, no-feedback milieu and perpetuates the status quo. This is a generalization, but many younger professionals are not comfortable picking up the phone and holding conversations with candidates, especially if it is not good news. They are equally uncomfortable holding a one-on-one conversation with a job seeker telling them that they’re not getting the job.

Third-Party Outsourcing

It has become a trend for companies to outsource their recruiting functions to third-party vendors. In this HR model, recruiters employed by another organization—who are kind of like mercenaries—are placed on the premises of many different clients. These are usually short-term stints. These types of recruiters, as you can imagine, have no vested interested in providing feedback to candidates, since they’ll be somewhere else in a couple of months.


You probably don’t need me to tell you this, but we are living in a time period in which people are not that nice to one another. It’s become the norm to be rude and ghost candidates.

We’re in a tight job market and companies complain that they can’t find people to fill their job openings. Their laments are ironic and tone-deaf as their very own actions of denying feedback alienates, discourages and blows off potentially perfect candidates.

Follow me on LinkedIn.

I am a CEO, founder, and executive recruiter at one of the oldest and largest global search firms in my area of expertise, and have personally placed thousands of professionals with top-tier companies over the last 20-plus years. I am passionate about advocating for job seekers. In doing so, I have founded a start-up company, WeCruitr, where our mission is to make the job search more humane and enjoyable. As a proponent of career growth, I am excited to share my insider interviewing tips and career advancement secrets with you in an honest, straightforward, no-nonsense and entertaining manner. My career advice will cover everything you need to know, including helping you decide if you really should seek out a new opportunity, whether you are leaving for the wrong reasons, proven successful interviewing techniques, negotiating a salary and accepting an offer and a real-world understanding of how the hiring process actually works. My articles come from an experienced recruiter’s insider perspective.

Source: The Real Reasons Why Job Seekers Are Not Given Feedback

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22 Ways To Completely Ruin Any Chance Of Succeeding In Your Interview


You always read about what you ought to do in an interview. I thought it might be even more helpful to share some blunders that you should avoid throughout the interview process. If you do engage in these actions, I can guarantee that you’ll epically fail and enrage the interviewers. You’ll probably also be barred from ever interviewing there again.

  • Offer available times to interview that are solely convenient for you. You don’t care if its burdensome to the interviewers, as it’s all about you.
  • If it turns out that the time you confirmed is now inconvenient for you, cancel the meeting minutes before the interview is scheduled to start.
  • Show up late to the interview. Compound this by not offering any apologies as to why you’re late or asking forgiveness for making them wait 30 minutes for you.
  • As you arrive tardy, you are holding a Starbucks coffee and loudly slurping it in front of everyone.
  • It’s August in New York City and about 100 degrees on the trains. You don’t find it important to go to the bathroom and get freshened up—you just arrive disheveled and offer a sopping wet handshake.
  • Of course, you don’t have to bring a résumé or business card.
  • You call the hiring manager by the wrong name twice, after she has has already corrected you.
  • Your phone rings and your ringtone is a gangster rap song filled with profanity and inappropriate lyrics. You answer the call and put up your index finger, signaling the universal “I’ll be with you in a minute” sign. You then follow up with a “shush” when they’re talking too loudly and interfering with your call.  In fact, you look annoyed at them for looking annoyed at you.
  • As the interviewer asks questions, you look bored and apathetic—trying to play hard to get.
  • You provide answers to a question that wasn’t asked. When corrected, you admit that you weren’t paying attention to the question. In this moment, you think the interviewer will value your honesty.
  • Instead of giving concise answers, you try being different by offering awkwardly long and meandering soliloquies that confuse and annoy everyone.
  • You talk trash about your former employer and co-workers. You think they will love hearing about how terrible their competitors are and appreciate the juicy gossip.
  • You ask if it’s okay to date the boss, as you’ve done so in the past.
  • Before anything else, you demand to know the salary, bonus, where your office is located and how much vacation time and sick days you get, as well as other perks.
  • You are rude and dismissive to the receptionist in the lobby when she doesn’t let you in right away. You let her know important people are expecting you.
  • You take copious notes while everyone is talking and don’t look up at all while you are writing.
  • In the middle of the interview, while they are in the midst of asking you a question, interrupt precipitously and tell them you have a hard stop and need to go to another interview, which you’re already late for.
  • When the interviewer asks you a question, you sigh in annoyance and inquire, “Didn’t you read my résumé?”
  • You either avoid all eye contact or stare directly into their eyes for the entire duration of the interview.
  • If you’re bored, you fiddle with the objects on the interviewer’s desk and distractedly look around the room.
  • You constantly interrupt the interviewer with nonsensical questions.
  • Wrap up the interview by asking, “Are you going to give me an offer or what?”

While it may sound like I am exaggerating with these gaffes to humor you and make a point, you would be surprised to know that these are all real-life instances that I’ve encountered as an executive recruiter and hiring manager for my own team. I can tell you firsthand, if you exhibit any of these behaviors, I can assure you that you’ll totally flounder and sabotage your own chances of attaining a new job.


I am a CEO, founder, and executive recruiter at one of the oldest and largest global search firms in my area of expertise, and have personally placed thousands of professionals with top-tier companies over the last 20-plus years. I am passionate about advocating for job seekers. In doing so, I have founded a start-up company, WeCruitr, where our mission is to make the job search more humane and enjoyable. As a proponent of career growth, I am excited to share my insider interviewing tips and career advancement secrets with you in an honest, straightforward, no-nonsense and entertaining manner. My career advice will cover everything you need to know, including helping you decide if you really should seek out a new opportunity, whether you are leaving for the wrong reasons, proven successful interviewing techniques, negotiating a salary and accepting an offer and a real-world understanding of how the hiring process actually works. My articles come from an experienced recruiter’s insider perspective.



If Your Work Lacks Purpose, Make It More Meaningful Through Job Crafting

We spend the vast majority of our waking hours at work. Given just how much time, energy and effort we expend in our jobs, it’s reasonable to want to hold one that offers us a sense of purpose and meaning.

You should strive to pursue a job or career that offers the chance to be challenged. Pursue work that is meaningful, intellectually challenging and spiritually rewarding. Find a job that enables you to help others, promotes positive change and serves a higher purpose. You want to ensure that your work is aligned with your core values and principles and could possibly make the world a better place.

I understand that these are lofty, aspirational goals. It is rare to find work that offers a sense of purpose. In fact, it’s more likely that your job won’t offer intrinsic, meaningful rewards. You may enjoy the fact that your job is associated with a social status that people find impressive or that it helps you earn a nice living, but somehow, you still feel that something is missing.

If you feel that there is a lack of purpose in your career, you can choose to make a change.

This change does not require you to seek out an entirely new role at a different company, especially given the current job climate. Although the U.S. has record-high employment, the trends that we are seeing play out in hiring now are not conducive to favorable outcomes for prospective job seekers. In fact, badly mistreating job seekers has become commonplace 

Instead of taking grave risks by walking away from your current employer, you can simply make waves by crafting your job to find optimal meaningfulness—the degree of significance an employee believes their work possesses. Job crafting is the process of redefining and reimagining your job design—tasks and relationships assigned to one person in an organization—to foster job satisfaction and bolster employee engagement and performance.

As you aim to redefine your purpose within the company, you should focus on your motives, strengths and passions to help you get there. What energizes you? What exhausts you? To add personal touches to your work, visualize your job, lay out its components and reframe them to better suit you.

You can start your journey with small incremental changes that add up over time. Here is what you should do now to start.

1. Recognize that, with any job, there will be monotonous unglamorous tasks. Even the CEO has to deal with canceled flights, late Ubers and surly underlings.

2. Accept that there will always be a certain percentage of responsibilities that may not change and focus on the things that you do have the power to change.

3. Ask to speak with your boss to discuss your goal of  job crafting, with respect to your responsibilities.

4. Work with your manager to create new responsibilities that provide you with purpose and meaning. Take proactive steps to redesign elements of what you do at work. For example:

  • If you are an accountant, you could suggest starting a unit that caters to charitable organizations.
  • If you are an attorney, you could request to do pro bono work to help immigrants.
  • If you are a stock broker, you could offer discounted advice to parents with college-bound students.

5. Offer to mentor junior staffers, or seek out a manager-level role to unlock your untapped potential.

6. Ask to attend meet-ups for people who are unemployed or seeking work, as you could offer career advice—or maybe you have a job for them.

7. Change your mindset regarding your responsibilities. If you are a janitor at a hospital, for example, try and see yourself in playing a role in curing people’s illnesses.

8. Delegate certain responsibilities that don’t fit your skill set and rob you of your enthusiasm, and ask for assignments that you feel are a better match.

9. If you are at a desk all day long and desire interaction with others, ask about opportunities to get out in front of clients.

10. If you feel overloaded with small tasks that take you away from the more important matters you enjoy, request to shift this work to a more junior-level staffer. You may have mastered your job and require more challenging assignments.

Companies stand to gain a lot by enabling job crafting within an organization. Employees are empowered by being awarded the reins to steer their own careers. Job crafting ensures employee retention and will elevate even the weakest of links by molding tasks to their strengths and passions.

Employees who execute job crafting often end up more engaged and fulfilled in their work lives, achieve higher levels of performance in their companies and obtain unrivaled personal gratification.

You will be viewed in a positive light—seen as engaged, re-energized, loyal and dedicated. Your boss will respect your desire to pursue new meaningful work. In a hot job market, management will welcome a person who desires to stay with the company and improve themselves. You could serve as an example for others to follow, thereby making additional employees feel empowered and dedicated to the company.

Ready for the next challenge? Tune in on August 7 for Day 8.

Miss a challenge? Click here for Day 6: Understand how you fit.

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn.

I am a CEO, founder, and executive recruiter at one of the oldest and largest global search firms in my area of expertise, and have personally placed thousands of professionals with top-tier companies over the last 20-plus years. I am passionate about advocating for job seekers. In doing so, I have founded a start-up company, WeCruitr, where our mission is to make the job search more humane and enjoyable. As a proponent of career growth, I am excited to share my insider interviewing tips and career advancement secrets with you in an honest, straightforward, no-nonsense and entertaining manner. My career advice will cover everything you need to know, including helping you decide if you really should seek out a new opportunity, whether you are leaving for the wrong reasons, proven successful interviewing techniques, negotiating a salary and accepting an offer and a real-world understanding of how the hiring process actually works. My articles come from an experienced recruiter’s insider perspective.

Source: If Your Work Lacks Purpose, Make It More Meaningful Through Job Crafting

What Not To Do After A Job Interview

The waiting period after a job interview can be one of the most stressful times. You’ve done everything in your power, now it’s out of your control. All you can do is wait, try to be patient, and do things to keep yourself on track for success. Just like preparing for and going on a job interview, there are things you should and shouldn’t do. Here are five of those things you shouldn’t do after an interview.

Don’t replay the interview over and over.

It’s easy to focus on what you didn’t do well in an interview and rehash those scenarios over and over in your head. This is actually a terrible thing to do. Not only does it put you in a negative frame of mind, it’s also a completely inaccurate view of how the interview went. Your interview could have gone spectacularly overall, but focusing on one or two things you could have done better will cause you to feel like the whole thing was a failure.

Analyze the interview once or twice, highlighting both the good points and the negatives. Make notes of what you’d do again in a future interview and give yourself a couple of pointers on what you’d change. After you’ve done those two things, leave it at that. Going over it more will only cause additional and unnecessary stress.

Don’t harass the hiring manager.

Send your thank you message within 24-48 hours of the interview, then don’t reach out again until the date the hiring manager told you they’d be in touch. Unless you have a very urgent question or something major comes up, there’s no reason for you to contact the hiring manager.

Emailing or calling them and asking for a status update or to let them know you’re still very interested will only harm your chances of getting the job. Hiring managers are inundated with messages already, and they told you when you’d be hearing from them, so respect them by honoring that date. Once it’s a few days past that date you can reach out again.

Don’t stop your job search process or quit your job.

Until you have a signed contract, nothing is official. While you may have given the best interview of your life and the hiring manager was gushing over you, there’s still no guarantee the job is yours. You don’t know if another candidate could come in and be an even better fit for the role, the job could go to someone internally, or a whole myriad of factors could be at play. Until you have that contract in your hands, keep working at your current job and continue your job search efforts.

Don’t post anything about the interview on social media.

It can be tempting to brag about a great interview or to post about how you’re excited for the opportunity and then tag the company or the hiring manager. You don’t know what the company’s social media policy is, so by posting you might actually be violating their standards unknowingly. Play it safe and keep your thoughts private, and brag to your friends and family offline.

Don’t ghost the hiring manager.

If you’ve decided to accept another job offer or if you’ve decided you don’t actually want this job for any reason, send an email to the hiring manager to let them know. Thank them for their time and the opportunity then explain that you’ve chosen to pursue another opportunity. They will be incredibly appreciative of this and they’ll certainly remember your actions. The business world is smaller than you think, so it’s very possible that you’ll cross paths again at some point, so don’t risk burning bridges.

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website.

Ashira is a Millennial and Gen Z Engagement expert helping organizations manage, engage, attract, and retain the next generation of talent and bridge the gap between generations. Learn more at

Source: What Not To Do After A Job Interview

Five Tips for Negotiating Jobs

As an IT consultant, I have had, over the years, needed to negotiate salaries and later contracts for my work. I’m still not very good at it, though in general I’ve learned enough to stay employed during even slow times. Throughout all this, I’ve found that there are a few good rules of thumb that help me determine what constitutes my upper and lower limits, and especially if you are in the tech space, they may prove useful to you as well.

Establish a Range – and Stick To It

Before you begin your own job search, do some homework and find out what the prevailing wages are for your specialty, which will usually be determined both by how rare the skill is and how much experience you have with that skill. If you aren’t making at least the minimum for that field, then that should be your floor.

If you’re making more than the maximum for that field, it’s probably a sign that you need to broaden your search to look for positions that have more management responsibility. Technical acumen can take you far for about ten years, but after that, look for project manager, architecture or “senior” analyst positions, because someone hiring you will expect you to have those skills for what they’re paying.

Note that a lot of less reputable recruiters will try to talk you down. This is usually because they typically know up front what the hiring companies are willing to spend, and they use it to calculate their own cap, which is the amount that they charge to the business to represent you (if they are the ones paying your contract – so more on agencies below). The higher you place your own expectations, the smaller the cap that they earn, so it is in their best interest to talk you down. If a recruiter does this to you, walk away. Do not sign anything, do not consent to anything. I have, over the years, signed such contracts and have always regretted doing it.

On the other hand, if an offer seems too good to be true (and above your threshold), it may also be a red flag that indicates that a company is desperate, the situation is dire, and what is usually needed is better management. If that’s the case, be willing to accept the offer if it comes with hiring and management authority, because it is almost certainly not going to be the case that the problem is exclusively technical at that point. More money means more responsibility, but if you don’t have the authority to handle that responsibility, you will fail.

Does It Help Achieve Your Long Term Goals?

When the wolves are at the door, the idea about what you want to be doing five years down the road may seem absurd, but never, ever take a job if it does not provide a means to an end. When negotiating a salary, this is actually one of the major determining factors: I’ve taken jobs before that looked like they were big money out of the gate, but by the time I wrapped the project up I was a nervous (and often physical) wreck, money went primarily into dealing with all of the negative factors that came with working with the job (family discord, health problems, even a heart attack at one point), and I was if anything farther from my long term objects than when I took the job in the first place.

Pay attention to the signals around you, especially about what people most want from you, not necessarily what job title you’re looking to achieve. In college, I published a couple of small press magazines, and over the years I’ve always had a side job involved in publishing, journalism and blogging, even it wasn’t my “main” job. I’ve even written and co-published a fair number of books aimed at technical audiences, as well as the odd novel or two, but I always saw myself as being primarily a programmer.

Yet when I took programming jobs, I found that while they were usually pretty decent money, they were almost chaotic, often poorly managed, and frequently failed to accomplish their objectives, despite the fact that technically they were not that complex. They were also very stressful because of these factors. Additionally, I would get caught up in the politics of these projects (as a senior consultant, it’s one thing that you strive not to do, because it reduces your objectivity), making it a lot harder to keep seeing the big picture.

A lot of my own writing would reflect this – it was often a good place to put down my observations about what worked and didn’t work in business, but ironically (and perhaps understandably) those same companies weren’t particular happy to have their dirty laundry aired, even if no names were ever named.

It would take my wife Anne’s comment to make me realize what was wrong. “Kurt, don’t get me wrong, you’re a decent programmer. But you’re a better journalist. You’re too much of a story-teller and explainer of things to want to just keep your head down and code.”

“But there’s no money in journalism!” I replied back.

“Doesn’t matter. It’s where your soul is. It’s where your passion is. You probably also haven’t found that there’s money in journalism because you’ve fooled yourself into believing that, because Kurt Cagle the Programmer just sounds better than Kurt Cagle the Blogger.”

I’d also realized, after she said this, that I’d been quietly, and somewhat unconsciously, laying the groundwork for doing that for several months, and that the only thing holding me back was my tendency to jump on jobs because they paid well, even if it wasn’t helping me meet my objectives.

When I finally came to grips with this and focused on my goals and objectives, I discovered that I was actually able to survive and even thrive in that field.

Your time is finite. When you take a job, you’re spending an irretrievable resource – your life – for money. If you don’t make it worthwhile for you, then you’re just wasting time.

Who Are You Actually Working For?

Here’s a subtle truth that you seldom hear about on job boards or even popular media. Most companies do not like to hire people. Every person being hired by a company represents a capital investment of roughly four times their annual wages. That’s money not going to shareholders or bonuses.

A brief history lesson:

Temp agencies have been around forever, but the modern temp agency got its start in the 1880s in England providing secretaries, nannies, domestic staff and groundskeepers for the burgeoning nouveau riche. The arrangement worked out well for both the agencies and its customers, and even (to a much more limited extent) benefited the workers because it both provided a more stable income (paid by the agency) than the often capricious aristocrats tended to do.

However, as the level of education increased and options opened up, especially for women, in the early 20th century, many people who would otherwise have gone into service went into the growing business sector instead, to the extent that domestic service jobs all but collapsed. Agencies adapted by specializing – largely by managing contracts for secretaries. Originally most secretaries were male, and their primary jobs were to manage all of the business related tasks of their employers, such as drafting of letters, keeping accounts, and managing schedules. World War I saw many educated men being drafted for service, and consequently between this and the emergence of the typewriter, most secretaries were drawn from the pool of educated young women instead both in England, and in the United States.

In general, while the wealth of companies grew enormously during this period, comparatively little of that wealth went to the secretaries, being absorbed primarily by the agencies that managed their contracts. Most secretaries did not work for the companies they worked at, and seldom participated in any significant growth with a company even if they had been critical in that company’s success.

When computers began to make their way into businesses, most corporate managers had become phobic about the idea of touching a keyboard. That was menial work, something only suitable to be done by … women. Not surprisingly, many of the first programmers after the end of World War II were consequently women, because, well, they had the skills to most efficiently use keyboards, and the logical mindset to handle this sort of work. It was only later, as demand for programming talent rose (and with it salary potential) that young men began to flock back into IT, in many cases displacing many of the women who’d been there from the beginning.

Temp agencies saw the opportunity to make money, and began to provide technical talent fairly to companies early on. Not only were companies pretty much primed for this – they had always bought their keyboarding talent from agencies – but it also cut out all of the complexities of actually hiring people on as staff to just that small percentage who were essentially managers. Companies did this for the very simple reason that they saw technical people as contingency workers who didn’t do the important jobs of actually making money for them (remember that most corporations have long been biased towards salesmen, to the extent that even if a designer or a developer was instrumental towards the creation of product, it was the salesman who translated that product into income (at least this was the mindset).

Such agencies also provided a way around government regulations requiring health care and other benefits for workers. By utilizing agencies, most companies could reduce its costs there, while at the meantime the agencies could get away with providing the absolute minimum such benefits required by law. They often ended up becoming the gate-keepers into large corporations, typically by handling most contingent contracts going in, and serving as a probationary arena for companies who could then take several years to decide to move someone into a full time position, while IT support staff could languish in agency ghettos and be terminated at a moment’s notice with almost no real legal recourse.

Many agencies have since moved into the role of also becoming recruiters, though typically with the intent of snapping up potential talent then reselling that talent through their own agency rather than placing job hunters with positions actually working at the companies they are ostensibly working for.

Unless your primary goal is getting experience (which is actually a pretty good use for agencies), be very careful before you sign anything about understanding who you are actually working for, who is managing your payroll, taxes, and benefits, and what those benefits actually entail. Sometimes a bit of detective work will let you also figure out who they are representing (it’s not unusual for several of these agencies to see the same contracts at the same time) and allow you to bypass them altogether. If you do decide to go with an agent, get information in writing about how much of their employees gets converted to full time with the client (it’s usually a lot smaller than you may think).

It is not in your best interest to share any financial information with recruiters. They have a piece of the puzzle you don’t have – what the client is prepared to actually pay to fill the job – and that is a powerful bargaining tool in their favor. If they will not accept that you prefer to negotiate directly with the client, then walk away. If you really want the job, your chances of getting it actually will go up if you’re willing to take the effort and find out who is in fact doing the recruiting.

How Getting Hired Is Changing

I grew up at the very beginning of the personal computer age, so a lot of what is taken for granted today was only a distant light when I landed my first programming job while in college. Then (in the early 1980s), your resume was sent in the mail, was often still typewritten, and was an indispensable tool in getting a job. Today, that’s no longer really true.

I am sometimes astonished to find recruiters coming to me with copies of my resume that were sent out in response to a job from five years ago. I also find that today that many companies actually go with LinkedIn or similar sites that actively track the same information as a resume and are usually more up to date. Their HR may still need a resume as a pro-forma measure, but it is becoming less and less relevant as a tool for getting a job, in favor of community based measures of endorsement, activity on social media, and code samples in online repositories.

Personally, I think this is a good thing – yes, you need to show skill competence, but increasingly what matters in the workplace is a more holistic approach that illustrates competence, modalities of thinking, communication strengths and the desire to help others. This also reflects a change where fragmentary text searches are being replaced by a broader semantic view of connectedness, and where networking is beating out cold-calling as the means to both find talent and find those who could use that talent.

However, this has some profound long term impacts upon getting a job, and negotiating in general. Many newer companies, especially startups, have all but given up on traditional recruiting methods, and instead are focusing upon social media networking to reach out to potential candidates (or get recommendations about such candidate). This means that among other things it is easy to have conversations that allow for both better interaction before hiring and the ability to negotiate with a company directly.

This is an advantage that should not be underestimated. First, it makes it easier for a person to negotiate beyond the salary, and seek benefits (or concession leverage points) that wouldn’t be available in the gated world of agency-oriented recruiting. Can some kind of remote working arrangement be arranged? Is some equity ownership in exchange for a reduced salary feasible? Can I bring my dog? Are you willing to provide training/retraining in exchange for an extended commitment on my part?

These kind of negotiation points have traditionally disappeared in the presence of a broker who is only concerned about getting x dollars out of their prospect call, which is important, because many of these negotiation points are critical to what turns a job from being onerous to being enjoyable.

This leads into the last point:

You Are Also Interviewing the Company

Most job negotiations become one sided deliberately. The company has the money, has many people who will weigh in on whether you would be a good fit, and has the potential to screw you over if they decide its in their best interest. It is their contract that you will be signing, and if you say no, well, there’s always a thousand other candidates just clamouring to work for them.

This attitude is fostered because it is in the best interest of the company offering the job to seem omnipotent to prospective candidates. Cowed candidates will almost invariably take what’s offered, rather than negotiate for better terms, even though what’s offered more often than not is as minimal as the company can get away with.

However, a contract is signed between two equals, and if you go into a job without that attitude, you will get screwed. That doesn’t mean that you have to arrogant or rude (and in general going in acting in such a way will almost certainly not get you the job). Rather, it means that you need to recognize that you are bringing something unique to the relationship – you – and if they do not believe that you have something that they need, they would not be negotiating with you in the first place.

Supply and demand works both ways. You have the option of walking, of going to their competitors with your skills, your networks, and your perspectives. You have the option of starting your own company, and becoming a competitor of theirs in your own right. Part of the reason that there is a (possible) job shortage is that there are enough people who in general have recognized that they could get a better deal by creating their own company that the available pool of candidates willing to work for “the man” is drying up (and often these micro-companies do not show up very well in any survey). Yes, many of those micro-companies will fail, but so will many more established companies. That’s the nature of business.

What that means in practice is that while you shouldn’t get greedy, neither should you let a company steamroll you when negotiating. As a rule, bargain for what you think is fair, and add a pad of 15-20% to give you room for negotiation. Don’t forget about factors like cost-of-living, state taxes, the cost of relocation (if you can’t negotiation a relocation benefit). Also don’t forgot about ensuring that you have the authority to do what you need to do – it’s remarkable how many companies hire people without giving them the authority to do their jobs properly. Be prepared at any time to say thank you but no thanks.

If for whatever reason you do decide to go with an agent, make sure that agent is working for you, not for the company, and understand up front exactly, down to dollar amounts, what both you and they are getting for that service. Do your homework with both companies and agents, make sure that they are legitimate, accredited, and have solid reputations.


Getting a job is as momentous as buying a house or a car. It will commit you to a course of action for years and potentially decades, will affect where you live, what kind of family life you have, and what career options are available to you in the future. Yet we routinely give companies incredibly sway over our lives because we fail to negotiate as equals, let ourselves be conned by middle-men and opportunists, and fail to assert ourselves when it comes to valuing our own skills, perspectives and networks. Such change can only come from within.

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Kurt Cagle is a writer, data scientist and futurist focused on the intersection of computer technologies and society. He is the founder of Semantical, LLC, a smart data …


COGNITIVE WORLD is a think tank, knowledge hub and ecosystem for AI transformation.


Source: Five Tips for Negotiating Jobs


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Resumes Don’t Tell the Whole Story: How a Job Application Fills in the Gaps for Smarter Hiring – Small Business Trends


According to a recent HRdirect Small Business Hiring Practices Survey, only 21% of small businesses require applicants to complete forms to get hired. Not having this essential part of your screening and hiring processes can be a tremendous shortcoming that hinders your success. Here’s why: Slick resumes may immediately grab your attention, but these may not present the entire picture about your applicants.

To get around this — and obtain the information you want from a wide range of candidates — you need a legally sound job application. A thorough process captures the right information so you then can make smarter decisions and strengthen your overall hiring processes.

The Aim of Candidates Is to “Sell”

A resume acts as a promotional tool for the applicant. It’s his or her opportunity to impress, to sell you on his or her qualifications.

And like most promotional tools, resumes vary tremendously — and only contain what the applicant is willing to share. They may omit all kinds of information you would like to have; however, having the right tools for recruitment, you can get the answers to make better selections.

Net More of What You’re After

Using a standardized process for job applications can help give you a complete picture by asking specific questions in a uniform and compliant manner. These questions may include:

  • Full legal name
  • Email address (instead of residential address)
  • Phone number(s)
  • Preferred name
  • Employment history
  • Education (degrees and certifications)
  • Military service (relevant skills, dates of service)
  • Skills and qualifications
  • References
  • Reasons for leaving previous jobs

If it’s beneficial, you can go beyond these essentials to include a few more probing questions. For example:

  • Why are there breaks in an applicant’s employment? Ask the candidate to explain why.
  • Interested in how they interact with others? Have him or her describe to describe a relationship with a past supervisor or describe his or way in handling a conflict.
  • What is the applicant’s availability? Ask the number of hours they can work weekly or preferred shifts.

One of the bigger advantages of having a formal application is that it provides a level playing field and immediate point of comparison. Rather than slogging through all types of resumes, you quickly can compare and categorize standardized applications for a faster, more efficient screening process.

Another important advantage: A formalized, standardized process for your applicants should contain compliant language and legal disclosures that protect you from the potential for risks, that clearly state you uphold legal notices at the federal and state levels.

Connect with More Candidates with State-Specific Job Applications

Having job applications brings critical benefits to your small business. You easily, quickly and confidently can net relevant information related to employment experience and education while protecting or safeguarding your business from compliance risks.

The Job Application Smart App from HRdirect is the perfect tool for connecting with more job candidates. Email applicants with a link to your application, place it on your website, include it in your online ad or print paper copies for walk-in applicants. In addition to these convenient options, your application always will cover the latest state regulations to keep you current and on firm legal footing.

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