Are robots coming to take our jobs? I think so. But there’s something we haven’t talked much, which is how humans are failing to help people to land their next job. How people – HR, Managers, Directors, CEOs – are failing on being more humans in a world with fewer jobs, more automation, and more people. And by human I mean respect, honesty, care, compassion, and empathy.
“47 percent of U.S. jobs could be automated within the next two decades”
The job seeker’s rollercoaster
Years ago I left my job in an advertising agency. As Creative Director, It was one of my responsibilities to interview and hire all sort of creative professionals. It was something automatic and, at that point, I wasn’t completely aware of my behave towards candidates. So, after months struggling with my tech project and completely disconnected from the corporate world, I started hunting the next full-time job. The day I got into that rollercoaster of e-mails, calls, and interviews, I realized how hiring process still was a slow, painful and very frustrating thing. Now, from the other side of the table, I could see again how hiring processes are the same as in the past. Or worse. After that, I’ve decided to change one thing in my life forever.
I’ve decided to always reply every single email and get every call when there’s someone looking for a job. I started being more human in many ways. It’s been years now and It feels good to remember on every chat what I had in mind those days. We are all carrying dreams and talent in a world where unemployment is a growing issue and eventually, all your talent are becoming useless.
All people are good until proven otherwise
It could be simple and transparent. It could friendly and respectful. Maybe it could be faster. But it rarely is. I’ve worked on two distinct markets over the last 10 years. One is São Paulo (Brazil) and currently Amsterdam (The Netherlands). On both cities, everything related to hiring process happens the same way. There’s the same never replied email. There are the talks starting well and ending abruptly (and you’ll never know why). There are the “copy paste” feedbacks from Human Resource managers and those interviews canceled hours before the meeting. There are the same people late to meet you. There are the same passive aggressive, ego-inflated, high-powered interviewers treating candidates as rivals. This list has no end.
Humans are not resources
First, excuses such as “being busy”, “no time to reply everyone”… it is all bullshit. If there’s a job vacancy, please dear company/tech startup/ad agency, take it very seriously. Don’t ask people to apply for positions that don’t even exist. Give tailored feedbacks. Keep all jobs posting up-to-date. Be a facilitator. Respect every people.
Second, hiring processes are marketing and the company’s culture. Every day that you disrespect another candidate, it’s your brand failing in its roots. It’s also social responsibility. Every company is responsible for addressing the unemployment issue we’re going to face in the near future. I would say it should be taken seriously as sustainability and environmental impact. A mandatory policy.
Employability should be taken seriously as climate change. Since we can’t avoid technology and its exponential growth, the first step is simple: being more human.
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