In the October 10, 2017 Ask The Headhunter Newsletter, a reader fell off the wagon after mistaking a job form for a job interview — and asks for help.
I need an intervention. I almost filled out an online job application today that requires that you select a target salary from a drop-down menu of salaries in increments of $10K. How am I supposed to put a value on a job until the manager and I talk about it?
Maybe I also need an intervention for even thinking about doing an online application at all.
Is there some version of AA [Alcoholics Anonymous] that supports those seeking work who relapse and try playing the game according to corporate Amerika’s HR czars and czarinas?
I dunno — maybe we should start Job Seekers Anonymous? It’s time we worked up a way to address employers who claim to want “exceptional talent” but expect you to turn off your talent and apply-for-jobs-by-numbers.
Stop messing around
In Job Assessment Tests: Don’t jump through hoops we discussed what to say to employers who make outrageous demands of job applicants before a face-to-face interview is even scheduled.
But this is different. You’re looking for a way to get an interview after you almost swallowed an online interrogation form.
I’m going to keep this Q&A column very brief, because what we need is loads of ideas and How to Say It suggestions from other readers. What can you say to an employer to get an interview?
The key, as you might suspect, is to talk directly to the right person in the company. So, why mess around? I’ll start. Try this. Send a note to the CEO or, better yet, call.
How to Say It:
“Hi, I’m Bill, a seasoned pro in [your field]. I’m interested in working for your company because it’s a shining light in our industry. But I’m puzzled by something. As a very busy [programmer, marketer, whatever] I don’t have time to waste with impersonal cattle-calls and online job forms, so I’m surprised your company is advertising rather than recruiting only the right people thoughtfully. I select potential employers very carefully. I’m ready to meet with your [marketing manager] to show how I can do the job to bring more profit to your bottom line.
“If you’re serious about hiring great [marketers] who know enough about your biz to have a working meeting with a hiring manager, I’d love to get together — but please, no personnel screeners who aren’t experts in [marketing]. There is indeed a talent shortage, and the talent doesn’t waste time on bureaucratic processes. I want to talk shop with someone at your company who’s qualified to talk shop with me. I’d be happy to fill out your forms later, if there’s a match. But I hope you respect my time and intelligence as much as I respect yours. If you want to talk with the best [marketers, etc.], interview me and I’ll interview you.”
Who else can you talk to? What else can you say? Who else can you talk to? What else can you say? (You’ll find more tips in this article, but let’s hear yours! Getting in the door.)
The recruiting, screening and hiring processes companies use are crap. We all know that. How else can you say, “Interview Me!” How can you avoid gagging on forms that peel off of HR’s toilet roll?