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  • Irene Iliopoulos

#stopthehate – When did job seekers get such a bad rap?


Do any Google search on recruitment, applicants, finding the right fit for the job, etc… and you’ll notice one horrific trend (at least I think it’s horrific) – EVERYONE is writing about the uselessness of the active job-seekers, telling us to only go for those who aren’t looking. Does this date back to the theory of wanting what you can’t have (in this case, an individual not applying to your job opening because he/she is content in his/her current role)? Are we sociologically inclined to dismiss the ones who really want us? Suddenly flooded with memories of rejecting those who approached me, but wanting those that showed no interest, while Elton John’s the Circle of Life plays in the background. Well, here I am trying to stop the cycle. Let’s bring LOVE into (or back into) recruitment. Let’s make job applications enjoyable and interviews fun! Let’s see and allow ourselves to learn about the great things that every individual has to offer.


I’ve read way too many articles stating that the active job seeker is never a top performer, top talent only comes from sourced candidates not applicants, there’s no quality in the people who apply to your jobs, and so much more. Umm, how is this even a thing? I can agree that a percentage of applicants may not fit the job completely (or even at all, sometimes), but they aren’t irrelevant and they definitely aren’t lesser performing individuals. Actually, I’m taking it further in congratulating all applicants for getting through many 30+ minute ATS (Applicant Tracking System) application processes without launching their laptop (or tablet, phone, etc…) out the window. You’re the true hero here.


In this case, the population has fallen victim to the bandwagon effect – people keep jumping on after reading another blog post dismissing the job seeker. We need to stop. As individuals we need to stop agreeing with everything that we read, and as professionals in the field of recruitment, we need to do better. We need to stop writing articles with the sole purpose of discouraging an entire population of job seekers, and negatively influencing people in a position to hire. Every individual has something great in them. Obviously we can’t always contact each applicant, but there’s no reason to automatically omit their profiles before even looking at them. If that’s the case, people are paying way too much for ATSs that are not being used, while way too many hours are spent on writing job descriptions and positing them on various sites. Think about that next time you’re in a budget meeting, discussing the need for tools and additional resources that you’ve already deemed unimportant to yielding any positive results.


Each of us was at one point or another a job seeker. It’s hard enough as is to be unemployed, or working a job that makes you less than happy. #stopthehate