Sun | Jun 26, 2022

Has human resources lost the human factor?

Published:Saturday | May 28, 2022 | 12:05 AM

THE EDITOR, Madam:

Finding a job has become quite challenging; even with the great resignation, job seekers are experiencing difficulty in securing gainful employment.

Applicants painstakingly edit their résumés to ensure they meet the requirements of the position, and draft cover letters hoping their application will be noticed and shortlisted by the recruiter. With bated breath, anticipation and a prayer, they begin the wait for a call back.

Then the interview call happens, and you accept. You prepare by researching the company, writing and rewriting responses to potential questions, hoping to ace the interview – after all, you never get a second chance to make a first impression.

The day comes and you are ready. Your outfit is exquisitely pressed, hair coiffed, heart racing, and with portfolio in hand, you’re off. The interview comes and goes by quickly, and you did your best. In your heart you know you made a connection with the interviewer(s) and they liked you.

But, now comes the hard part – the wait. They promised to get back to you in two weeks. Two weeks turns to four, and four to eight, and still no call, no email, no smoke signal or carrier pigeon. What happened? The self-doubt and internal scrutinisation begins and you revisit every minute of the interview, wondering where you went wrong and what you could have done better. You deliberate whether or not to contact the human resources (HR) department; you don’t want to seem pushy, but not knowing is elevating your anxiety.

Recruitment is a painstakingly tedious process and HR is tasked with finding the right candidate, out of hundreds, who will be the best fit for the company. Likewise, job seekers also need to ensure they too are making the right choice. It should not be taken for granted that persons aren’t invested in the process even before the call for an interview. It is therefore the kind and humane thing to follow up or close the loop when a company interviews candidates, successful or not. The anxiety that comes from extended waiting and not knowing, negatively impact hopeful respondents.

The human element in this aspect of HR is lost in Jamaica. Careful consideration must be given not only to those who make the cut, but also to those who didn’t. Closing the loop in the recruitment process through a standard email or quick telephone call brings the process full circle and gives the unsuccessful candidates the release they need to move forward in their job search. After all, HR took the time to shortlist and conduct interviews, the same effort should therefore be made to communicate the company’s decision thereafter.

Being an employer of choice doesn’t only mean the salaries and benefits offered by a company, but also the proper management of people. The invaluable human resource that keeps companies operational and the wheels of commerce in Jamaica turning.

K.M.