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Your experiences with company responses? Does a buzz-off translate to less recruits?

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Your experiences with company responses? Does a buzz-off translate to less recruits?

Postby Dave Jensen » Fri Nov 04, 2016 12:54 pm

Recently, I've been hearing from new PhD's or postdocs looking for industry employment that there are some very large and prestigious companies that really don't treat you all that well when you're making a job-seeking introduction to their firms. In some cases, you're lucky enough to get a call from someone in H/R, but as one person told me, it was a "total buzz-off when they found something they didn't like, or when they heard that I didn't have a particular check box on their list." Wham, bam -- the call is over and you feel terrible.

Have you had experiences like this, where you aren't given the basic courtesy of a solid listen, or where you felt that the "respect factor" was missing? Please tell us about those here, without mentioning the company by name of course. Likewise, maybe a company completely wow'd you with their first outreach and you were impressed enough to tell others . . . but something tells me those will be fewer than the "buzz off" variety.

I know how this feels, for sure. Yesterday I spent 45 minutes filling out some stupid form on the web in order to get reimbursed by a major (top 10 in the world) university for a talk that I gave. It was a pittance, I'm sure, but it was important to me. So after this investment in filling out the online form (much like you do with a job application), I called in and found out that I am still "unrecognized by the Accounts Payable department." I tried to reach them by phone, had a horrible long wait and then someone came on the line who sounded like a robot, and basically the call ended with me having to go back and try it again. I decided it isn't worth it for the small amount involved, but I will long remember the university.

My feeling is that when H/R or other parts of the organization, even outside recruiters, represent a top flight employer, they need to represent themselves professionally and leave nothing but the best impressions behind. And unfortunately, this doesn't happen all that often.

Dave
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Re: Your experiences with company responses? Does a buzz-off translate to less recruits?

Postby Rich Lemert » Fri Nov 04, 2016 2:50 pm

Here's a positive example of a company doing things "right".

Many years ago I had an on-site interview - I don't remember who. What I do remember is that as I was getting ready to leave they gave me some material to take home, which included an expense form for claiming my travel expenses.

What impressed me was this was not the company's standard expense form that it's regular employees used - one that asked for a lot of information (department, account number, manager, etc.) for which I had no clue. It was instead a simple form designed expressly for interview reimbursements. It asked for my personal information, and I was instructed to send it directly to the hiring manager. He (or his staff) would then add the necessary "internal" information and submit it to accounting.

I was very impressed with how this company understood the difference between an "insider" - who presumably would know the company's policies and procedures, and an "outsider".
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Re: Your experiences with company responses? Does a buzz-off translate to less recruits?

Postby D.X. » Mon Nov 07, 2016 7:45 am

Hi Dave,

The answer is no. At least in my sector of the industry and my geograhic Location which confounds the issue. Where I am the pharma industry, Job wise, is crashing on the commerical side and there are few opportunities within pharmaceutical Companies for the number of applicants.

So its an employers market magnified 100 times. Meaning HR behavior is just terrible and near disgusting because they can find someone who's in line to take the Job. And to be fair, there are so many talented Folks that are jobless that having 20 years experience, and having Marketing and having medical affairs and having a science Background, and and and and...is well, who cares. There are 100 other People with the same qualification. So enter Networking beyond HR as this Forum has advocated.

Now here's News for you, the same "buzz off" behavior applies to internal candidates as well. There is a big pharma (top 5) where my parnter works and how HR treats internal applicants is also appalling, same mentality, "we don't really care about you, you're just a number and if you go, well, we don't care we have another external lined yup..eat me, drop dead, and die". Ok the later part may seam exaggerated but really..i'm not sure its too far from the truth.

One can say its Company culture but i've been in a few companies already and honestly, I can't say i've seen one that didn't have said behavior, non really stood out and I think its important to not be biased by how they treat you "if you get called in and get the Job". It's not reflective of how they treat others whom are the "untouchables or as I saw in one HR presention, "the non-wanted employees/candidates (!)." Internally, the Company can actually be a great place to work. it just the face is suffering and well, not much you can do to Change that.

Lets face it, this is not our father's Generation where a Company cared for its Talent and future Talent or Reputation among Job seekers and to be honest, what's the Job seeker going to do.

It would be ill-advised for any Job seeker who as had a buzz-off experience with a company to hold a grudge against that Company for future Job propspects.

It would be ill-advised to take it personally, but cause...its not. As Job seekers we Need a Job, so grudges against a Company, only does harm to the Job seeker, the Company can care less. Its just bad behavior and companies will unfortunately pay in Terms of turn-over or a more costly higher or a lost potential rocker star, but some of These are unfortunately unpalapable to quantify and well, so what?

Now, not to say don't Point out bad behavior but weight that vs. your employement landscape i.e. market Dynamics and Job Need and prospects.

However, not to defend HR but from thier view, I would say These Folks are in General over worked, they're getting a ton of calls from applicants, not to mention emails, plus they have to manage the applicaion process, plus they have to..etc. etc. etc. So in their case...is their time to give a rat's..um...tail? Probably not. I'm sure most of us had Jobs in theService industry at some Point..were you always nice to your customers? Did you have time to be?

Happy to address any further insights you may want hear from me.

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Re: Your experiences with company responses? Does a buzz-off translate to less recruits?

Postby Dave Jensen » Mon Nov 07, 2016 9:34 am

Rich and DX -- Great comments, thanks. I can't help but think that many people take the "buzz off" personally. I know I do -- perhaps I am just way too sensitive.

As a recruiter, sometimes we are on the bottom of the list of who so-and-so wants to talk to when the call comes in. It's like we're aluminum siding salespeople or something. Anyway, you call someone and they are just having such a bad day that they slam the phone down with a rude buzz off and it makes me wonder, "Doesn't this guy want to at least keep abreast of what he's worth in the industry and who's hiring?" I take those personally, as well, and never call that person back. Perhaps I've missed a few placements over the years because of that -- thanks DX for your note, which reminds me that you sometimes need to have a fairly thick skin to get along well in industry.

While I'd like to say that these kinds of experiences have no impact, I think they do. Even giant companies in the consumer products business realize that the way they treat customers will have an impact on their reputation. Take Amazon, for example. I've never had a problem with them and they always bend over backwards to help me. As a result, they have my business for the rest of my life. When hiring and someone that size burns a job applicant with an H/R snub, it's hard to imagine that person going back to the well for another application later. But as I said, I might be too sensitive!

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Re: Your experiences with company responses? Does a buzz-off translate to less recruits?

Postby Steven Z. » Mon Nov 07, 2016 10:26 am

I've had that experience also quite frequently with HR people to the point I have lost respect for it as a profession. I have seen them act rude, self superior, sadistic (jerk candidates around for the heck of it or to induce them to go away and shorten the list), irresponsible, and unintelligently. There have been more than a few that were so bad that I actually felt no alternative but to cut my losses and abort any further effort on my application. I had one HR person literally assign me a 5 paragraph essay and not on science some touch feely psychobabble that felt like something out of second grade.

It also isn't always HR. I've had hiring decision makers run the interview like some hostile police interrogation where they insult and rip apart candidates and no doubt then pat themself on the back with the delusion they are doing a great job saving the company from a bad hire.

Sometimes it does come back to bite them. I now run my own lab and have purchasing authority. I interviewed previously with a well known scientific supply company that behaved as above. Guess which company I don't order from anymore?
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Re: Your experiences with company responses? Does a buzz-off translate to less recruits?

Postby D.X. » Mon Nov 07, 2016 11:00 am

Dave Jensen wrote:Rich and DX -- Great comments, thanks. I can't help but think that many people take the "buzz off" personally. I know I do -- perhaps I am just way too sensitive.

As a recruiter, sometimes we are on the bottom of the list of who so-and-so wants to talk to when the call comes in. It's like we're aluminum siding salespeople or something. Anyway, you call someone and they are just having such a bad day that they slam the phone down with a rude buzz off and it makes me wonder, "Doesn't this guy want to at least keep abreast of what he's worth in the industry and who's hiring?" I take those personally, as well, and never call that person back. Perhaps I've missed a few placements over the years because of that -- thanks DX for your note, which reminds me that you sometimes need to have a fairly thick skin to get along well in industry.

While I'd like to say that these kinds of experiences have no impact, I think they do. Even giant companies in the consumer products business realize that the way they treat customers will have an impact on their reputation. Take Amazon, for example. I've never had a problem with them and they always bend over backwards to help me. As a result, they have my business for the rest of my life. When hiring and someone that size burns a job applicant with an H/R snub, it's hard to imagine that person going back to the well for another application later. But as I said, I might be too sensitive!

Dave


Well to your Point Amazon is in the Business of customer acqusition and Retention - they have an overarching Goal of not treating a customer as a commodity. Unfortunately, most employers do treat their applicant pool as a comodity so enter the buzz off behavior.

Regarding that big pharma I told you about, the internal employers there have an unofficial Mantra, which Relates to how the employee spend their time - it "50% internal Networking to preserve the Job, 50% doing the actual Job hired for". You see employees making time for lunch and having their coffee at the machines, and private meetings in conference rooms, None business related. The company is under constant restructuring, a self defined Red cutlure and they displace employees due to restructuring nealy every 3 to 4 months. Hense the terrible Treatment. So Basically Networking as the Forum suggests but actually done internally. HR then buzzes off the internal employees who are displaced and looking for new opps internally as well as those looking to develop. You Need to Network, same prinicples apply internally for Networking (informational interview, where are opps etc. etc.)

Now you would think that leaves a sour taste in peoples mouth, the Reputation of the Company is so bad that others want to go accross the street to that other big pharma that has a better Reputation and a Green culture. The Reputation of the Red cutlure Company is well known as being terrible employee wise - however, guess what? Because Jobs are are lacking..People Keep applying! Not to be mean, but well, they don't get best Talent, or good Talent, not to say I'm a good Talent but I certainly came Close to hanging up the phone of them..but what would have that done? I would have been the loser, not them. IN the short to mid term, they may not get the People that they really want.

So yes, I agree with you regarding Reputation but in this market that I happen to be in, well People are willing to let that go - there are Levels of Desperation here. Enter thick skinned...and know, that at least Folks on this Forum..you're competing with Folks that have very thick Skins - when they get a rejection they Keep moving, they don't shut down.

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Re: Your experiences with company responses? Does a buzz-off translate to less recruits?

Postby PG » Thu Nov 10, 2016 9:47 am

The job market around my location is rather hot at the moment and we currently often see applicants having more than one offer and that companies are actively trying to recruit from us. I believe that in this type of Environment the Company reputation is important for getting hires and we do see that we relatively often have applicants that chose to come to us or to stay with us despite getting an offer that on paper looks better with someone else. The reason quoted for these choices is often either that they have Heard a lot of positive things about our Company or that they are enjoying their current position and dont want to leave for soemthing else.

My guess is that a Buzz-off tradition from HR or anyone else would have an impact on this reputation. Maybe not the first time but at least if it is a habit.
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Re: Your experiences with company responses? Does a buzz-off translate to less recruits?

Postby Dave Jensen » Thu Nov 10, 2016 10:02 am

That's interesting PG that the job market has heated up in your area. Is that the Medicon Valley, around southern Sweden and Copenhagen? Or, are you up in the Stockholm cluster area?

Here, I'd say that instead of pockets of hot growth, it's in selected industries. Cancer immunotherapy companies are hot, for example, and biofuel companies are not. Hard to make generalizations like this, but that sort of holds true.

We should have another thread about hot regions so that, if this holds up, than people can talk about and consider moves to other regions.

Dave
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Re: Your experiences with company responses? Does a buzz-off translate to less recruits?

Postby PG » Thu Nov 10, 2016 9:08 pm

I am in the Stockholm region. We do see candidates being hired for companies throughout this area including Stockholm, Uppsala and Mälardalen including smaller cities such as for example Västerås. This includes but is not limited to Consultant firms that are doing aggressive hiring of people with a few years of industry experience. Personally I Think this is a combination of several factors includding an improvement of the general market but also the fact that the people who left some of the major pharma companies during large cut backs a number of years ago are now out of circulation ie they have found new positions either within this field or moved on to doing other things.

Importantly although people with industry experience seem to be high up on the wish list for different companies we also see relatively inexperienced and people with fresh degrees sometimes getting more than one offer and we have lost candidates that we have believed to be safe due to them finding positions for example in a geographical area closer to were they currently live.
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Re: Your experiences with company responses? Does a buzz-off translate to less recruits?

Postby Nate W. » Mon Nov 14, 2016 3:02 pm

This doesn't surprise me at all. It always amazes why any hiring manager or recruiter would not acknowledge one's enthusiasm for joining a company with politeness, especially if they are well qualified. If a manager is bothered by a job prospect contacting them directly, just say: "Thanks for your interest in XYZ company. I am extremely busy. Don't contact me." In other situations, politeness and honesty are greatly appreciated by the job seeker. For example, "I like your background but I don't have an opening right now. Drop me an email in a couple of months." It is so easy to handle these situations. Likewise, it is shocking how some managers handle such requests from qualified candidates; I have seen it all. You can't fault a job prospect for trying to connect personally and find more about the hidden job market at a target company.

Over 50% of all jobs are not advertised (the hidden market). So in order to tap into this market, it is about engaging the "right" hiring manager at your target companies. Personally, I do take it as an insult when a manager will not response to a request for information about a job or an informational interview. I put a lot of thought and preparation into my cover letters and who I contact. To ignore such requests, if politely asked, is the worst thing a manager can do. Even though I will never tell you this directly, you are being rude if you constantly ignore a polite request. If you feel bothered, just say it. No sweat...I can accept that answer. I don't blame the organization for the rude behavior or a buzz off; however, I do hold those behaving this way accountable.

There are two types of individuals most likely to give you the buzz-off:

1) Your competition or peers who perceive you as a threat to their jobs or their reputation, especially if you have a decent background.

2) HR or recruiters

Let me explain #2, when one networks directly with managers, it sends a message to the C suite, that HR internal recruiters aren't effective in doing their jobs. When you have a specialized technical background, HR doesn't have the expertise to evaluate the credentials of prospective hires; only managers can do this. Thus, in order to prove their value to a company, HR are in the business of eliminating candidates instead of finding the right talent for the job and promoting (and enforcing) the notion that the use of the online HR processes is the only method of evaluating candidates, even though this may not be true by senior executives. So job seekers are on their own to find a manager who will hire them and this is done through effective networking. HR is protecting their turf. Take HR's advice and any buzz-off with a grain of salt....but be polite.....they just want acknowledgement.

It is all about finding the right manager and engaging that manager. I would tell those PhDs getting the buzz-off, keeping calling and don't stop until either you get; a "don't bother me" or "sure I'll talk." Also, apply online so HR can do their "job" but more importantly, so they have you in the system. So if HR calls to say buzz-off because you contacted a hiring manager directly, politely say I applied on X date for X job, I appreciate your help. .....surly you understand working in HR, that a majority of jobs aren't advertised. Most likely, HR will never say anything about contacting managers directly, especially if you have already applied online.

I believe the 2007-2008 recession has made people more fearful for their jobs and less likely to help others. It is a huge problem in trying to get a job or even getting noticed. The techniques that I have tried in the past before the recession don't seem to work. One technique that works well is to aim high when networking and get a referral from above. Higher level executives are more likely to talk with you if you politely requested; they aren't jealous of your credentials, and value talent over minor behavioral differences. However, they can be quite busy. So keep calling.

What I am still figuring out what techniques (sales, engagement, psychological) work the best in trying to get a manager's attention in this economy, especially if they ignore one's polite request to talk. Any ideas?

Hidden Job Market:

https://www.livecareer.com/quintessenti ... arket-myth
Last edited by Nate W. on Mon Nov 14, 2016 9:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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