In this age of hundreds of applicants vying for a single position at a well-regarded company, the systems used to weed out individual prospects and the company who relies on outmoded approaches are the big losers.
Start with Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)...
I coach applicants for all levels of positions. On average about 5% of my clients can "get past" the ATS in companies. Applicants often tell me that using the ATS is like dropping their resumes into a black hole. Why? No feedback! Applicants rarely even get notification that the resume has been received. Candidates are often not told when the job is filled, leaving many of them disgusted with the process and the company.
The ATS also hinders solid candidates by asking salary questions. The candidate who is used to dealing with a "total compensation" mentality comes to a grinding stop in front of the "So-20th-Century Requirement" for a dollar figure when it comes to rewards for a job. And, guess what, often a hiring manager will accommodate a fairly-paid high performer's salary -- high performance may be worth it!
Who hasn't applied to a "ghost job"posting?
It is no secret that there are job postings for jobs that don't exist or are not really open. On occasion, a company will tell an internal or "special" applicant "Don't worry, you've got the job... we just have to post it to comply with human resources policy." This is a perversion of transparency in hiring policies and just plain rude to all the potential candidates who take the time to fill out the forms.
And the encyclopedic approach to job descriptions?
Have you seen job descriptions that list 3 pages of job requirements? Two pages? Well, if a company can't frame the job requirements in a crisp set of 10-15 sentences, I suspect that the company has no idea of what is really essential for high performance in the job.
Have you been the victim of weird questions or assessments?
One company that I worked for paid a good deal of money for a group of "interviewers" to interview and assess executives based on weird or even illegal questions ( e.g., "How did you feel about your children when you were working full time?"). This assessment process was supposedly based on interviewing CEO's for their insights. Seems like CEO's may not be aware of legal constraints with questions like these.
The torture of the haphazardly-formed panel interview?
If you've been subjected to interviews where the panelists may have just a glancing knowledge of the job (and no real skin in the game), you know that this kind of interview can be a unique torture for the candidate. The applicant has to act as facilitator to a panel who does not seem to agree -- on much of anything!
Have you been a big loser as a result of hiring practices? Tell me YOUR stories.
PS: Harvard Business Review says "It's time to BLOW UP HR"! Maybe we should start with some of these dysfunctional acquisition practices!