Indiana Daily Student

OPINION: Companies don't show their applicants the respect they deserve

I know I'm not the only college student who has submitted an application, maybe even gotten to interview with a recruiter, only to wait for a response that would never come. I know this is probably common for non-students as well.

Companies and other organizations need to respect the time and effort of their applicants, especially given that many businesses now rely on software to cut down on recruitment time. There's no reason why I shouldn't receive a response, even if they decided to hire another candidate.

I understand that in a time like this, the labor market is in an arduous position. With inflation and labor shortages subjecting the workforce to somewhat unprecedented uncertainty, it makes sense why it's difficult to hire a smaller pool of applicants for lower pay.

But this does not absolve companies of these lack of professionalism. If the expectation is that I submit my resume, a cover letter and references, I expect the same kind of preparation and quality of communication in turn. It takes no small amount of time to submit all of these documents as well as manually fill out organizations' online forms with the same exact information.

So why put forth all of this time and effort for an organization who may or may not respond in any way?

I will say that smaller businesses and organizations don't normally exhibit this kind of behavior. In my experience, it's usually the larger corporations that are the main culprits, and I believe there's a reason for this.

The technology and services we have at our disposal allow us to complete tasks and projects much faster and automate many of these duties we dreaded doing before. However, this also dehumanizes the labor acquisition process. It makes people think of applicants as lines on a spreadsheet rather than people.

Take for instance, the simple submission of a resume. There are now applicant tracking systems and similar services that search for key terms and phrases in applicant resumes. Resumes who don't include these get tossed in the bin.

Now I understand that this does diminish the time it takes to look through resume upon resume, especially for businesses that receive many of them. But at this point, job hunters' main concern isn't writing a quality cover letter or preparing for an interview, it's satisfying the system.

Applicants don't have the same luxury of these automated systems, since they are often costly and only viable for larger organizations. So I would implore organizations to remember they are dealing with people who are just trying to make a living.

Everyone is more than just what they put on their resume. People come from all sorts of backgrounds that can't be captured in its entirety by one piece of paper. Organizations need to stop treating applicants like a piece of paper or a line on a spreadsheet and more like unique, creative individuals who can bring new and innovative ideas to a company.

Sean Gilley (he/him) is a senior studying political science and economics with a certificate in informatics.

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