Welcome to the fourteenth installment of Full Stack Creator. As always, thank you for your attention and your time! Grab a hot beverage and get comfortable, because today we are talking about hiring and job hunting.
Just as a heads up – I am going to ask you to do a survey today. Not about me, but a piece of this topic.
I'm just going to say it – the hiring process is broken! The average person has to apply to dozens, even hundreds of jobs before finding one. This has obviously been heightened during our current global pandemic, where jobs are more in demand than ever. Personally, I am always open to opportunities. I am generally not actively looking, but more recently, due to extreme burnout, I have been. For the better part of a year I have either applied to a few jobs, here and there, and/or applied to a plethora – either way the same thing happens. I generally only get anywhere when I apply to a few dozen, maybe moving forward on one. Most potential jobs do not even bother sending you a denial letter, leaving you hanging for months.
To even get to this point you have to scour the internet, create pointless "connections" on LinkedIn, write and update resumes/CVs, and write thought out cover letters for each application – well, you should be doing this and a lot of people don't, not sure how they get jobs.
Then there is the process when you finally get to a gatekeeper. You have a call/video call to get to show your personality, ask questions, and go through the general why you, why their company, crap. If you are lucky and jived with the gatekeeper, you make it to the next. This person is generally a potential supervisor. Here you walk through more specifics. Tell me a story about..., how would you handle..., blah blah. I do think these conversations can be insightful, even if they are generic.
Then, if you are applying to a role where a test is applicable – a creative project, a coding session, or a whiteboard jam is now provided. Here, you spend hours of your time doing mock work, so they can assess you. Not only did you spend days searching and applying, hours emailing and prepping for calls, but now you need to do work. This is where most things either go really well or crumble. Not always for the obvious reason of a skills mismatch. I recently went through one and it was terrible. The instructions were awful and the call assessing my output was pointless. Within 30s of the call starting, I knew it wasn't going anywhere. This is a trend for a lot of people. I think it is fine that this is where a lot of companies and applicants part ways, but all that time and energy, wasted. Considering we are expected to work so much for our current jobs, when you want to change due to burnout or other reasons, making hours of time per application is a lot.
After this point the application process gets more straightforward. You generally either meet more of the team for a cultural match or get an offer or denial of some sort. A denial at this point is by far the worst and I hope you never have to deal with these. Talk about wasted time...
What truly spawned the idea for this ramble thus far is the idea of things we cannot control at all in the hiring process. The chance and bias that goes into it.
Regardless of your skills or capabilities, chance is a huge part! Did you apply at the right time, did you use the right keyword, is the right person reviewing your resume/cover letter? Hell, is the rec even really open for external applicants or is it them just showing face?
Then bias. Right now we are going through a massive shift in racial injustice and it's about damn time. Black and brown people have been discriminated against and are still discriminated against for no reason. People are people – regardless of color, sex, age, gender or sexual identity, and even social or professional standing.
During an applicant's hiring process they go through a plethora of bias. I 100% believe that every company should be more diverse, but explicitly stating that minorities are favored... that is wrong on so many levels. This doesn't fix the problem of bias, it just shifts the weight.
We spend our time applying to companies and they might not hire you just because you are not the right sex, color, age, or a myriad of other reasons. None of that should come into play, none of that matters. If the companies clients, partners, donors, coworkers, etc only want a certain type of person, screw them. They are the problem and they don't deserve the business of the company. Lower your projected sales goals and other KPIs and do what is right.
Sometimes in this letter, I have a solution for you. Something more than just thoughts and facts. Today I cannot offer this. Hiring is a problem with so many underlying faults. They need solutions and I hope that we find some soon.
As a small contribution back to the community, I would like to share a Notion template for creating a living resume. I built it originally for myself, take a look here.
You can find the template here:
I have also included an avatar formatting kit on Figma, so you can customize your images: https://www.figma.com/community/file/901859490087155269
Like I mentioned at the top of this letter, the hiring process is broken. I also mentioned that I have a survey for you. This is not what you think about the letter or anything like that. This is a survey about anonymous hiring and what you think about it, as an applicant. I think this idea is super interesting. I have some ideas that I want to test. But before I let anyone know what these ideas are, I want to know what you think about the topic. The survey is short, surface level, and will only take you a few minutes to complete. This will help guide me to form some better-guided assumptions. I might even publicly share the percentages if there is enough data.
Link to the Google Form survey: https://forms.gle/faqEd7XWhXG7TmjQ8