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The Digital Standoff Between Job Seekers and Hiring Authority Digital Tough Guys - The Key is Persistence and Never Giving Up.

Updated: May 27

With the rise of social media, online networking platforms such as LinkedIn, and digital communication tools, job seekers are increasingly leveraging their online presence to showcase their skills, expertise, and professional brand. However, this newfound digital visibility has also given rise to a new reality: A new non-human wall that is going up between qualified job applicants and the very people who are holding the keys to giving them an opportunity.


Without question, the recruitment process has evolved significantly, with recruiters, human resources professionals, and hiring authorities wielding new AI and ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems) tools and tactics in their quest to analyze applicant’s resumes to find the best talent. However, this era has also given rise to ghosting, lack of follow-up, and a decline in human communication among some recruiters and hiring authorities. Welcome to the Hiring Digital Tough Guy.

This digital tough guy mentality from recruiters and hiring authorities during the job search can be characterized by a lack of professionalism, courtesy, and communication on the part of recruiters, human resources professionals, and hiring authorities. In today’s fast-paced and extremely competitive job market, some individuals may adopt a transactional approach to recruitment, prioritizing efficiency and results over interpersonal relationships and common courtesies.


Tactic: Recruiters and Hiring Managers Ghosting and Lack of Follow-Up


One of the most prevalent and growing issues associated with the digital tough guy mentality is ghosting – the practice of abruptly ceasing communication with job candidates without providing any explanation or follow-up. This can leave job seekers feeling frustrated, confused, and undervalued, particularly after investing time and effort in the application and interview process and especially if asked to do “a small project” to showcase skills – DEFINITELY not cool. Similarly, a lack of follow-up on the part of recruiters and hiring authorities can create uncertainty and erode trust in the recruitment process and develop less than favorable feelings towards the organization that tried to court you.


Action: Decline in Professionalism


Another consequence of the digital tough guy mentality is a decline in professionalism in recruitment interactions. This can manifest in various ways, such as unprofessional or impersonal communication, failure to adhere to established timelines and commitments, and a lack of transparency in the recruitment process. These types of behaviors not only reflect poorly on the organization but also diminish the candidate’s experiences and can damage the employer brand.


Strategy: Navigating the DTG (Digital Tough Guy) Mentality


Despite the challenges posed by the digital tough guy mentality, job seekers can take proactive steps to navigate the recruitment landscape effectively and mitigate at least a little of the stress:

1. Set Realistic Expectations: Recognize that not all recruiters and hiring authorities exhibit the digital tough guy mentality. Approach each interaction with an open mind and realistic expectations, while also being prepared to encounter occasional lapses during the process.


2. Communicate Effectively: Maintain open and transparent communication with recruiters and hiring authorities throughout the recruitment process. Clearly articulate your expectations, ask questions, and seek clarification as needed to ensure a mutual understanding of expectations and timelines. Make sure you are absolutely asking about next steps in the process and when you should expect to hear back – after EVERY interview/interaction. This is non-negotiable to me as a career strategist.


3. Send a handwritten Thank You note to stand out of the crowd: This working remote era can be a downfall for candidates when trying to send a note via snail mail, but certainly can be a game changer. An email will only grace their email screen for a few seconds whereas a Thank You card will likely sit on their desk for days, keeping YOU front of mind!  If you don’t have a location to send it to, send a well-crafted, short yet concise email sharing points you connected on during your interview and how your skills align well in fulfilling the voids discussed. 


4. Follow-Up Strategically: If you experience ghosting or a lack of follow-up from recruiters or hiring authorities, consider following up strategically to inquire about the status of your application or interview. If you follow step 2 above, you should have a timeline shared with you and will know when to follow-up – my advice is within a few days of when they said they would be contacting you but have not. Frame your message in a polite and professional manner, expressing your continued interest in the opportunity and seeking clarification on next steps. If you don’t hear back, try a more direct approach and call – do not leave a message; call early in the AM or a little after closing time and actually speak with someone. In most cases, you will know fairly quickly based on your conversation, where things are going. Remember that recruiters and HR Managers often work with hundreds of candidates – this is why the handwritten Thank You, when possible, and delivered via snail mail note is so imperative in helping you stand out!


5. Leverage Professional Networks: Tap into your professional networks to gather insights and recommendations about recruiters and hiring authorities known for their professionalism and integrity. Seek referrals from trusted contacts and leverage platforms like LinkedIn to connect with recruiters and hiring managers who prioritize candidate experience. You’ll be surprised how having a name to drop can be helpful in getting your name to the top of the resume pile!


6. Don’t Give Up and Never Stop the Activity: Whether you have 5 interviews lined-up, compensation and benefits are discussed, or if several promises of possible offers are received, NEVER stop moving forward!

 And remember scaling the wall is easier when you have a great, well thought out and written resume, a solid LinkedIn profile and understand how to answer interviewing questions effectively and impactfully. Remember, we don’t know what’s really happening within a company’s infrastructure, so until you get that firm offer in hand, keep networking, getting in front of new recruiters/HR/Hiring Managers, and maintain your professionalism and integrity throughout the process. We can’t control what others do, but we can control how we are viewed by them. ⚡


Embrace the Wall! Cheers and Best of Luck!

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