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Job application: A difficult process

In my more than 30 years of professional life, it has always been my task to bring employees and employers together. To do this, I have used a wide variety of instruments and methods in a wide variety of organisational forms: Initially through further training programmes, later by means of outplacement methods. This ranged from individual outplacement to the placement of employees within transfer measures or transfer companies. Over this period I have also had to deal with different demand situations. Most of the time, however, the demand for the jobs was greater. So there were more applicants than job offers. For more than two years now I have been responsible for recruiting at Wanner. So we are tasked with finding employees. So the situation is the same for me here, with the signs reversed – but in a market that is characterised by a shortage of skilled workers.

Where in the application process are the obstacles?

We take over a significant part of the recruitment process for our clients. This ranges from the exact needs assessment and job definition, the creation of job advertisements to the search and the initial interviews. We clarified the professional and personal qualifications, agreed on the salary and clarified other important framework conditions as well. “All right”, you might think, so what should come together does come together. So why is it so difficult?

The exchange of information during the application

Basically, the participants in such a process want nothing more than clarity about whether the applicant and the company (and the boss) are a good match. For this, both sides need information. All steps in the process serve this purpose: the job advertisement provides information about the position and the company, the CV about the applicant and in the interview information about skills and abilities, corporate culture and much more is exchanged. What if both sides – sometimes unconsciously – withhold this information? If companies cannot or do not want to make a concrete statement in the application about the corporate culture, the teamwork, the job or the expectations. Or if the applicant – apart from repeating the data in the CV – says nothing about how they do their job. Then the exchange of information is incomplete, both sides find it difficult and overall it is rather frustrating for employer and applicant.

The guide to the perfect application

Apart from the fact that, especially in smaller companies without a personnel department, conducting job interviews should be just as much a part of the further training programme, I am in favour of already practising in a subject at school how to successfully apply for a job and what is important. Because when I look at the CVs of graduates from secondary schools or grammar schools today, they still look as if they arrived in a time capsule from the 1960s. In these CVs, the date of birth, denomination and home address are still on the first page, the photo is usually too small and, on the other hand, important information for the future employer is completely missing. Form and spelling are yet another issue. We are happy to offer all schools in the region the opportunity to explain in a short workshop what is important today when applying for a job – free of charge, of course!

Would I apply at my company?

However, the information provided by the employer is often just as bad. Job advertisements read bulky and often seem more off-putting than appealing. So why should a candidate apply if there are no incentives at all? In this context, I think it is particularly important that interviews should take place at eye level. An employer needs an adult and rational person to fill a job well. To do so, he must also perceive and treat this person as such. Employers should basically answer this question before they place job advertisements. And applicants should ask themselves what skills they bring to the table to handle the tasks and challenges of the job in question. At Wanner, we can help both sides to answer these questions in such a way that, in the end, a successful application and thus a satisfactory employment relationship is achieved. Yours, Amélie von Schoenaich Head of Recruiting