Media Professional Benjamin Markus Questions Job-Application Process, Begins Investigation
The former soccer front-office professional has begun investigating the “dehumanized” processes behind finding full-time employment
Chicago, Ill. – Several weeks after his latest job application, and with no employer response to show for it, 30-year-old Benjamin Markus, of Miami, Fla., has begun investigating the job-application process he calls both “dehumanizing” and “flawed”.
“I’m finding the whole process exasperating,” Markus said from his temporary home in Chicago. “I think there’s something wrong here, something systemic, and I’m hoping to uncover some flaws and, if possible, suggest some improvements to the processes behind the job hunt.”
Markus’ frustrations began shortly after starting a job search that has now spanned more than two months and 30 jobs applied for. Markus says the great majority of the jobs he’s applied for omit basic employer contact information, with even fewer including practical compensation details.
“I found myself crafting resumes and cover letters, spending upwards of five hours on each application, calling and even mailing physical copies of my application material, only to hear nothing in return,” Markus said.
As Markus’ frustration began to grow, he says, so did his persistence. After hearing nothing from a particularly intriguing job, Markus says he began calling weekly and leaving messages.
“I thought to myself, ‘they wouldn’t be rude enough to ignore my messages, would they?’ But sure enough, they were ignored,” Markus recalled.
Having grown up in a home where manners, politeness and respect were valued and encouraged, Markus says he was puzzled and saddened that the “humanizing act” of returning an email, let alone a phone call, was being ignored.
After numerous emails, phone calls and a physical mailing to the aforementioned employer went unacknowledged, Markus says, he made one last attempt.
“I gave it one last try and, wouldn’t you know it, I got my job contact on the phone – and it wasn’t her voicemail,” Markus said. “After introducing myself, she said ‘Oh, yes, I know who you are, and I’ve received your application in the mail, but our HR department doesn’t allow personal contact with applicants. I’m really sorry, but this conversation shouldn’t be happening.'”
After the phone call, Markus says he realized that it wasn’t the persons involved that were neglecting common courtesies, but rather the processes in place.
“Then and there I realized that these companies that I had been applying to had totally dehumanized the process of finding a job candidate,” Markus said. “They are literally removing the human component from the equation: automated application responses, no calls, no visitors.”
Markus says he plans on beginning his investigation at the moment an applicant hits the ‘send application’ button. From there he says he’ll “work [his] way down the rabbit hole.”
“I’m just so curious about the whole applying and hiring process, particularly the human element, or lack of it, involved,” Markus said. “When does an application get before human eyes, if it does at all, and what role do human elements like intuition, recall and foresight play in the process?”
Markus says that he hopes to continue the investigation in a series of blog posts throughout the summer, and that he’s not sure what he expects the eventual outcome to be.
“I think if I can just bring even a little attention to some of this system’s flaws, that would be a huge success in my eyes. Or maybe someone will hire me before that just to quiet me down,” Markus said, smiling. “Then again, someone will have to be listening first.”