Black Hole 3.0

Are we evolving, devolving or simply going in circles?


The Black Hole of Recruiting is not new, it’s been around for a long time.

Black Hole 1.0:
The old joke in applying for a job used to be about your resume and cover letter ending up in the “circular file” (the trash can).  But it was fairly standard process to send a courtesy “reply” to anyone who sent in a resume saying “thanks for the resume but we aren’t hiring”.

And then the internet happened.

Black Hole 2.0:
Technology and the internet provided a way to send in a resume (apply on line) with no stamp and no “snail mail” waiting time.  And the Black Hole hatred was officially born.  The Black Hole of Recruiting refers to the situation where an applicant fills out an online application, gets a cursory electronic “thank you” and then hears NOTHING back – ever – never.


For those of you who are all too familiar with this situation you may be asking WHY IS HE BEATING THIS DEAD HORSE AGAIN!!

Because we are in Black Hole 3.0 – it’s called “Social Media”.


The promise of social media is to more easily connect, share and interact with each other.  People are connecting at frenetic rates, sharing stuff that many probably shouldn’t be sharing (or wouldn’t in any other situation) and interacting with both friends and strangers.

Companies are now using this new media to try to apply these “personal” features to speed and facilitate business objectives (marketing, customer service, sales etc.) and few have really cracked the code on how to effectively do so.

RECRUITING departments have jumped into this mish mash of speed dating online and are trying to use the new media to facilitate hiring.

The challenge they are having is that by connecting faster, more lightly and more frequently, most are simply creating a faster, lighter and pervasive BLACK HOLE 3.0.  Following companies on Twitter, Liking them on Facebook or joining their Company Page on LinkedIn do nothing to alleviate the frustration that job seekers feel, in fact, it has great potential to make it worse..

Here’s how recruiting is currently using Social Media and the potential effects it is having:

  1. Job Casting – a newer faster way to broadcast jobs with the hope that it gets virility and finds the right candidate.  Getting your jobs out to a wider audience will produce more quantity and potentially less quality of applicants (remember, a job description puts the decision of qualification in the applicant’s hands)- is that the goal or the result you desire? (Tweetmyjobs, Facebook pages)
  2. Candidate Service – like customer service, some companies are using Twitter and Facebook to provide candidates updates on application status etc..  While on the surface this may seem like a good use of social media, having a dedicated team to monitoring your tweets and Facebook posts is a luxury few recruiting departments can afford.
  3. Branding – using social media to enhance your employer brand is probably the best way I’ve seen to leverage the tools.  By putting brand messages out and keeping the “dialog” of social media at a brand level, you are neither exacerbating the over applicant problem or breaking your budget on “monitoring”.

Perhaps you are using Social Media for recruiting in other ways (if so, please let me know how) but no matter how you use it beware: if you are setting the expectation in a prospect’s mind that they are taking a step “CLOSER” to your hiring process, you need to make sure that you live up to the expectation and communicate with them, give them feedback etc. lest you simply create the Black Hole of Recruiting 3.0.



  1. Black Hole 3.0 | . on December 21st, 2010 9:56 am

    [...] Rather than jumping on a bandwagon for recruiting ideas, they always seem to go against the grain. This posting about their thoughts on social media recruitment is no exception. The challenge they are having [...]

  2. ames on February 4th, 2011 10:05 am

    The “black hole” is the worst thing ever, because I don’t know WHY I was turned down, if I was turned down, if the job is still open, if there’s been a delay – I know nothing. Eternal limbo, and it’s awful. I get that HR offices are drowning in applications these days, but hey, why not hire someone to come in every few weeks, sort out the rejects, and send an e-mail to that group telling them what’s going on?

  3. Phil Haynes on February 22nd, 2011 8:50 am

    Many companies are catching on to this problem and at least sending the conclusion email. Companies are reluctant to provide “feedback” as to why you were not selected simply due to the propensity of lawsuits filed if you disagree with their evaluation. So companies are part to blame for this problem but litigious job seekers have also contributed to the situation. Sometimes we’ll never know “why” we weren’t selected but the baby step we’re advocating for is to simply KNOW that you have/haven’t.

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