Woman Refuses To Work For Free During Her Job Interview Process, Sparks A Discussion

The process of finding a new job can be incredibly frustrating. Updating your CV, writing up endless cover letters (yuck!), and sending out tons of applications are all just the start. Next, you have to deal with test tasks that check your hard skills and go to interviews where your soft skills are probed, which can be utterly exhausting. But some companies take it to the next level—in the worst way possible.

Digital creator Talia Landman, @its_just_talia_, recently went viral on TikTok after sharing a video where she revealed just how involved the test assignments are. They’re so elaborate, in fact, that it’s legitimately akin to unpaid work. Read on for the full story. Bored Panda has reached out to Landman via email, and we’ll update the article as soon as we hear back from her.

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Some companies have hiring processes that are extremely unfair and unethical

Image credits: Burst (not the actual photo)

Digital creator Talia Landman called out a practice where businesses expect candidates to do unpaid work for them

Image credits: its_just_talia_

“I am looking right now at a three part assignment that a company sent to me, before even interviewing me.
Three part assignment – that will take hours to do. I am at a loss for words.
It’s literally something that they could take, copy and paste and put it onto their website, this is not just a hypothetical assignment. This is like, legit work, okay, they’re asking you to do work for them.
And after you’re done doing free work for them, then you have to do a five minute video introduction explaining who you are and why you’re a fit for the role. And this is before they even interview you.
This, along with the assignment that they’re asking for, as well as that video introduction, would take probably all day, if not longer. Companies are wild with what they’re asking for.”

Image credits: its_just_talia_

“So I responded back because I’m not doing this. I’ve done this before already. So don’t tell me that like, “oh, we’ll just do it, it’s the norm these days.” I’ve gone through interviews with companies where they did this with me, and I was either ghosted afterwards, or they use my work and didn’t pay me. No, thank you.
Also, they mentioned that this is a freelance role that pays $20/hour. That’s insulting.
Granted, they did have some of this on the website about their interview process, that there’s a challenge involved, but they didn’t say that the challenge was literally an unpaid assignment and unpaid work assignment.”

Image credits: its_just_talia_

“So here’s what I wrote back. “Thank you for the opportunity to potentially interview for this role. I was truly excited about it until realizing there are multiple unpaid assignments included before getting to the interview. I am a professional with over a decade of marketing, communications, content creation and copywriting experience. I do not partake in assignments in the interview process unless paid my hourly rate.”
This is what they’re doing now. Like, this is bonkers.”

You can watch the woman’s viral video in full right over here

@its_just_talia_ Companies are realizing that people are so desperate for a job that they can literally get them to perform unpaid assignments. #exploitationawareness #jobsearch #jobinterview #workinginterview #hiringbelike #jobmarket2023 #thisisbananas ♬ original sound – Talia

More and more Americans are staying at their old jobs instead of quitting

CNN reports that the number of available jobs in the United States rose to 10.1 million this April, far more than economists had predicted. They had expected 9.375 million openings. Meanwhile, hiring activity grew from 6.07 million to 6.12 million workers, and layoffs went down, from 1.85 million to 1.58 million.

What’s more, the number of people who quit their jobs also dropped, from 3.84 million to 3.79 million. This indicates that more and more people are deciding to stay at their current jobs instead of trying their luck in the job market.

Landman’s video went viral and got 93.1k views and over 9k likes on the video-sharing platform. The clip also started a fiery discussion about company practices when it comes to assignments (aka test tasks, aka ‘challenges’) that are supposed to see whether a candidate is qualified for the position.

According to Landman, the company where she was applying to at the time gave her a three-part assignment, and then demanded a 5-minute video introduction. “And this is before they even interview you, okay?” she says in her TikTok.

The digital creator explains that she refused to do all of this based on her previous experience where other businesses have either outright ignored her after she completed what they asked her to, or ended up using the assignments she did without paying her. These sorts of practices are very clear red flags that these businesses aren’t places you should aim to work for.

Ideally, the hiring process would involve a face-to-face interview and a small assignment just to check whether everything’s above board. Writers and artists also tend to have portfolios that they can refer to as evidence of their skills. If the position is higher up in the corporate food chain, the process might be more involved: multiple rounds of interviews and aptitude as well as psychological tests to determine who the best candidate is.

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There are two main problems with this. The first is that some untrustworthy businesses might actually claim the candidates’ assignments as work that they ‘own’ and can then do whatever they want. Obviously, this raises a lot of ethical questions, and it’s a practice that serious employers should avoid.

Image credits: Israel Andrade (not the actual photo)

Job candidates who take on lots of unpaid work are normalizing this approach

The second issue is that some companies are actively wasting their applicants’ time. Look, we get it—everyone wants the ‘perfect’ person for the open position. But recruiters and management have to be realistic that ‘good enough’ is often better than that mythical ‘perfect’ candidate who might not even exist. What’s worrying is that some recruiters have incredibly elaborate hiring processes in place for even basic positions.

Anecdotally, we personally know people who have spent literal months going to countless interviews and doing assignments for a single position, only to get rejected at the end. Others have had to suffer through half-a-dozen rounds of tests and interviews. As we’ve covered on Bored Panda before, some of the biggest mistakes that people can do during the hiring process is being too modest about themselves and their achievements: you have to find a way to give yourself credit for your skills while exuding confidence. However, it might be difficult to stay confident if the hiring process is unclear and seemingly endless. At some point, you might end up asking yourself whether you’re doing something very wrong.

In the end, is it worth it? Only the candidate can answer this because everyone’s situations are very different. Some might be desperate enough to grit their teeth and go along with whatever nonsense these recruiters throw at them. Others might feel too scared to speak up about it because it might ‘damage’ their reputation or make them lose an otherwise great opportunity.

But the fact is that hiring processes should not be this exhausting and time-consuming when we’re talking about entry to mid-level positions. Recruiters sometimes forget that candidates are living, breathing human beings with dozens of responsibilities (and probably day jobs, as well as side hustles) just like them.

Cait Mello, one of the Creative Talent Partners working with ‘We Are Rosie,’ noted that companies assigning unpaid work is unfair, as well as unethical. Candidates should not be asked to do unpaid work, nor should they be badgered to provide creative ideas without compensation.

“It is unethical and usually takes advantage of hungry young creatives that just want an opportunity and are willing to compromise themselves because they haven’t built up their confidence yet,” Mello says. “Who has the resources to do unpaid work? I’ll answer that for you: only people that already have money, or support from someone else. And if they don’t, you are preventing them from taking proactive steps towards economic stability.” In short, it’s everyone’s responsibility to say ‘no’ to unpaid work, otherwise, the industry won’t change.

Here’s what some TikTok users had to say after watching Landman’s video

The post Woman Refuses To Work For Free During Her Job Interview Process, Sparks A Discussion first appeared on Bored Panda.

Source: boredpanda.com

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