Johnson & Johnson's new hiring platform promises not to leave job applicants in the dark

How many times have you spent hours sifting through job titles and posting, and mustered up the stamina to send off not one, not two, but three applications into the dark technological abyss, only to hear nothing back from even one of the companies?

Knowing this is all too common, Johnson & Johnson rolled out a new “candidate experience platform” in the U.S. this week— called Shine — that the company says will bring people who apply for jobs there greater transparency by letting them see what stage their application is in at every step of the hiring process.

Johnson & Johnson, which is headquartered in New Jersey but has offices in many cities including San Francisco, has pledged to get users “out of the dark.”

Sjoerd Gehring, Global VP of Talent Acquisition and Millennial ERG leader at Johnson & Johnson, talked Ladders through the ins and outs of how the new platform will work.

Here’s what job seekers should know.

How it works

As for the name, Shine, “we’re really trying to shine a light on a black box experience,” Gehring told Ladders.

After applying to a position at Johnson & Johnson, applicants are invited to the Shine platform where they can see how their application is faring behind the scenes. They’ll find out the expectations upfront, Gehring said. 

Since the tracking system updates in real-time, applicants can see where their application is at any given moment, plus get a feel for how long it takes to move between points.

But say someone applies to multiple jobs at the company? They can monitor each one’s individual progress on Shine.

Job seekers can also follow Johnson & Johnson’s new Twitter handle for the platform, @JNJShine, for information and to direct message recruiters with questions related to their job applications.

It still may not be quick

“We never rush into hiring decisions, but what we’re able to do is be much more transparent with job seekers in terms of what they can expect,” Gehring told Ladders.

Once you submit an application, it isn’t necessarily all go, go, go on the company’s side.

“Depending on where you are in the process and when the process ends, you could get a call from a recruiter, definitely a call from Johnson & Johnson,” he said.

What happens if you don’t get the job?

It may not necessarily be the end of the line — you may still have a future at the company. Shine provides job recommendations for other positions at the company to those who don’t make the cut, according to Gehring.

The need for transparency in hiring

Gehring said that when they approached job seekers about how Johnson & Johnson could improve, transparency was their top concern. Other health companies also need to improve transparency in the hiring process.

Shine wasn’t “modeled after any other organization,” he said, since “hiring hasn’t seen much disruption in decades.”

Referencing companies like Amazon, which lets customers track their packages and Netflix recommends content to consumers, Gehring said that they want to be able to “bring those relevant expectations into the hiring process.”

Gehring told Ladders that Johnson & Johnson receives about one million resumes each year worldwide. But while Shine was unveiled this week in U.S. — the company’s biggest hiring market — the platform is expected to launch in other areas of the world in 2018.

The extent to which other companies in the healthcare industry such as CVS and HealthSouth will follow suit remains to be seen. Job seekers and recruiters will be watching.

Johnson & Johnson is currently hiring a staff pharmacist, a product manager, a business development manager, and many more roles.