The tedious trudge to work and “Heigh-ho, Heigh-ho, it’s off to work we go” is a thing of the past. Today we see employees taking control of their work-life balance and ensuring that they find contentment, fulfillment, and satisfaction in their workplace. The culture of self-care and awareness has created a strong drive for many to seek a job that suits their needs. But when they don’t get it, employees resort to quiet-quitting or ‘rage applying.’

How should recruiters respond to the influx of hot-headed applications? This article examines the pros and cons of rage applying and how recruiters should respond.

Rage Applying – The Pros, the Power, the Purpose

Rage applying is the reaction to dissatisfaction, annoyance, burnout, or boredom in a current job. It’s the practice of applying to several positions to compare salaries and possibilities for a better-suited one, usually in a moment of frustration. The trend highlights the power of taking control of one’s career and seeking a position that values them.

Doesn’t sound new (or terrible), right? People have impulsively applied for jobs during a moment of frustration for years. However, the trending hashtag resonates with Gen Zs and millennials who have had enough of resolving themselves to jobs that make them desperate for the weekend. A Deloitte Global 2022 Gen Z and millennial survey shows that insufficient pay and toxic work environments contribute to a desire to leave a job for both age groups. These employees seek to advocate for change.

Does Rage Applying Work?

Rage applying can be empowering as many TikTokers have reported a substantial raise and better job when they applied to openings in a moment of resentment. Rage applying can be effective. It opens applicants to new opportunities when they feel stagnant, unheard and frustrated with their current position.

Is Rage Applying Reactive? Here are the Cons of this Job Trend

Rage applying can come with a cost, though. Pattie Lovett-Reid, financial commentator and public speaker, recently highlighted that rage applying could become a red flag to future employers when they realize applicants are serial job hoppers.

As with most trends, it’s easier to hop on than to reflect and consider the implications of rage-applying. The trend may encourage avoidant behavior rather than endorse constructive conversations with one’s boss or HR department.

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Rage applying can also lead applicants to apply for jobs at random without fully being invested in the opportunity. They may speed-read the posting, put little effort into knowing the business, and even apply for jobs that they’re unqualified for with an attitude of “I just want out!” As a result, rejection emails or ignored applications can wear down their confidence and lead to deeper dissatisfaction.

How Should Recruiters Respond to Rage Applying?

While reviewing applications, or even during an interview process, it may become clear that the interviewee succumbed to rage applying. So what do you do?

Uncover the Reason for Their Application

Applicants have a right to advocate for change and find a position to suit their needs. Have an honest conversation about the work environment they desire and uncover any dissatisfaction they may be experiencing in their current role. Listening to applicants can help you determine if their application is genuine or simply coming from a place of spite.

Educate Businesses You’re Recruiting For

According to a Glassdoor study, Gen Z job seekers value high salaries, flexible work hours, and work environments with a culture that resonates with their own. They also seek trust in their leadership. Recruiting for businesses that tick these boxes will appeal to this new working generation. Be prepared to answer questions relating to these ‘must-haves’ when interviewing young applicants.

Sensitivity to Rage Applying

Rage applying can bring talented applicants to the surface, allowing them to rise in a workplace that values them and pays them their worth. It can also highlight flaws in a business environment and urge employers to reconsider inadequate pay and toxic practices. Ultimately, you want employers and young employees who are happy with their pairing. Learn how to engage and attract the next generation of workers so that rage applying becomes less trendy and more thoughtful.

Jenna-lea Kelland

Jenna-lea is a freelance content editor, writer, and master multi-tasker based in the wonderful city of Cape Town. She has written about various topics, both in print and online. When the laptop shuts, she enjoys dips in the ocean, thrilling novels, or exploring the coastal towns and foodie hubs with her family.