On Applying to MacIT Companies

Sorry about the title being kind of meh, but it’s not that important. I wanted to spend some time on three companies in the macOS space, specifically, what it’s like trying to get hired by them.

Note: I’ve never been hired by any of them, but I’ve done some work here and there for and with two of them, (Apple and JAMF)

I don’t have any particular beef with any of them. I don’t fit a lot of molds, I don’t have any one thing you can point at and say “this is what John is better at than everyone else.” My background has depth in breadth, if that makes any sense, so I get that’s weird given the modern “you must focus on one thing to truly master it” focus. I’m also sans degree, and even with my experience, (almost 30 years), that’s an issue. Always will be, perhaps because I’ve got so much experience.

The three companies in question are Jamf, Apple, and Kandji, and I’m going to talk about how they manage applicants they reject. I think this is important, it’s like a “waiter test”, wherein you see how someone is with someone they don’t have to be kind to. It’s also similar to the “do you put your shopping cart back in the corral when you’re done” experiment.

Kandji

Of the three, Kandji is a clear winner based on what is for me, the most critical of all metrics: ghosting. Kandji has never ghosted me. When I send in an application, I get a quick “we have your application response” message, so I know they got my application. When they rejected me, I got a clearly automated, but still well-written email to that effect. Is it hand-written? No, but that’s less important than them taking the time to create a process for whatever ATS they may have to send out that email. It’s a small thing really, to automate such a thing, but it’s important. It resonates with the values they claim to have. Even in saying “no”, they are being kind, they are treating me like a human being, they are meeting the basic level of good treatment. Even being rejected, I feel good about them, because based on that alone, they have baked at least some basic decency into their system. Huge.

Their application process is really simple and clear. I don’t need to create an account to apply. I can just upload my resume without dealing with “what version of what resume” etc. I don’t have to re-enter information that is obviously in my resume.

Applying for a gig at Kandji reeks of someone not treating the applicant as some form of show dog. Highly recommend, 10/10, would apply again.

Apple

Apple is a mixed bag, because their sheer size forces a certain amount of complexity upon them, and the space they hold at the literal center of the MacIT world makes it tempting to overlook their errors. Fortunately, I don’t have to overlook them, and I think no one is done any service by having their errors ignored. You can’t improve what you don’t know is suboptimal.

In terms of ghosting, Apple only gets second place, because on occasion they have not ghosted me. Like…maybe 3-4 times, (out of over 30 applications, yes, I’m sure about that number) but that counts. Were it not for that, they’d be tied for last, they ghost pretty relentlessly, and there’s no excuse for it. Setting up an automated rejection email, especially for a company of Apple’s size with the in-house resources they’ve access to. It’s inexcusable, to be honest, and Dierdre O’Brien really needs to fix this. All the “Apple cares” marketing in the world doesn’t make up for the inability to treat applicants humanely and kindly, especially when rejecting them.

Apple’s application process is definitely complicated, but I give them a bit of a bye on some of it, they are a massive company, the volume of applications they get in a given hour would overwhelm some smaller outfits. The way they manage resumes is annoying, as you can only have one in your profile, which makes tweaking a resume for a given position hard, since in theory, that resume is used to potentially vet you for other positions. The education section puts the last school you entered at the bottom of the list instead of the top, so if you enter a new school, the only way to have that info at the top is to manually rebuild the list. If you’re an educational itinerant wanderer like me, re-entering 5-6 schools is tedious.

The past employment section is annoying for much the same reasons as the education, only moreso. I have 11 or so employers across over 30+ years, but if I enter a new one it’s…at the bottom. Even if it’s current. S I G H. Come on Apple, you can do better, I know you know how. But again, if I’ve given you a resume, why is this section required?

You can have a cover letter saved, but only one, so that’s kind of pointless. Once your profile is set, applying is pretty straightforward. Do you want to use your resume and a custom cover letter, do you want to apply with LinkedIn? That part of the process is pretty easy. Just don’t expect any communications if you’re rejected. Apple has a ghosting problem with rejected applicants.

Jamf

I can safely say I have not been ghosted by Jamf exactly once. I had one phone screen, where we couldn’t come to terms on me relocating from Tallahassee to Atlanta, and as I couldn’t, and they required it, that was a hard “no” for both of us. Which happens, sometimes you can’t easily relocate. I’ve hit that with different companies before, I was a single parent and an only child. Relocating was difficult. No harm no foul.

But when it comes to ghosting rejected applications, Jamf is relentless. Other than that one phone screen, I’ve never gotten a rejection email from Jamf. They always ghost, to where I don’t think I’d be willing to apply any more, because the ghosting issue is that bad. That may not be a common response, but I doubt I’m unique here. Again, Jamf is not a wee company with severe resource limitations. They’re fairly large, they could fix this, but evidently, it’s not something they care to fix, so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ As with Apple, Michelle Bucaria over at Jamf should have her team fix this, as like with Apple, it’s inexcusable to not have an automatic rejection email sent out.

Their overall process is much improved over what it was a few years back, at this point, it’s basically the same as Kandji’s. Attach resume and cover letter, fill in some mandatory questions, fill in some other questions that may not need to be there, but there’s a really small amount of them, so eh, no biggie. Really Jamf’s biggest problem is the ghosting. (Which they could have fixed, but at this point, the process of finding out is of little interest to me anymore. That’s not to say I wouldn’t work for them, but I’ve shown my interest enough over the last decade or more, they know how to find me if they want me.)

Conclusion

So of the three, Kandji, Apple, Jamf, I absolutely recommend applying to Kandji. Easy process, and the company has a kind vibe I dig. If you’re in IT in the macOS or i(Pad)OS worlds, eventually you’ll apply to Apple or Jamf. Just be sure you’re okay with ghosting if you do.

Oh, none of the three posts salary ranges for positions. Which honestly, is kind of lame, but I think of all of them, Kandji would be the likeliest candidate to fix that, it’s literally the only knock I can come up with for them.

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