Why Your Recruiter Is Better Than Recruitment Technology
6 January 2016
“HAL: I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that.
Dave Bowman: What's the problem?
HAL: I think you know what the problem is just as well as I do.”
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
Isn’t technology great? Well to a certain extent, it's something that we can not live without. However, without wanting to sound like a hipster (and I will do my best to not come across like one in this article), technology is really only great in its infancy.
For every new invention, the more mainstream it becomes, the less valuable to the individual it is.
Now before I spin this into some sort of recruitment drive, it really is applicable to most innovation.
Take for example, the automobile. It must have been lovely to drive across the country with hardly any traffic to contend with in the early years. Now, though, it’s a constant battle with the other drivers in your way. The point is that it’s still a great invention, but the more people use cars, the less benefit you can get out of them.
So how does this relate to recruitment? Glad you asked.
Over the last 10 to 15 years, the internet has become more widely and easily accessible. Following on from the ease of access to the web, job hunting has become much simpler too. Going back 10 years and the way to apply for a role, was to type a letter and physically post it along with your CV to potential employers. And that was a good thing as it helped employers see both the willingness of applicants, as well as their pre-spell checked grammar.
However, the introduction of job boards has not only brought a huge benefit to applicants and employers, it has also brought about congestion. The recruitment highways are just as gridlocked as the rush hour traffic.
Let me explain how job site boards work. Roles are posted by potential employers (or agencies). Candidates then click a few drop down menus, to filter their industry sector and key skills. So far, so simple but here comes the rest of the traffic.
Once a candidate has registered their CV on the job board, they can apply for dozens of jobs en masse. And they DO! Up and down the coffee shops of this land, people are on their laptops, using the free wifi, to apply for dozens of jobs.
Now this is a problem for employers/ recruiters, as they have to then filter through the hundreds of applicants to get to the few potentially good ones. So immediately, the benefit of a job board to both the employer and candidate is reduced due to the sheer traffic on the site. But believe it or not, this is not the biggest issue facing the job seeker.
To apply for any role through these sites, I have already mentioned that a CV must be uploaded – fairly obvious stuff. However, your CV is now “out there”.Now don’t worry, I am not talking about cyber-crime – I am talking about something far worse. You can be found….by….recruitment agencies.
If you are a competent candidate, you will be called by a plethora of recruitment agencies within hours of uploading your CV. Once again, most think this a good thing but the reality is that there are some agencies who will distribute CVs without your knowledge, as it is often a race between competing agencies to get your details to potential hirers first. Just think about that for a moment.
You have applied for one job you liked the look of. Your ideal application is in a pile with 200 other ridiculous applications. Your CV is spotted on the job boards database and suddenly, your CV lands on the desk of your boss as a speculative application in a mass email by an agency you have never talked to.
Isn’t technology great?
Now fortunately, most agencies will act in an ethical and professional manner when dealing with candidates and employers. However, agencies as described above do exist and do act in this scatter gun approach.
So how can technology reclaim its place in the recruitment market? Well the truth is that until the next great invention comes along, it most probably can’t. Human interaction is still the best way to get that next job, or at the very least a way to ensure that any role of interest is kept confidential.
To the employer, the role of the recruiter is in time. Not only will a recruiter filter the undesirables, they will also source candidates not currently on these sites.
To the candidate, approaching a recruiter will ensure anonymity, as well as actually making sure that roles are a good fit. A first class recruiter will always find the right role for a candidate and more often than not, it won’t be advertised.
So back to the advancement of technology. If we can agree that advancements are only fantastic in the early years, then the latest advancement in recruitment is to go old fashioned. Next time you are looking for a job, avoid the traffic and take a walk to your nearest, trusted recruiter.
Written By Adam Davey