CVs or applications? How do they affect the selection process for recruiters?
There is no doubt that in a candidate rich market the number of CVs and applications that a recruiter has to review has gone up tenfold. With resources tighter than ever, this has led to noticeable changes in the ways applications are matched.
The biggest change for the worse is the disheartening regret message: “If you have not heard from us within 14 days, your application has not been successful.” that often appears following the posting of an application. On one hand, I understand why recruiters do this, as resources are always limited, both within in-house recruitment teams and within agency environments. However, the damage it does to a brand and the demotivating impact it has on a job seeker is significant. It has become recruiting by numbers and recruiters have to decide if they are in a sales or people based industry. I for one prefer the latter.
Surely with the capability of application tracking systems, there has to be a better way of managing the regret process? The biggest single gripe noted in jobseekers’ feedback is that they spend time uploading their details but don’t even get an acknowledgement or a Dear John note of regret. For consumer brands it’s even worse, although most now have an ATS, the number of candidates whose applications are going unacknowledged is staggering.
The upside though is that recruiters have had to become a lot smarter and are having to carry out more diligent methods of candidate selection. There was a point in time before this period of austerity, where all recruiters would have to do was email CVs over to clients and lo and behold they had a shortlist of candidates and very little effort would have gone into collecting the fee.
However the good recruiters out there, of which there are many, have now learnt to work in partnership with their clients, have become an extension of their clients’ HR/recruiting teams. This has given them a deeper understanding of the culture of the business and how the attitude of the candidate is as important to an organisation as their skill and ability to do the role. This is the added value that recruiters must deliver to be successful.
In turn, this has led to a more comprehensive screening process by recruiters, so that the shortlisted candidates that are sent over to clients have been registered and screened with a full interview before their details are forwarded to the client, which can only be a good thing.
However, having put candidates through this process, the quality of feedback then given to them by recruiters remains poor. Although the issue lies a lot of the time with their clients, the recruiters should insist on comprehensive feedback for the sake of their own businesses, as I believe that it’s the least they can do for their candidates.
Businesses also have to deal with an increasing number of speculative applications and CVs and again, in an ideal world, each CV or application would be responded to. However, this is becoming increasingly more difficult for recruiting teams to deliver due to a lack of resources within administrative HR teams, and when CVs are passed to a line manager, they have a habit of leaving them in their in tray with no response.
With the high volume of applications on the market, a recruiter’s job is tougher than ever before. But hopefully most recognise the importance of providing feedback. At some point, all of us have been through the recruitment process, which has left us with either a positive or negative impression of a business and as a result understand the importance of striving to deliver a best in class recruitment service to all candidates.