The Recruitment Process is broken. It is ripe for Digital Disruption

As a job seeker in today’s world, it is impossible to avoid the maze which is today’s recruitment system. As prospective candidates chase jobs, they will find that what stands between them is the gatekeeper of the recruitment consultant, which can more often than not become an impenetrable barrier between you and the hiring manager. The aim of the recruitment consultant is to add value to the process, by filtering out unsuitable candidates. The idea is that only the best candidates are presented to the hiring manager, thus saving time and effort.

However, this whole process has gone very badly wrong – to the point where in many cases (not all), it is not delivering any value to either the candidate or the hiring manager. When you have a situation like this where the customer is no longer king, you have an industry which is ripe for digital disruption.

“This whole process has gone very badly wrong – to the point where in many cases, it is not delivering any value to either the candidate or the hiring manager. “

I was inspired to write this by Sarah.E Taylor’s status update “To the recruiters who look over CVs…” which has turned viral and resulted in an outpouring of opinion from both candidates and recruiters alike. The aim of this article is to provide a forum to allow both parties to continue this discussion and to educate those who have been fortunate enough to have avoided this system completely.

As a candidate, no doubt the following has happened to you.

  • You send a cv into a job board – No Reply
  • You apply to a job on LinkedIn – No Reply
  • You go to the trouble of finding the recruiter’s email address and send them your cv and a nice covering email – Still No Reply
  • You phone the recruiter who is busy, so you leave a message for them to contact you – Again, no reply
  • You are lucky enough to be shortlisted for an interview and your cv has gone through to the hiring manager – but this is the last you hear from the agent
  • You are lucky enough to be interviewed but the recruiter does not call you back to give you any feedback

On the hiring manager side, the system is also failing:

  • The candidate cvs do not match the job specifications
  • A candidate’s cv looks amazing on paper but when they are interviewed they fail miserably to live up to this expectation
  • A candidate’s cv is sent through without their consent and when you try to set up an interview, you are unsuccessful
  • You lose out on an excellent candidate as your agent has not made any effort to look after them so they went for another job instead

In the digital age, where the customer is supposed to be king, a system which is broken has to change. I am very aware that this is a subject which always provokes much anger and negative emotion and this is justified – When you see that your recruiter has enough time to ‘like’ jokes and post articles on Linkedin but not enough time to update you on your job application, you’d be forgiven for wanting to find the nearest punchbag.

“When you see that your recruiter has enough time to ‘like’ jokes and post articles on Linkedin but not enough time to update you on your job application, you’d be forgiven for wanting to find the nearest punchbag. “

There are solutions to this which sound simple enough:

  • Build a 3 sided platform for hiring managers, recruiters and candidates. Use LinkedIn for virtual CVs. Create an integrity rating for each of the 3 sides to make things transparent. Like an eBay, LinkedIn, Recruitd, Glassdoor rolled into one
  • My friends at LinkedIn – add a traffic light to a person’s profile so they can indicate if they are available or not Red – I’m Happy, Amber – I’m open to offers, Green – I’m available. This will force employers to up their games as well!
  • Review sites. League tables for employers, recruiters even candidates. If we want to stimulate the economy properly and create a real free market, we need to lift the cap on wages. The only way to do this is to identify the superstars. Labour is not a homogenous product but it is treated like one!
  • Bad behaviour should be punished. If someone is guilty of bad practice, this should be exposed and penalised. This will ensure that only the quality, customer focused operators will prevail and capital allocation within the economy becomes more efficient!

If those of you who agree with me can LIKE this post, then maybe, just maybe we can create a catalyst and positive disruption which puts the humanity back into this system #TeamHuman. Recruiters, I would like to hear your views also – it’s about time that this debate was opened up properly, once and for all.