Back in the day, it was the hiring manager and the job-seeker. That’s it.
The former, posts a job either via a recruiter, through friends or occasionally in a local newspaper, and the latter applied for that job by sending in their resume. Due to geographic restrictions on the job advert, candidate diversity was fairly limited, but the hiring manager received a manageable number of resumes, with easy to access references.
For the job seeker, they would connect with a recruiter, apply via a job advert or be referred by a friend. They would [roughly] know where their resume was, and the status of their application since they only applied for local opportunities. It was all very simple!
And then technology started to creep in – the internet created virtual job boards which allowed your job post to reach further than ever before. This is great – wider reach gives access to a greater pool of candidates, which in turn means a better quality of candidate - potentially. And for the job seeker, they can identify more jobs, better opportunities and no longer be limited to local listings. Unfortunately, it’s not always so simple. For the hiring manager, greater reach means more applicants; more applicants means more screening; more screening means less efficiency; but it does ultimately give you the opportunity for a wider pool of candidates. And for the applicant, with the increased access to jobs, you could be the diamond in the rough, but you may never be seen due to the sheer volume of other applicants floating around the black hole of recruitment!
Tech usually makes my life easier – I can order movies, food and a cab all from the comfort of my couch. Many apps use algorithms in the back end which feed off my history to bring me relevant content. So why not when I’m looking for a job?
How does this work for the job-seeker, where soft skills are as important as the more tangible information, such as education and experience?
My social media page suggests job opportunities to me, based on a few ‘keywords’ from my profile, but most are totally inaccurate and annoying, such as Finance Director or Python Coder. Surely in today’s world there should be a way to share professional information and at the same time share my social, softer and less tangible skills that make me better than the next applicant, and something that suggests appropriate opportunities; neither, it seems, are achievable through a PDF resume.
For the company, more applicants are great - as long as you have someone to sift through the resumes, pre-screen candidates, interview and ultimately only put appropriate people in front of the hiring manager - time-consuming to do it properly. So is this happening, versus simply putting the highly educated forward, vs the best? If I’m hiring a marketer, I want someone who knows the value of a sale and knows how to hustle, not necessarily the person with hard core quant skills.
Is the recruitment industry not benefitting from technology, or is it just a matter of time before it catches up? We live in a visual and informative world, with exponential development in machine learning technology; surely it’s time to bring this together for a more efficient experience for both manager and job seeker? Technology shouldn’t make things complicated, especially not in recruitment.