If you’ve applied for a job in the last 15-20 years, the process has been pretty much the same. A company wants to recruit someone, say a programmer, analyst, support person etc. They put the job up on their website or email a few agencies and tell them. Some agencies take a chance and pay for an advert on one or more recruitment websites. The usual suspects – Monster, Indeed, JobSite, Reed etc.
Bolton’s First rule of Recruitment. The actual number of real jobs on offer is 1/4 of the jobs advertised.
You spot the job, send a CV with covering letter and then you wait and wait. If you are lucky, the agency will contact you, put you forward and you get an interview. If that went well then you’re invited to a 2nd interview and you get a job offer.
That’s the ideal situation and when it works well, it’s good. There are variations on that. You might get a telephone interview first, or need to pass an online test. Tests are another goat elevation issue but I’ll save that for another day.
But often the process doesn’t go well. It’s believed that some jobs aren’t real, just a way for an agency to harvest CVs. I’m guessing there is some kind of market for CVs as I often get phone calls out of the blue from agencies I’ve never heard of.
In a couple of cases I’ve had feedback from the agent but only after interviews, never when my CV is sent in. Often it’s just a deafening silence and that really sucks. Days pass, and you want to phone the agent. It’s like dating. How long do you wait to phone the girl after you get her number?
The problem is a human one, lack of communication and it’s really unacceptable in this age of CRM systems etc. Or even just plain old-fashioned courtesy but that seems to be typical these days. (Old fogey rant ends). At least the days of printing CVs and cover letters then posting them out are long gone.
It’s the Money, stupid
Recruitment is a lucrative business. I’ve heard figures of 15% commission quoted. That’s 15% of the candidate’s first year salary and in IT salaries of £45-50K outside London are not uncommon. That’s a juicy £7,500 commission and in the Square Mile, probably closer to £10K and up.
Job applications fail for a variety of reasons but often you’ll never know why. I’ve submitted applications online and heard nothing despite thinking that my skill set is a perfect match for this job and that’s rare. Nobody expects you to have everything they want.
Emails or phone calls to agents get ignored. Sometimes the problem happens with the company recruiting, especially the smaller ones that have a one-tenth of a person HR department (Only on Friday mornings). That person leaves, goes off sick or on holiday and the whole process stops, sometimes never restarting.
I’ve been on the other side of the process, recruiting a programmer. For my sins I was the one reading CVs, doing interviews and making recommendations. I actually read all 120 CVs, talk about a Sisyphean task! Out of those I pulled in nine for interviews and they divided neatly into three very good ones, three average and three whose CV writing ability rivals Jeffrey Archer. He was almost certainly a better programmer than they were.
So if there’s an area ripe for disruption, it’s recruitment. It’s happening with Estate Agents (Purple Bricks etc.) so where is it in recruitment?