Modernisation is changing the face of industries all over the world. Video conferencing is replacing traditional meetings and calls, social media has revolutionised how companies engage with consumers, and an incredible amount of data can be collected and used to inform decisions.

Despite the radical changes that have taken place over recent years, some industries have dragged their feet. Recruitment is one of them.

What is the traditional recruitment model?

In the past, the paper CV model has worked well. Candidates would put a CV together that showed off their experience and skills, hand it to an employer, and if suitable would then typically be interviewed and considered for employment.

Most candidates and recruiters still follow this model; however, a few crucial things have changed:

1 – Changes in the way we communicate

The digital revolution has transformed communications. In the past, recruiters may only have received a handful of hard copy applications from relevant candidates.

Fast forward to today and candidates can comfortably send hundreds of CVs to employers in the time it would take to write just one by hand.

2 – Access to information

The advent of Google, the creation of online presences for businesses, and new online recruitment agencies have made it easier than ever for candidates to find a high number of potentially relevant roles.

Google has become an incredibly powerful tool. Candidates have access to an unprecedented amount of information about their industries of interest, and potential businesses they may want to work for. The whole world is available via Google, whereas previously candidates would be more focused on local opportunities and word of mouth.

Almost all reputable businesses now have a significant online presence. Company websites let you know what their values are, what it’s like to work for them, and whether they have employment opportunities. This is coupled with the new world of social media, which allows businesses to engage with a high number of people. Via platforms such as Facebook, they can even market themselves to potential candidates with a startling level of targeting accuracy.

Recruitment agencies have taken advantage of the online world. They provide the means for candidates to find a seemingly infinite number of opportunities, and also the ability to apply to each of them with nothing more than a single click.

What impact has this had?

The impact of these changes can be felt for both candidates and employers:

For candidates, the quest for employment has become a numbers game; send out as many CVs as you can to increase your odds of success. For some, this has led to a diluted approach. The applications that they send are often less specific to each company they apply to (a sacrifice made for the sake of efficiency), and they may find themselves applying to companies which don’t hold a strong appeal for them.

For employers, the problem is evident. They are inundated with endless CVs. Zetsy claims that each corporate job offer attracts an average of 250 applications.

How is the traditional model working in a digital world?

Put simply, the model does still work, however it has become incredibly inefficient.

If candidates send out enough applications, then yes, it will likely increase their odds of having one read. This doesn’t mean, however, that the company which finally responds will be a good match for them. After failing to be successful with so many of their applications, when a positive response does come around, candidates will often single-mindedly fight to secure that role without consideration of whether they would enjoy working there.

Employers are faced with having to cut down the numbers of applications as efficiently as possible. Some will do this themselves, quickly scanning through CVs and separating the wheat from the chaff. Others will rely on Application Tracking Software (ATS) which can automatically filter based on certain criteria.

The result of this is that applying for jobs has become about writing a CV well. Candidates are focusing their efforts on ‘tricking’ ATS software, and on grabbing the attention of the employer reviewing the CV before it’s dismissed.

Any search online about how to successfully apply to a job will likely focus on getting the CV right. A popular study by The Ladders in 2012 found that employers spend an average of 6 seconds reviewing individual CVs. What is worrying though is that typically the only advice from industry professionals is that candidates should be optimising their CVs to make the most of those precious few seconds.

What can the recruitment industry do to improve this situation?

Change the model. To do this, we must look at the priorities of both candidates and recruiters. For candidates:

  • Find a suitable role that is both enjoyable and that takes advantage of their skills.
  • Apply to a smaller number of appropriate businesses, with a higher success rate.
  • Understand what a potential business / career path would be like.

For employers:

  • Find a suitable candidate who enjoys their role and has relevant skills.
  • Receive a smaller number of high quality applications.
  • Know that their potential new employee will perform well in the role.

To meet these priorities, we need to allow employers to engage with each other for more than just 6 seconds.

Talent Trending has been created to give candidates the opportunity to get hands on experience in a number of different careers and roles. Our online skill showcasing platform allows candidates to interact with employers, show off their talents, and try out different careers to see which is the right fit for them.

Want to learn more about how this can help you? Sign up here today to finally leave the old model in the past.

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