You don’t need to be a recruiter to know that the way in which companies recruit has changed since the turn of the century.
Obviously the internet is the catalyst behind this change. As with nearly every other facet of our lives the internet has changed the traditional way of doing things. It has enabled companies to market their jobs to a far wider range of potential applicants more quickly in a more efficient way than traditional methods.
Prior to widespread use of the internet the recruitment market, much like the world, was a different place. Companies advertised in local newspapers or hired through word of mouth and the onus was very much on individuals seeking a job to take the effort to apply directly with a well written cover letter and CV.
Like it or not, and there are certainly advantages to it, you seldom see recruitment work like this anymore.
There is a (virtual) library full of material on the social and economic impact of the internet but one of the key impacts is that it brings more people closer together, instantly in many cases. How has this affected the recruitment market?
Firstly, the way in which individuals search for jobs has changed with the first port of call now the internet instead of the local newspaper. Inevitably the first step will be a Google search, which, almost regardless of words searched, will bring up a major job site like Reed or Total Jobs. Here they will find a vast array of vacancies to suit virtually any type of person that can be applied for with the click of a few buttons.
In the majority of cases, their CV will be sent to a recruiter that is using the job board to advertise a vacancy for one of their clients. What tends to happen is that an individual’s CV will end up in the hands of 4 or more recruitment agencies that will be able to help find them work. So, does the individual need to do anything more in their job search? The answer, in most cases, is no.
Competition in the recruitment market is fierce and a good CV will not be on a job board long before the individual has applied for a number of jobs. Candidates no longer need to conduct their own job search because a recruiter will do it for them, the whole dynamic has changed. So, what does this mean for companies who are looking to recruit?
Obviously, as a recruiter, this is where I draw the inevitable conclusion that a recruitment consultant must be used! It is not quite that straight forward but it is clear that recruitment consultants have a role to play in the post-internet recruitment market.
When we advertise using a job board the number of applicants is generally well in to the hundreds, particularly for entry level jobs for graduates. Well over half of the applicants do not have the relevant experience or qualifications as advertised. Merely sorting through these applications to identify suitable candidates can be a time consuming process.
For multi-national companies the internet is a major asset in their recruitment process; their reputation means they can generate direct applications and they have whole departments to manage the end to end recruitment process.
It is much more difficult for small growing businesses to attract talent directly and the recruitment process may have to be managed by someone who is key to another area of the business, such as sales. Bringing in a new member of staff can have a major impact on the business as a whole for a number of months if there are insufficient resources to deal with it properly.
In such cases a recruiter can be a major asset to a business. A recruiter can help businesses attract the right people, manage the process and offer advice during the process. This may not match with everybody’s experience of recruiters but it is clear that a good recruiter can offer a valuable service to client’s; the product of which, i.e. the right person for their team, can be a major asset to a business.