This was supposed to be an article posted in my “Career counseling” series. But, because it is a more personal content, to which every person reacts differently, it is a standalone piece. This article is meant for organizations that recruit themselves, whatever the position is.
In my life, I have been on both sides of the recruitment process. I drafted the ad and job description. I’ve sipped through countless resumes and cover letters. I was mean enough not to reply personally to those who were rejected, but to send an automated response.
I also sent tens of CVs when I was desperate to find a job, sometimes customizing the CV and cover letter to fit the job description perfectly, but sometimes just sending the standard one with just a click of a button.
As I am “between jobs” now, you can imagine that I am still sending CVs and cover letters. However, I am only sending them to perfectly fitting jobs and always, but always customized. By customized I mean newly created CVs for each application, to present the advantages that I would bring to an organization.
Here are some things I’ve learned from being on both sides.
As an organization, you want to receive CVs from people who (almost) perfectly fit the job description, this being emphasized in their CVs. Sometimes, candidates might not have good CV writing skills even if they fit the job. Take your time to read or, at least, scan the CVs for 1-2 minutes. You might find a good candidate somewhere there.
As an organization, if a candidate does not fit the profile, the CV gets thrown in the “maybe” or the “rejected” pile. These always get tossed to thrash. Keep the “maybe” ones as the “yes” people might not be the ones right for you.
As an HR person in an organization, you might not have time to write a custom job profile each time. But take your time and do it anyway. Applicants are sick of reading of “leadership, communications” or similar requirements.
As an organization, you have steps to follow to be sure that the person you choose will be perfect. This leads to lengthy processes, several interviews and many more. Before you call a person to an interview, think how you can shorten this process. Example: a job I applied for had four different interviews, a written test and a personality test. If the last two (done in one) would have been the first, you could have cut at least two of the interviews. Interviewers, from different levels, based on test scores and feedback before, could have made their decision.
As a recruiter (in an organization), you think that face-to-face interviews are better because you can see the candidate`s reactions to questions. A Skype interview or even a telephone one will save you the time and the trouble. Usually, the reactions are inflexions in the voice, short pauses and similar. You save the time for both of you and money (for the organization or the candidate – depending on who`s paying).
There are many things to say about what an organization should do in its recruitment process. Just think about the problems you have and you’ll find the solutions easier than you would have ever thought.