Una's Blog


4 What’s gone wrong with recruitment?

graphic-4by Una Hearne.

The most common, and potentially most ineffective, way to go about job hunting is to send your CV into recruitment agencies. The idea is to match suitable candidates to a particular role. I’m just going to say it – it’s not working for most people. In my opinion it would be equally effective to pick names out of a hat.

Recently I have noticed:

  • For a very small number of people, who’s CVs have all of the relevant key words and who fit technical job descriptions precisely, recruitment agencies can still work.
  • Anyone can study CV writing and interview techniques and become very skilled at both. You don’t even need to invest money as all the information is available online.
  • Many dreadful candidates have done this and got jobs for which they are ill suited or not qualified. Not good for them or the organisations they work for.
  • Lots of excellent candidates haven’t done the work on CVs and interviews (madness, and another blog altogether) and fail to get jobs where they would be fabulous. Not good for them or the organisations they don’t work for.
  • A CV and one or two (or even five or ten) interviews tells you virtually nothing about what a person will be like to work with in reality. Recruitment is a risk.
  • A job description and interview(s) tell the candidate virtually nothing about what it will be like to work for that person/ organisation in reality. Taking a job is a risk.
  • Job description and CVs can be equally misleading, or to put it another way, are frequently barefaced lies.

Surely, with the amount of money, person hours and brain power that goes into recruitment from employers, recruiters and candidates we should be able to come up with something more effective? Suggestions on a post below please!

The bible on job hunting is still What Colour is Your Parachute. It’s a big book and takes a lot of time to do the exercises properly – well worth while though. If you don’t have time for this, read the first three chapters anyway if you are serious about your job hunt. And don’t use recruitment agencies if they don’t work for you, it will just sap your energy and confidence and prevent you doing what you need to do to get the job you want.

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