Technological Change in the Recruitment Business

Uriah Heep from David Copperfield art by Frank Reynolds.jpg
Uriah Heep from David Copperfield art by Frank Reynolds” by Artwork by Frank Reynolds (1876-1853) – From The Personal History of David Copperfield, pg. 480-81, Toronto : Musson Book Co., 1910.. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons.

Above: old ways in the office – now, thankfully, supplanted by technological progress.

You know when you apply for a job and you are certain there will be thousands of applications? When the final decision will, as a result, seem random and arbitrary? When the necessity of making a choice between equally matched applicants will mean that a small mistake unrelated to the job will make a huge difference to your future or for that of  your company? This is the situation that employers and jobseekers alike are confronted with in the modern chaotic labour market.

Something I experienced today suggested to me that this situation may be beginning to change to the delight of both recruiters and jobseekers. I am currently looking for the next opportunity in the development of my own career and saw a position that caught my interest so I put forward my CV for consideration.

Shortly afterwards I received an email from Recruitment Genius, the CV finding service who had advertised the position. It said that my application was been considered along with others, but that I could increase my chances of success by answering some additional questions. They said that I could do this via an app called JobChat or via a local rate number. Intrigued, and in accordance with my forward looking nature, I took the more intrepid option and downloaded the app.

To use the app I had to enter a unique PIN that was provided in the email. I was asked to take a photograph via the device and then given the opportunity to do practice question. Then came the questions that had been provided in the email. You were given up to 30 seconds to think about each question and a similar time to give your answers in video form.

While I might have been better from a performance point of view using the familiar telephone, I think the app approach is very interesting and I am glad to have experienced it. I think I messed things up a bit with the app and suffered a bit of “stage freight” in this new environment under the “klieg lights” of my iPad video camera. I think I would do better with practise and increased familiarity with the app, but I certainly think that the technological route is the best one to reduce the randomness of the recruitment process and the frustrations and inefficient expenditure of effort and resources by recruiters and applicants.

This new approach also allows an employer to get a better impression of an applicant before inviting them to interview. This is particularly advantageous to a person already in a post and having to take annual leave to attend interviews. One of the most frustrating things about spending leave to attend interviews is the feeling of wasted journeys across town and wasted time.

I think what I experienced today is a beginning for recruitment rather than an end. Nevertheless it represents a significant move in the right direction. I love innovative approaches like this! It could even develop into something where employer and candidate can interact directly in the early application process and thus cut through the usual brain numbing bureaucracy. Furthermore app based first interviews could well become an important efficiency saving for the future.

With sometimes thousands of people applying for a single job, this sort of technology has the potential to revolutionise the job hunting experience and is urgently needed. It is great that someone is devising creative ways to make things better and making applying for jobs less random than the current process which to me is not much different from an employer drawing up an astrological chart as the basis of decision making.

Many thanks to Recruitment Genius for paving the way in this important area and for helping to bring things from the Dickensian world illustrated in the picture at the top of this blogpost and into the twenty first century! Hopefully in the future the best people will always be matched efficiently to the most suitable jobs.

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