Applying for a job; Automation

Remember the days when the common way of applying for a position was either through snail mail or directly handing in your CV to a person? OK for those of us who do remember applying for a job this way; in some cases you would have the opportunity to speak with someone regarding the possibility of employment.

Moving forward to today. The last time you applied for a position, did you speak to anyone?  With the different advertising options available and the chosen way of accepting applications is done online it is rare for the applicant to speak with or even meet the advertiser.

With the state of the current job market the number of people applying for a single position has increased. It is difficult for advertisers to physically view every single CV hence the use of a filtering system that automatically sifts out unsuitable CV’s. The unsuccessful applicant may receive an automated rejection letter or nothing at all. Even if a CV makes it past the initial stage there is no guarantee the applicant will be contacted.  An automated application process is intended find the perfect person for the job, and speed up the application process. Alternatively, for a fee, recruiters can sift through thousands of CV’s stored on a database, input some key words for searching and away they go. This is not a flawless system and can result in potentially perfect applicants slipping through the net.

One of the downsides to this process is the lack of human involvement. Communication can easily be established via email; this is still very different to a face to face conversation. Face to face communication can convey different messages not only  through the spoken language but also through body language.  Could this automated, rigid form of communication be damaging the advertiser, candidate relationship?

Social media has benefited the recruitment industry and brought advertiser’s together with potential applicants and vice versa whose paths may not have crossed otherwise.  The latest ‘buzz’ whether you are looking for a job, looking to fill a role or wanting to build your business is to network, network and when you have done that then network some more. That is all good and well but how many of those in your network (mine included) do you physically know. Once the invitation to join someones network has been accepted have you ever spoken with that individual again?  The same thing can be applied to the applicant, advertiser relationship. Your CV makes it through to the advertisers’ inbox, you have the opportunity to speak with the advertiser but then you don’t hear anything again. Has the job been filled?  Is the advertiser still interested in you?

Candidates feel they are being ignored when this may not be the case. That is not to say that communication can’t be restored. Unless otherwise specified many adverts contain contact information whether it is an email address or a phone number, for applicants to contact them. Many would argue it should be the recruiter that should be contacting the applicant, but there is nothing stopping the applicant from being proactive and chasing up their application.

This isn’t to say that all recruiters or candidates for that matter are considerate and worth the time and attention. Despite this not everyone should be tarnished with the same brush.


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