Has traditional recruitment been made redundant by technology?

Today, companies can quickly browse through online CVs and social media to find a potential candidate, so has this made traditional recruiters redundant?

A traditional recruitment drive would see companies analysing candidates’ CVs closely and reading cover letters in response to job advertisements. Recruiters would scour through the potential candidates for a position and contact them via phone or email to discuss the role before putting a candidate forward. 

It is easy today to learn all about someone without having met them. Most people have comprehensive social profiles on many different social networking sites – professional, business-related and social sites. This means companies can find out many things about a potential candidate, from their academic background and professional experience to their favourite music and foods, simply by clicking a button on their computer or mobile.

Some people may find this potential delving into their personal lives slightly disconcerting, with an increasing number of people becoming more wary of the details they include in their social networking profiles. This is also advisable in case a weekend activity might look inappropriate for a more conservative company and could send a red flag to a potential employer.

Technology in the hiring process

There are also ways that technology is affecting the candidate selection process. Companies can set online tests to weed out the best candidates for a position before having met them in person, narrowing down the list of possible candidates for a face-to-face interview. The interview itself can, of course, be conducted via Skype, Google Hangouts or another smart messaging/video system and some people are even hired without ever having met their new boss or co-workers in person.

Headhunters can use technology to keep an eye on possible candidates simply by analysing the people who are logging into job search websites. Headhunters can be given a heads-up by the website’s automated notification system when a job seeker has logged in, thereby knowing when might be a good time to contact them about a new position. With this approach, the candidate need never send off their CV or cover letter to a specific position.

Do you still need a CV?

Many jobseekers use LinkedIn and other social profiles as a kind of CV, keeping their details up to date so they know a potential recruiter can find them and contact them should a suitable position arise. This might indicate that traditional CVs are no longer needed; however, it is actually a good idea to keep updating a traditional CV, with many recruiters still preferring to have a regular copy to send to potential employers. Companies can also ask for a CV to be sent when you apply for a job, so perhaps the CV is not quite dead yet!

The new wave of social media and online video possibilities makes job hunting and hiring easier than ever, and most companies are embracing this change; however, there is certainly still a need for traditional practices. Perhaps the best way forward is to combine the practicality of the new technology with the personal approach of the traditional recruitment methods to enjoy the best of both worlds.

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The British Institute of Recruiters is the Professional Body operating The Recruitment Certification Scheme

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