When HR (Human Resources) goes online

When people look for a job they have several options online: Job boards or companies’ website.

When it comes to job boards there is a whole list of links one can go through. All of them require you to create an account, fill forms and attach your CV.

When it comes to companies’ websites, things take a different turn. There is no standard.

Some companies don’t even have a career tab on their website which either stops people from from applying or pushes them to send their CV as attachment to any email they find on the site. There are endless examples; here are a couple of them:

Some ask you to sent your CV on a certain email with no further details; a 3 seconds operation. There are lots of examples, here are 2 of them:

Others ask for a CV including a motivation/cover letter and/or photo. Examples:

The problem here is backstage. The HR person is getting documents under various formats: PDF, Word, Excel etc. what does he/she can do with them? Put them in a folder? OK. After 200 different CVs, when there is a job vacancy requiring a specific knowledge or experience it takes forever to get a relevant list because how is he/she to perform the search exactly? If there is a computerized system and the person is required to enter data after receiving those CVs; it will take forever as well. Their recruitment employee looks like this:

Some companies make an extra step forward by asking candidates to be more precise about their choices. The location where their wishes to work, their preferred shifts, part-time or full time etc.. Example:

The thing here is that the conditions known to be true for one position may not apply to all jobs across the organization. Night and double shift, may make sense for restaurant staff and may not make sense to the administrative team, for example.

Other companies decided to go even further by choosing 1 of 3 options:

1- Their own in-house system where you have to register with username and a password. Some are lengthier than others. Example: ABC

2- Their own full length application spreading across several pages or too lengthy for a snapshot where candidates are asked to transcribe the content of their CV and attach it at the end. 
Example:  Khalil Fattal & Fils

3- An interface bought from a third party supplier like Bayt, Monster, Taleo etc. Example: Zawya

The remark here goes to the fact that the lengthier the application form, the less motivated the candidates will be to fill it and to the fact that in some instances, when candidates need to update their application they may have to re-fill a lengthy application form all over again.

Which solution is the best?

The quick answer is pretty simple: The best solution is whatever works to get vacancies filled in a minimum amount of time and money.

The real answer is a bit more complex; There are some points to be taken into consideration:

  • From a marketing point of view, not only the way companies recruit should reflect the image they want to convey but also present the careers page in the way that will attract the candidates they are looking for.
  • When looking for a job, job seekers apply to many companies at the same time in order to maximize their chances of getting a job quickly; which means that they are more comfortable with the quick processes.
  • When getting candidates to apply, companies only asking for a CV to be sent to an e-mail will face problems. Although, it’s the quickest way for the candidates; it is a headache for companies and in the long run, it backfires on the candidates themselves. Why? Because there is a big risk that the person who got the CV will interpret it wrong while entering data on a system (if there is one) and will file it the way they believe it is right. (They cannot know that a candidate is looking for a career change.) It takes too much time in the wrong place for the wrong reasons. Recruiters efforts should be on recruiting; not on data entry. Other companies ask the candidates to fill a very long application form. Eventually, many will stop mid-way and give up; they have other things to do as well. It is not about how bad they want the job but about practicality.
  • When it comes to updating a CV, candidates will also opt for the fast way of doing so instead of re-filling a lengthy application.

The best solution understands the following:

  • ALL companies that employ people SHOULD have a career tab on their website no matter what their size is.
  • Recruitment is a VITAL part of HR and should be taken seriously and thought of carefully. The careers page should become a candidates magnet!
  • The wheel doesn’t have to be re-invented. Some specialized third party solutions can be adapted to the needs of companies without costing a fortune. It takes some time to personalize it; but once done, it’s done: searching for candidates, a specific competency or knowledge becomes easy.
  • There are systems that can do half the work on behalf of candidates: When they upload their CV, the system reads it and automatically fills in the fields in the application. Candidates will have to read it, correct it and fill what is missing which takes less time.
  • The easiest way that allows candidates to update their CVs are the ones that require a username and a password but most importantly updates the database without manual interference or wasting time on a document trying to figure out if it is a duplicate or not.
  • Having an automated system that confirms the creation of an account with a username and password (with a way to retrieve a lost password) as well as the reception of applications when completed with an explanation of the recruitment process is better than having to spend the day replying to e-mails and phone calls where candidates ask the recruiter “Did you get my CV?”, “How long do I have to wait before I hope for an answer?”
  • Whatever solution companies decide to go for; they should test it on a number of candidates before making it official to see how they react to it, get feedback and make the necessary adjustments.

That’s only the facade of the recruitment process. Have fun with it! Now, do whomever is in charge of recruitment have any idea about how to perform a formal interview for their recruitment needs and what they should be doing next?


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