Sunday, 27 January 2013
Recruitment: Time to introduce some standards
A couple of days ago I participated in an online debate addressing some of the issues faced by the recruitment profession. Most of those taking part in the debate were either independent consultants, or involved in recruitment agencies, so some of the comments which follow may not apply equally to in-house recruiters.
To say that the debate raised some worrying questions is something of an understatement.
Much of the discussion was centred around "the myth of candidate experience" and in particular whether it was necessary to treat all job applicants with the same degree of respect, including the simple courtesy of acknowledging every job application.
At least one participant in the debate was happy to divide applicants into "good" and "bad" candidates: a "good" candidate being (and I quote) "a credible applicant who will make you money."
Put simply, good candidates were deemed worthy of attention, bad candidates could be ignored.
The same participant was (one hopes) frivolous enough to suggest that (and again I quote) "Dear John, I've checked out your LinkedIn waffle and Facebook pics and, sorry to say, you're not right for the position" would be a suitable response to one of those unfortunate enough to meet his "good candidate" selection criteria.
My view (along with a number of other participants in this debate) is that all candidates for a job (whether for an assignment managed by a recruitment consultant, or an in-house campaign) deserve to be treated with a similar degree of courtesy and respect, especially that of keeping them updated as to their status within the recruitment process. The evolution of applicant tracking systems means that there is no excuse for failing to maintain contact with every candidate for every position.
Fast forward to summer of 2013
Black ties and evening dresses will once more be donned by those attending the CIPD Recruitment Marketing Awards. Prizes will be awarded for Best Art Direction, Campaign of the Year, Best Employer Brand, Recruitment Effectiveness, and a number of other categories.
I have a suggestion. Actually it's a challenge, because this is surely one area where the CIPD (celebrating its centenary this year) could be seen to influence the direction in which the recruitment profession is moving.
How about introducing an entrance requirement for those campaigns being nominated for awards of the ability to demonstrate adherence to a number of minimum standards of candidate care throughout those campaigns?
There is, after all, no cause for celebrating innovation in recruitment advertising, if the candidates who were drawn to it were not treated with the same respect regardless of whether they were appointed or rejected.