Recruitment is Broken, Now's the Time to Fix It

'Recruitment is broken'… Three little words that make for a bold opening gambit. But after 6 years helping companies create effective hiring procedures and interactions with countless job seekers, it's a statement I stand behind.

A big problem with the labour market is that individuals searching for jobs are too often ignored by recruiters and hiring companies after first interaction. Instead of respect and empathy, unsuccessful job seekers get the cold shoulder with little thought given to the time and effort they've put into applications, interviews and assignments.

The power imbalance that exists between the hiring managers and recruiters on one side, and the talent on the other, has led to a widespread lack of trust in the recruitment process. In our opinion at ReEcho, this lack of trust has been magnified by the proliferation of job boards making empty promises of dream careers.

Yes, recruitment is broken. And with the monumental impact of COVID-19, lockdown and the end of government-backed job support schemes on the labour market, it's now absolutely vital that we fix it.

Treating People Like People

We've been lucky at ReEcho to have worked for the most part with hiring companies that treat job candidates like humans. But I've always been keenly aware of the fundamental imbalance between hirers and hirees. Perhaps it's due to my own background.

Years ago, I had set my heart on teaching yoga, a discipline that's all about balance and finding harmony between mind and body. I actually started recruiting to pay for the teacher training (only one of the two required a certification… turns out yoga is a very serious business).

Fast forward a few years. The yoga teaching was on hold and I was running a recruitment firm – quite haphazardly it turned out. But one client turned to two, two grew into more and so on. I am so grateful to all those who have trusted us with their hiring needs along the way.

During this time, my team and I were seeing the same issues crop up time and again for talent, hirers and recruiters. I've outlined some of the biggest issues we encounter below:

From the Talent's Perspective

  1. Difficulty navigating the market: Many still want a trusted advisor to help them navigate the noisy job market, particularly as research shows 60-80% of opportunities are not actually advertised.

    Those who have in-demand skills are inundated with speculative messages for inappropriate roles. For those with a skill that's not in such high demand, the new job search can be long and lonely without the right guidance.
  2.  Poor experiences: No feedback on applications or interviews... Template rejections giving no real insight... Repetitive tasks... Constant rewriting of CVs... Misleading job ads... Unrealistic requirements... Ridiculously long processes... The hassle of going to multiple platforms... General trust abuse… Trust us, we've heard it all!

  1. Confidentiality: Some of the biggest talent-sourcing platforms started life as social networks. There's an inherent conflict between maintaining a public profile and disclosing more private thoughts on career needs, wants and ambitions – leading to poor talent/job matching.

From the Employer’s Perspective 

  1. Existing platforms: We see a number of inefficiencies and improvements that could be made to the most prevalent platforms.

    a) Job boards - How can platforms that generate revenue from more (or longer lasting) job ads and higher cold messaging volumes be truly incentivised to match and make the best hires as efficiently as possible?

    b) Demand-side HR platforms / ATS - They're great for internal process and data management, but poor at addressing competitive talent acquisition and negative candidate experiences, which can cause brand and reputational damage.

    c) Vertical talent marketplaces - Cannot provide full market visibility and tend to attract individuals demanding higher salaries to do materially the same job. They may fail to capture some of the best talent who are today more interested in expanding their skillset.

  1. The use of external recruiters: Niche and hyper-competitive areas of the talent market demand years of networking and trust building to navigate. Most hiring managers won't have the time for that, but can struggle to find recruiters with the right expertise, i.e. those who have made it their business to represent talent supply in competitive areas. 

Recruitment services - a fragmented and inefficient market  

  1. The value exchange: The best recruiters are incredibly relationship-driven, preferring real-time and face-to-face communication. But the systems they use are process driven, diverting energy away from helping candidates in favour of time-consuming data entry and reporting tasks.

  1. An ‘offline’ market: Most transactions involving recruiters occur 'offline' and costs can be high due to it being a very large, fragmented market. This may be why you often see 'no recruiters please' in public hiring posts, usually on LinkedIn.

    Recruitment is due a transformation like other sectors such as finance and advertising, where technological disruption has driven down costs, enabling lower-cost services at higher scale. This would allow for lower external recruitment costs without sacrificing any ability to get that difficult hire through the door.

Introducing the new ReEcho Platform: Everyone's Personal Recruiter

So how do we fix these problems? We've been quietly building a three-sided platform that brings together talent, top-rated recruiters and employers to create more balanced, human and valuable hiring experiences for everyone involved. 

Individuals will be able to:

For recruiters, we will provide the tools needed to deliver substantially better candidate and client experiences, on a system set up for informed and live communication and collaboration. Ultimately, recruiters will be able to build more successful business from their phone, as we highlight their strong performance to others. 

For employers, we will continue to make hiring processes smoother, faster and more effective, making sure that the best talent is accessible and ready to be successfully engaged.

Ultimately, we've built ReEcho to provide a better experience to candidates, recruiters and hirers.

Ready for a more balanced, human recruitment experience? Join our waiting list today.

Written by Hanna Sanford
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