Remy Smalley

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Create an outsourced hiring system that responds to both company and applicant needs

In the past few months I've been applying to numerous jobs and have faced one central problem: I can't seem to find enough empty positions that fit my skillset, because there isn't a central hub from where my profile is scanned against positions in multiple industries.

What I envision is a hybrid of job databases and hiring agencies. Instead of applying to each position individually, why not create a common application for a position that fits certain requirements. This can include personality tests (Myers-Briggs, Birkman, etc.), cover letters focusing on skills and experiences, and potentially a video answering interview questions chosen at random out of a pool of questions submitted by employers.

Employers would then search this service provider's database against criteria that are important for them. All information would be accessible for free to authorized and registered employers. The funding for this project comes from companies chosing to contact individuals for interviews. This system would remove the initial CV screenings, phone interviews and database searches which are a large part of the hiring cost.

With this system the job searcher has access to jobs and companies that he/she would not have known of otherwise. The service provider can update the candidate via a profile that shows how many views his application has from corporate employers, maybe adding the industries that are finding their profile; thus helping them prepare for future interviews.

I would be interested to hear your thoughts on this idea. How feasible is it and what problems do you see? Many thanks for your help!

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    Aug 3 2012: Isn't this "out-sourced hiring system", the same thing as LinkedIn?

    But I see, what you mean. They should really add the features you were talking about to LinkedIn or something like that...
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    Aug 3 2012: Many employers tend to prefer candidates who have made the effort to choose their company. It's one iof the early filters in the recruitment process.
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      Aug 4 2012: True, and I also believe that its a critial part. There has to be interest. But what if the candidate didn't know about the company? A foreign company, different market, etc. could quickly go unnoticed - and enthusiasm can be built.
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        Aug 6 2012: But why would an employer put the effort into building that enthusiasm is there are already plenty enthusiastic people interested in the job?

        If an employer is looking for scarce skills or an ideal match for an important position then they may use a headhunter to get a good match, but that isn't warranted for most positions.

        Automated matching technology is still very primitive and badly used. It depends on reducing skills and expertise to a tick list, and a lot of skills cannot be assessed this way.
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    Aug 3 2012: Hi Remy, I fully sympathise with your quest. I think that most web based recruitment systems liker Monster etc do exactly what you suggest. You search the vacancies, employers seek the job seekers and automatic agents try and match the two and notify employers and job seekers.

    But this only really works well when there is a balance between jobseekers and jobs. At the moment there are more jobseekers than jobs and as a result employers can be and are unusually picky in their recruitment process. Many jobs never make it to the job sites because employers get sufficient referrals from their staff and other direct sources so that they can select a candidate with a known reference.

    At other times, like at the end of the 90's there were more jpbs than jobseekers and employers were making huge efforts to get anyone. One company I worked for requested that ALL staff, including the receptionist, spent one day every week recruiting new staff. That's 20% of their recources!

    At present it is the jobseeker who is in that situation: you need to make huge efforts to get a job. You have to pursue every possible channel and try hard. Some people say that the online job sites are a complete waste of time in the current market. I'm not sure I'd go that far but would agree that if you have to choose, you should spend most of your time networking. Talk to people, talk to more people and when you're done, talk some more. This is face to face stuff, not email.

    Any other suggestions anyone?
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      Aug 3 2012: Hi Henk, thanks for your thoughts!

      I agree with you in regards to networking, in today's job market it leads to better results. In what ways could employers who mainly hire through the hidden jobmarket (ie all jobs that never make it to job boards) encouraged to open these positions to the general public? Referrals can help in regards to personality fit and honesty, but they may not bring about the most qualified individuals.
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        Aug 3 2012: Indeed, I don't think that employers current focus on referrals leads to better candidates and really good employers will still search the job market. In that regard your idea still has merit. Current systems limit automated job searches to badly written resumes and badly worded job advertisements.

        What if we used state of the art personality tests, skills inventories, job descriptions etc to create online resumes that really reflect who we are? What if employers would produce job adds that allow us to understand the jobs, the company, their culture, the team dynamics etc?

        I can tell you that as an employer, I spend a lot of effort trying to work out not only whether a candidate can do the job but also whether he or she will fit and be happy. I have to rely on my own emotional intelligence - and that of colleagues (!) to make that call.

        There is certainly room for improvement!
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          Aug 4 2012: I think the necessary tests and information is here, its up to somebody to combine it in a sensible way. I wonder if there were a way to sensibly use facebook in this regard as well. Google+ had the idea with circles, but it hasn't caught on too much outside of the tech world.
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    Aug 3 2012: I think it's called a temp agency.