Recruitment and job search – how technology has evolved over the past 25 years
Recruitment and job search in the early 90s
There was no Internet, Windows just appeared.
Hiring advertisements were published in specialized newspapers or in newspapers for private advertisements
The cost of newspaper ads was based on size and number of characters.
Job descriptions were short and often telegram-like in style.
Abbreviations m / f, w / obr., neo. higher. were clear to everyone.
Job seekers bought newspapers and called the phone numbers listed in the ads.
Mobile phones and pagers were luxuries, and employers’ home and landline phone numbers were the primary means of communication with job seekers.
Nobody sent your CV by email because there was no email.
The lucky ones who have access to a printer and a fax machine sent their resume using it, after which they called and asked if the capricious machine had accepted their resume.
The recruiter’s day ended around midnight, as job seekers were usually contacted in the evening.
If the work was carried out for several vacancies at once, including workers, the telephone of the personnel service did not stop for a minute.
The absence of the device or the long occupation of the telephone line meant lost calls of the uncalled-for candidates.
Resumes and CV bases
Most often, applicants told about themselves by phone, those invited to interviews filled out questionnaires.
Those who had access to a state-owned printer brought their resume with them, which did not relieve them of the obligation to fill out the questionnaire.
High-quality photos in the resume were out of the question – the era of digital photography has not yet arrived.
In the resume received by fax, it was possible, at best, to determine the gender of the applicant from the photo.
There were no resume bases either.
Job seekers have published their 150-250 character short resumes in classified and specialized newspapers.
Personnel search in other cities
Provided business trips of managers or recruiters to the city where the staff was being recruited.
Sometimes a local phone number was used for interviews, sometimes telephone interviews were conducted over long distance communication, which not all applicants were ready for – communication was expensive.
Some companies reimbursed applicants for the cost of traveling to another city for an interview.
Workplace of a recruiter
The minimum required for a recruiter to work was a desk, a chair, another chair for the job seeker, and a wired telephone.
To increase the bandwidth during face-to-face interviews, applicants were allocated a separate waiting area or a room with tables and chairs where the questionnaires were filled out.
Difficulties in the work of a recruiter
The ability to manage a conversation and end it quickly and politely after receiving and transmitting the necessary information was very important, the number of phone calls received could reach up to a hundred per day.
The longer a telephone interview with one job seeker lasted, the higher the risk of “losing” those who could not get through on a busy line.
Opportunities for the presentation of the company were more than limited, only a recruiter could “present the company”.
A pleasant tone of voice and the ability to create a positive impression of the conversation have largely determined the success of recruitment campaigns.
Refusal to hire was an extremely nervous procedure – it was necessary either to set a control time for the applicant to call and receive an answer, or to make a special call in the evening and upset with the refusal.
What has changed since then?
Recruitment and job search in 2016
Job Announcements and Company Presentation Opportunities
Despite the fact that print publications are still used to attract personnel, most employers post vacancies on specialized sites.
You can prepare an unlimited job description and post it on hh, superjob or rabota from anywhere in the world where there is Internet access.
The amount of text in job descriptions is limited only by the employer’s sense of proportion.
The opportunities for company presentations and vacancies are almost endless – from the company’s website and social media pages to cloud links to office video tours and field trips.
Means of communication.
The proliferation and low cost of mobile communications and the Internet have revolutionized communications in the labor market.
You can send / receive a resume by e-mail or send / view a job application through the website anywhere where there is an Internet network.
Most job search sites even limit the possibilities of contacting the employer by phone, offering personal account services for sending SMS and email messages to job seekers.
Specifying a mobile phone number in a hiring announcement or forwarding calls from a landline to a mobile number makes it unnecessary to be present at the workplace.
Using a wireless earbud or car handsfree allows you to comfortably answer calls anywhere, anytime.
Call Hold and Missed Call Alerts prevent the loss of missed calls.
Many phones allow you to use two or more SIM cards, bluetooth devices can work with two mobile phones at the same time.
Accordingly, a recruiter can handle calls to several phone numbers at once.
The use of call detail allows us to estimate the number of applicants’ calls by phone and enter the phone numbers of those with whom they have already been contacted into the database of applicants, as well as assess the actual workload of a specialist.
Resumes and CV bases.
Requirements for the content and size of the resume have not changed in any way, as well as their content.
Having a photo on a resume has become standard, as has the practice of reaching out to professional photographers and using Adobe Photoshop.
A photo certainly makes the job of a recruiter easier, and some colleagues even boast that they can easily recognize applicants in a face-to-face meeting.
Probably, the decisive factor is the experience that allows you to see a living person in the most successful and thoroughly “photoshopped” photograph.
Printed resumes are rarely used, most often job search sites are used to compile them, where they are usually stored.
Personal accounts of employers on job search sites allow you to process a resume in the search process.
The volume of incoming information with which a recruiter works requires a high speed of work and concentration when processing it.
Searching for personnel in other cities and recruiting personnel using Skype
With the spread of Skype, there is no longer a need to invite applicants for interviews from other cities and travel on business trips to conduct interviews.
It’s no secret that a face-to-face interview is needed solely for a visual assessment of the applicant – you can get an idea of his experience and qualifications without visual contact.
Skype is convenient not only for remote recruiting – it saves time and effort for both the applicant and the recruiter.
A job seeker living in a metropolis does not need to carve out 2-3 hours in his schedule for an interview trip.
A recruiter does not need to look for a convenient interview location in the office and “stretch” the interview time, since it is at least impolite to conduct a 10-15-minute interview with an applicant who spent an hour on the way to the venue.
You don’t need to go anywhere – a recruiter and an applicant may well meet without leaving your home or personal car.
It is clear that it is impossible to get an offer without an in-person visit to a potential employer, but 3-5 already selected candidates for the vacant position receive an invitation to negotiate.
About social networks
Self-respecting recruiters, even in the 90s, did not hand out leaflets near the metro with telephone numbers and the words “invite to work” and did not hang up posters with similar inscriptions.
Times have changed, in the twenty-first century, such technologies are used in social networks.
Hundreds of recruiters surf social networks with the statuses “Looking for a director … a programmer … a manager etc.”
Requests to repost a vacancy or recommend a good person have become commonplace.
It has become unnecessary to physically attend exhibitions, seminars and conferences of specialists in a certain field – the necessary acquaintances can be made by being active in online communities – likes, re-posts and positive comments give pluses in karma to both applicants and recruiters.
Workplace of a recruiter
I would not argue that a smartphone is enough for recruiting qualified personnel.
This gadget is unlikely to ever become convenient for working with arrays of resumes, so laptops and desktops are still out of competition for most recruiting tasks.
The physical presence of a recruiter at the workplace may well be limited to the time of face-to-face interviews.
Permanent presence at the workplace is already a tribute to tradition, an indicator of the employer’s desire to have a full-time employee in “walking distance” or the inability to remotely control the quality and volume of his work.
If in doubt that it is possible to plan and control the workload of a recruiter, I recommend reading the material on Cost and labor costs for recruiting.
It is clear that a stationary workplace is necessary for specialists engaged in the mass recruitment of low-skilled personnel, where all work is performed in the same way as 25 years ago – according to the “call-come” cycle, but in the field of hiring qualified personnel or during processing calls from unqualified job seekers, the obligatory “office presence” is not obvious.
What has ultimately changed in 25 years?
Despite the triumph of digital technologies and a global decrease in time and financial costs for job search and recruiting, nothing has fundamentally changed.
The physical capabilities of recruiting specialists and job seekers for the perception and processing of information remain the same.
I don’t know of anyone who has acquired the ability to patiently study a resume that is more than one printed sheet or learned to read to the end of a job description, which is more than twenty lines.
Employees in the twenty-first century have not become smarter and more efficient – recruiters who complain about a large number of incoming resumes are no different from their colleagues from the 90s, who answered the phone next to the machine so as not to answer the calls of annoying job seekers.
The miraculous selection tests that tortured job seekers with paper copies in the 90s have not improved since they were digitized.
The presence of e-mail and a mobile phone did not impose an obligation on the applicant to answer messages and calls.
The hiring decision is still made by the manager as a result of face-to-face communication, no matter how beautiful the photo on the resume may be.
And mistakes that are made in hiring have nothing to do with digital technology.
Yes, Skype is certainly effective, but for a limited number of applicants and job vacancies.
Yes, modern communication means save on job creation for full-time recruiters.
But the lack of an understanding of how to assign tasks to remote employees and control their work does not allow using these capabilities.
Therefore, even in the personnel management of the recruiting units, there have been no significant changes in 25 years.
The human factor in human resources management is so great that digital technologies are unlikely to ever be able to seriously affect this area.
Much can now be done faster, easier, cheaper and easier than before, but the result can only be achieved with help, not thanks to technology.
Only a person himself can think, study and organize his time, therefore a smartphone with cats is just as powerless to help its owner in making management decisions for its owner, as the seventh iPhone.
Do you agree?
Good luck in recruiting and finding a job!
Author: Denis Karandashev
Go to Articles Directory
Go to the Catalog of training programs
Go to the Consulting Services Directory
Get fresh articles by mail